Cyber Monday – The Myth

I watched and listened to all sorts of stories about Cyber Monday yesterday, and it struck me… I should know about this. I’m pretty ‘cyber’.

I was drawing a blank.

How could there be something Internet oriented, something major, and I didn’t have a clue? I pride myself on wasting too many hours tapping on this keyboard to miss something so obvious.

The short answer is, Cyber Monday doesn’t exist… or didn’t exist… or… well, it’s marketing at work. It was one of those things too juicy for newsrooms to discard.

Just one problem: It’s not true, at least for many online retailers. Contrary to what the recent blitz of media coverage implies, Cyber Monday isn’t nearly the biggest online shopping or spending day of the year. It ranks only as the 12th-biggest day historically, according to market researcher comScore Networks. It’s not even the first big day of the season.

For most online retailers, the bigger spending day of the season to date was way back on Nov. 22, three days before Black Friday. What’s more, most e-tailers say the season’s top spending day comes much later, between around Dec. 5 and Dec. 15.

All the credit here goes to Business Week, where they were also skeptical, but actually followed through!

More than wondering about Cyber Monday, I think the real concentration should go to understanding how the Internet is changing brick and mortar retail. Consumers have never had as much access to price information. It’s gotta be making stores go nuts.

Physical retailers need to be careful. Let’s use the airline industry as the example of what not to do.

By the time the legacy carriers caught on to what the discounters were doing, they were both offering exactly the same product – except the discounters were cheaper.

Brick and mortar retailers need to find a way to distinguish themselves from on-line stores other than by price. Immediacy is certainly one way. There are probably others.

Could Internet retailing revive service in ‘real’ stores? Wow, what a concept. And, it’s exactly what the airlines didn’t do.

2 thoughts on “Cyber Monday – The Myth”

  1. Geoff….what is your email address? this site wants to send people to AOL…

    anyway, loved the Farrell Meisel Mamma-le tour of the New Orleans that isn’t there anymore; very sad and hope that she is doing OK. You were a mensch to help out.

    thinking of you


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