Cyber Monday made its debut on Nov. 28, 2005 in a press release from Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.
At midnight, The Times Media Co. unveils a major makeover of this online shopping experience: CyberWeek - a full five-days of Cyber Monday deals from local merchants, all in one CyberStore.
Online shoppers will find this unique marketplace right on The Times Media Co. web site, www.nwi.com. The CyberWeek Store runs through Friday, Dec. 2, and offers an irresistible array of spectacular deals from Northwest Indiana businesses.
"CyberWeek is just another example of how our industry is evolving as a media company. While that Thanksgiving Day paper with all the inserts is still the most highly sought advertising vehicle consumers want, the Internet search and buying habits of our consumers is growing," says Bill Masterson Jr., The Times Media Co. publisher.
"We are just expanding our platforms so we can reach our customers in all the different forms of search and communication they use," says Masterson.
Just visit www.nwi.com 24/7 during CyberWeek. Click on the CyberWeek store ad or promotion ad to enter the CyberWeek Store. Bring your holiday shopping list and get gifts for your family and friends, as well as services you can use right now. Check out the money-saving offers on dining, shopping and family fun.
Savvy shoppers have come to expect amazing deals on Cyber Monday, says Kathryn Hepko, Online Sales Manager with The Times Media Co.
"Cyber Monday historically kicks off the online shopping season, with consumers dialed into deep discounts. Now you can shop for Cyber Monday deals Monday through Friday!" she says.
"We've put together great offers from local merchants with between 50% to 80% off products and services across the region in our CyberWeek Store. CyberWeek and the CyberWeek store offer one-stop shopping that can be done on your schedule," Hepko says.
Because The Times Media Co. has gathered all these incredible deals together in one online store, you don't have to jump from one web site to another to get the best selection and prices.
You also don't have to be frustrated by Internet sites that crash because everyone's trying to get the hottest deals within a 24-hour period, and you can make your holiday dollars stretch even further. Plus, you'll be shopping local, helping area businesses, Hepko says.
Come back as often as you like to the CyberWeek Store. The "doors" will be open around the clock from Nov. 28 through Dec. 2.
WHAT MAKES THE IDEA OF CYBER SHOPPING SO SPECIAL?
In just six short years, the phenomenon of Cyber Monday deals has circled the globe.
That first year saw 77% of online retailers reporting that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Since then Cyber Monday has steadily increased online sales despite the ups and downs of the economy.
According to comScore Inc., consumers spent
Nov. 27, 2006 $610 million
Nov. 26, 2007 $730 million - a 20% gain
Dec. 1, 2008 $846 million - up 16% over previous year
Nov. 30, 2009 $887 million - a 5% gain
Nov. 29, 2010 $1.028 billion - up 16% over previous year.
Online shopping is expected to reach unprecedented levels in 2011 with retailers planning to emphasize value and savings to their shoppers all holiday season long, says the National Retail Federation and Shop.org.
According to Shop.org's eHoliday Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, 8 in 10 online retailers (78.4%) will have special promotions on Cyber Monday. Additionally, 92.2 percent of online merchants will offer special promotions at some point during the Thanksgiving weekend.
"As a direct result of increased demand, online retailers will offer hard-to-pass-up deals to shoppers all season long - before, on and after Cyber Monday," says Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. "In addition to many free shipping promotions, there will be plenty of extra ways to save on Cyber Monday, including percentages off entire sites and online-only sales."
As one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, retailers' promotions on Cyber Monday will run the gamut, she says.
Most are planning to offer coupons/percent off deals (45.0%) and more than one-third (37.5%) will have limited-time promotions. Three in 10 (30.0%) will also offer free standard shipping with conditions and 15.0 percent will feature a free gift with their purchase.
"Consumers have come to expect the absolute best online holiday deals on Cyber Monday," said BIGresearch Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. "Holiday shoppers love the idea of preparing for special online sales events as many begin scanning catalogs and retailers' websites days in advance, marking gift items for their family, friends, and even themselves."
Cyber Monday has now become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany and New Zealand.
With some customers, the Monday after Thanksgiving rivals Black Friday as a major opportunity for bargains.
One of those trends for Internet shopping this year is expected to be gift cards, the NRF representatives say.
Thanks to e-gifting, instant delivery through Facebook, personalized video and even mobile options, gift cards have become unique gift ideas in their own right. According to NRF's 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by BIGresearch, holiday shoppers are expected to spend an average of $155.43 on gift cards, the highest amount since 2007 and up from $145.61 last year.
This holiday season, total spending on gift cards will reach $27.8 billion. NRF's first holiday survey, released last month, found that gift cards remain the most requested holiday gift, marking the fifth year in a row gift cards have topped consumers' wish lists.
"When it comes to gift cards, holiday shoppers have the added advantage of convenience and creativity on their side this year," says NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay. "With discretionary gifts expected to be popular, many consumers will view gift cards as an ‘everyday value item,' affording their loved ones the option of buying something they really want or need."
Not only will more people purchase gift cards this holiday season (80.2% vs. 77.3% in 2010), gift givers will also spend more on each card they buy. Shoppers will spend an average of $43.23 per card, up from $41.48 last year. Men will spend significantly more on gift cards than women this year, shelling out an average of $164.24 versus women's $147.06.
When it comes to which gift cards people will buy this holiday season, most shoppers say they will give their friends or family members a gift card to a department store (38.7%), restaurant (33.8%) or an entertainment venue such as a night at the movies or music event (18.2%.) Others will buy gift cards to book stores (19.8%), coffee shops (15.9%) and discount stores (13.0 %).