Today is a very exciting day in the world of online retail–it’s Cyber Monday, which is basically like Black Friday but online. Tons of different retailers, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Target, and Wal-Mart are having big one-day-only sales online today. According to a Wikipedia article, Cyber Monday started in 2005 as a way to encourage customers to shop online, and it is now one of the biggest spending days of the year. Since it began, Cyber Monday has continued to grow in popularity, and Fox News reported that shoppers are expected to spend $1.5 billion, which is up 20% from last year (check out the article here).
If you think about it, it makes sense why Cyber Monday is such a big hit. Not everyone has the courage and the commitment that it takes to wait in line outside stores for Black Friday, but most people don’t mind going online in the comfort of their home, office, or really anywhere they are if they have a smartphone with internet, to browse the deals and make holiday purchases. It’s easier, quicker, and one doesn’t have to deal with crowds, parking, or any other annoyances that come with going to a store when there’s a big sale.
Perhaps another reason why Cyber Monday has grown in popularity is that people are starting to get more and more comfortable shopping online. I know the first time I made an online purchase, I was a bit nervous to give them my credit card number and then have to wait and see if I would actually get what I paid for. But now, it seems that most websites are much more secure than they used to be and I have not encountered a problem ordering anything online in years.
Also, the deals are often significantly better when one shops online (even when it’s not Cyber Monday), and they can take their time doing research about the product by reading customer reviews, as opposed to making a guess in the store. Many people do not have a great selection of physical stores within a close driving distance of where they live, but shopping online gives them the opportunity to shop at a wide variety of different places no matter where they are. That’s the beauty of it–it brings the store to you rather than you having to go to the store.
So if you’re thinking about holiday shopping, and if any of the items you’re thinking of purchasing might be available online, I would definitely encourage you to take advantage of the great deals available today. You’ll be helping give the economy a little boost, and you’ll walk away feeling like a smart shopper. It’s a win-win.