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Cyber Monday meaning, definition and history

November 29, 2019

The term “Cyber Monday” was coined by Shop.org in 2005, and has since become a part of our lexicon. Refers to the first Monday following the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, and is considered a prime shopping day for online shoppers and retailers. Following Black Friday, retailers offer a number of specials that are only available to online shoppers. Free shipping is often offered as an incentive for purchases made on cyber Monday.

The term “Cyber Monday” was dreamt up in 2005 by a marketing team at Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation. The idea was to provide online retailers with a catchy hook to match the brick-and-mortar shopping frenzy fueled by mention of Black Friday savings. At the time, Cyber Monday wasn’t the busiest online shopping day of the year — it was more like the 12th — but it’s become a very popular day to shop since then

Lots of consumers were already taking part, shopping through the Black Friday weekend and into the next week, and the media seized on the Cyber Monday concept in a big way the first year it was introduced. Many online retailers saw an unexpected jump in sales, likely as a result of these free marketing efforts. By coupling the catchy phrase with sales and promotions, Cyber Monday has since served to push sales up and boost increased online shopping throughout the holiday season.

Online shopping on Cyber Monday hasn’t just caught on in the United States. In the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Portugal and New Zealand, among other nations, Cyber Monday has become a promotional event as well.

Still retail shopping isn’t dead yet. Only 22 percent of Americans said they would do most of their holiday shopping online in 2016.

Cyber Monday meaning, definition and history

Cyber Monday meaning, definition and history

Sales Trends

Cyber Monday has set new records each year since its inception. Since 2009, Cyber Monday sales have seen more than an eightfold increase, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks and publishes research into online marketing and sales:

Year Sales (in billions) Comments
2009 $0.887
2010 $1.038 First time topping $1 billion in sales
2011 $1.3 17% increase
2012 $1.5 Mobile devices 12.9% of sales
2013 $2.29 20% increase; Black Friday sales down
2014 $2.5
2015 $3.04 Discounts on mobile devices
2016 $5.6
2017 $6.59
2018 $7.9 $2.2 billion in smartphone sales