Cyber Monday: History, Economics and Predictions

Cyber Monday spelled on laptop with coffee on deskWhile Black Friday is a distinctly American phenomenon, Cyber Monday is a worldwide event. It takes place on the Monday following Black Friday. It’s also a much newer informal holiday, dating back to 2005 instead of the late 1800s. The term was originally coined in an effort to promote online shopping over the mad dash at brick-and-mortar stores. Since its creation, Cyber Monday continues to grow by roughly 20 percent every year.

Differences between Cyber Monday and Black Friday

Retailers report that a significant number of Cyber Monday shoppers are doing so from their work computers. We can only speculate about why, but the trend is strong and remains true year after year. This is a major difference between Cyber Monday and Black Friday: there is less urgency, allowing people to leisurely browse, compare, and think about products before they buy them.

Cyber Monday isn’t without risks. Although your odds of being shoved or tripped are nonexistent when shopping online compared to Black Friday, half of all companies reportedly monitor their employees’ online activities at work. A 2011 CareerBuilder survey shows that 22 percent of employers have fired at least one employee for using the Internet for non-work activities. In addition, 7 percent of employers say they’ve fired an employee specifically for holiday shopping on the clock.

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Credit Card Usage to Rise on Cyber Monday

With the economy shaping up and spending on the rise, Black Friday might be the calm before the storm. Credit card usage is expected to rise significantly over the next half decade, especially during Cyber Monday. Online holiday sales are expected to reach $107.4 billion this year, a 13.8% increase from last year.

Cyber Monday Scams on the Rise As Well

Cyber Monday isn’t just a profitable day for reputable businesses. It’s a day where consumers expect unbelievable deals, so they’re more willing to believe that an iPhone 8 can sell for $400 instead of the typical $800. Even the Federal Bureau of Investigations warns against common scams, urging consumers to ignore unsolicited emails and stay away from retailers they’ve never heard of before. When shopping online during Cyber Monday, it’s important to stick to well-known retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy. Peer-to-peer auction sites like eBay also have consumer-protection policies that safeguard against scams.

When Does Cyber Monday Start?

Technically it begins on the Monday after Thanksgivings and runs for the entire day, but Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday has been extended. The unofficial holiday now spans Saturday to Monday or even Friday to Tuesday, depending on the store. Occasionally, a store sticks to the original Cyber Monday spirit and doesn’t release deals until midnight on Monday; for example, Target stays true to this. However, if you want a good deal without the lines, start comparison shopping now.

Posted on November 25, 2017 by in Personal Finance

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