The Cyber Monday Myth

cyber monday blackberry.gi .top 1 300x193 The Cyber Monday MythCyber Monday is a myth. Let’s put that a little more accurately: Cyber Monday was a myth. It started as a marketing ploy by an e-tailers’ association that encouraged its members to create special ads for a Monday in 2005. Sales were good, but not the best – and they haven’t been the best.

Until last year.

In 2010, Cyber Monday became the first online shopping day to surpass the $1 billion mark, exceeding all expectations. It was a marketing campaign turned self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s more.

The next two weeks or so after the initial Cyber Monday sales brought on the second, third, fourth, and fifth heaviest sales days of the entire year:

  •  Green Monday (12-13-10) brought in $954 million
  • 12-6-10 did $943 million
  • Free Shipping Day did $942 million
  • and 12-16-10 rounded out the top 5 with $930 million

Local businesses (with Small Business Saturday, for example) as well as the big retailers are going so far as to cut into their profit margins to market for Cyber Monday and Cyber Week. For many retailers who make upwards of 40% of their entire year’s sales during this period, the cost of not getting in on the action is steep.

The rules are simple.

  1. Join the fray. Create the discounts for your store or services and start marketing. It means nothing to do one without the other. The discount can be simple, and it doesn’t have to be for everything.  Saturating social media with “Cyber Monday this” and “Cyber Monday that” and that without having a deal to back it up is not a good idea. Not that a lot of retailers don’t do it – but consumers are also especially wary of that kind of thing during this season.
  2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Think of Cyber Monday as a kicking-off point. Use the momentum to fuel the rest of December’s sales.
  3. Keep Internet marketing content fresh, and keep it coming. Consumers – and while we’re at it, Google – is looking for mentions of Cyber Monday of THIS year. Tag, link, blog, etc., accordingly.
  4. Stay real. Seriously. Being too sales-y will just get you lost in the noise – there are thousands of retailers out there spouting sales copy, and the trick is to not sound like them.
  5. Get help. It’s exhausting enough being a shopper during this season, let alone a business. Hire an Internet marketing team, or load up your existing team with work.

Black Friday doesn’t have the numbers to back its claims up as the busiest shopping day of the year. Cyber Monday does. Get marketing. Can you afford not to?