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Retailers Hope to Profit from Cyber Monday 'Sell'-abration

It’s been a mere five years since the phrase “Cyber Monday” entered the language to describe the Internet shopping frenzy that takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Since its inception, it's become one of the most important days for online sales, a new study shows. 

According to comScore, last year’s Cyber Monday sales hit $887 million and tied the record for the heaviest online spending day on record — Dec. 8, 2008. 

This year, nearly nine in ten online retailers (88.2 percent) will hold special promotions on that day, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch for Shop.org, the group that coined the phrase Cyber Monday. That is up from 77.2 percent last year.

Retailer promotions will range from offering specific deals (49 percent) and one-day sales (41.2 percent) to free shipping (21.6 percent) and a free gift with purchase (11.8 percent), the survey showed. In addition, the majority of retailers (62.7 percent) will send promotions and deals to shoppers through Cyber Monday e-mails.

“Today, Cyber Monday has become such a crucial component of the holiday season that many retailers — and shoppers — don’t remember the holidays without it,” Joan Broughton, the interim executive director of Shop.org, said in a release.

It’s also become a crucial component of the workplace, according to the survey. More than half (54.5 percent) of workers with Internet access — 70.1 million people — will shop for holiday gifts from the office this year. Employees most likely to shop from work include men (56.5 percent) and young adults 25 to 34 (71.8 percent).

“Even though much of the Cyber Monday shopping is shifting to early mornings and late nights, there’s something to be said for being able to shop online for holiday gifts without worrying about curious children or spouses looking over your shoulder,” said Phil Rist from BIGresearch. “Many businesses understand that Americans’ work and personal lives are merging, and would rather have employees shopping online at work than driving all over town during their lunch hour looking for the perfect gift.”

•    How Did Black Friday and Cyber Monday Get Their Names?
•    Holiday Hopes: Small Business Prepares for Black Friday
•    Holiday Shopping is Quickly Going Mobile

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith
Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.