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Cyber Monday Looks Promising for Online Retailers
23 Nov 11 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Featured Articles

Business opportunity and franchise owners who conduct much of their business online have good reason to believe that Cyber Monday 2011 will be a good and profitable day. According to a recent analysis by Forrester Research, Inc., online retail sales in the U.S. this holiday season are expected to increase as much as 15% year over year as today’s especially cost-conscious consumers seek out deals they would otherwise not find in stores. In addition, the so-called buzz about Cyber Monday is growing exponentially with each passing year, giving online retailers even further reason to be optimistic that 2011’s profits will be substantial.

According to Forrester’s findings, 58% of adults who shop online said they are more price-conscious today than they were last year, while 48% of them said they find better deals online than they do when they are relegated to storefront shopping only. This is especially true when shipping charges are waived, which, in many instances, is expected to be the case this year. In fact, 90% or more of retailers anticipate that they will be offering free shipping at some point during this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org.

Furthermore, a recent study by Nielsen/McKinsey’s NM Incite examined the growth in online buzz about both Black Friday and Cyber Monday since 2009, providing a good overall indication of how firmly entrenched the phenomenon has become. “Buzz” refers to everything from blog posts and message boards/groups to news sites and Twitter/Facebook. When compared to Black Friday, Cyber Monday 2010’s buzz grew the most, increasing its relative share of activity by a full 75 percent from the year before.

Add to all of this the fact that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have enhanced consumer access to online buying options like never before in history, and Cyber Monday 2011 looks nothing but promising.

Coined in 2005 by Shop.org, the term Cyber Monday was first used to describe what was already becoming a burgeoning phenomenon. Research at the time showed that almost 80% of online retailers experienced a marked increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004. Experts surmised that the bump in online sales could be attributed to two key things: 1) Americans returning to work on Monday after a busy weekend of Black Friday and weekend window shopping were back at their desks with high-speed Internet access and the opportunity to buy what they liked for less online, and 2) They could get the job done away from the prying eyes of family members and their other intended gift recipients.

Since that time, Cyber Monday has become an annual ritual for not only consumers, but retailers as well, many of whom have used it to their great advantage by creating one-day-only deals of unprecedented value that generate tremendous profits. In fact, Cyber Monday sales in 2010 were up a full 16 percent from the year before, making it the heaviest day of online spending in history. Sales on that one day alone last year generated $1,028 billion, according to comScore, which is a global leader in measuring the digital world and a preferred source of digital marketing intelligence.

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