With Christmas just around the corner, the month of November officially opens the shopping season, and it’s absolute madness all over the world. This is mainly due to two shopping events that have become extremely popular with the massification of online shopping. These are currently two of the busiest shopping days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
By now, everybody knows what Black Friday is. Many people look forward to this date to make some of the most important purchases of the year, and rightfully so. The discounts that most retailers provide during Black Friday are amazing and can save you a lot of money.
But what about Cyber Monday? Let’s find out a little bit more about this relatively new shopping phenomenon.
What is Cyber Monday?
In its essence, Cyber Monday is a marketing effort designed to prolong the excitement around Black Friday for a few more days and give an extra push to online shopping. The term was coined in 2005 by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation when e-commerce wasn’t as widespread as today. These days, Cyber Monday sales are on track to become as popular as Black Friday. So it’s fair to say that a lot has changed in our behavior as consumers.
Over the past few years, there has been a remarkable growth in the volume of online sales during Cyber Monday. In 2019, the total online sales reached an all-time high of .4 billion, according to a MarketWatch report. These huge numbers are very revealing of the importance this day has for e-commerce.
When exactly is Cyber Monday?
It depends, obviously. It’s the Monday following Thanksgiving.
Even before it was known as Cyber Monday, that specific Monday already registered noticeable spikes in online sales. It’s a funny story. It seems that, after the Thanksgiving holiday, people did a lot of online purchases the following Monday when they returned to work because the internet in the offices was a lot faster than the service they had at home – remember, we are talking about 2005 when most internet services were incredibly slow and highly expensive. Hence the name Cyber Monday, as people used to refer to the internet as cyberspace. Do you still remember the good old cybercafés? Oh, how nostalgic.
This year, Cyber Monday falls on November 30. With the amount of advertising and special deals around this date, you surely won’t miss it.
How to grab the best Cyber Monday deals?
Now that you know everything about Cyber Monday, it’s time to get ready for your shopping spree. We’ll give you three essential tips to help you make sure you get the most of this incredible day.
1. Plan ahead:
First of all, you should start planning at the beginning of November so you can be prepared to catch Black Friday sales and other early deals. If you can wait, it’s also a good idea to leave all your major purchases (like home appliances, TVs, or smartphones) for this shopping season – it will save you a considerable amount of money. Make note of all the items you need to buy and a couple of products that you don’t necessarily need but would like to have if you could find them at a huge discount.
After that, do intensive research to pick a handful of specific models for each product on your list. This way, you’ll know exactly what to look for when Black Friday and Cyber Monday arrive. Install at least one tracking app on your smartphone to set a price drop alert on all the models on your final shortlist (and don’t forget to install all the mainstream online shopping apps).
All this planning will make your life easier and prevent you from overbuying unnecessary stuff, which can happen very easily because you’ll certainly encounter some tempting deals on Cyber Monday. Focus on the things you need! Additional tip: another great Cyber Monday idea is to take advantage of this shopping event to buy Christmas gifts at outstanding discounts. Add them to your list to save money and make Christmas shopping less stressful!
2. Search and compare:
It’s going to be a busy Monday, so you better start your day with an extra dose of coffee. Keep a close eye on the websites and apps of every major retailer and your favorite shops. Check carefully what each company has to offer. If you find something that you want at a huge discount or you’ve received an email or text alert warning you that a product on your final shortlist is on sale, it’s time to do a little bit more research! Before buying any product, you have to check its price on other online retailers to see if you’re getting a good deal.
You should also be skeptical of the advertised discount percentage. You see, many retailers (even the most reputable and trustworthy) put an exaggerated price tag on specific items weeks before this shopping event to claim a huge and tempting discount and deceive customers. Don’t fall for these ethically questionable marketing techniques: before buying, always check the price history of the item on tracking websites or apps like CamelCamelCamel, Slickdeals, or ShopSavvy. Now you can go ahead and make your purchase knowing for sure you’re getting a nice discount.
3. Stay safe online:
With so many online purchases expected to occur during Cyber Monday, online scams are something that you need to worry about. Here are some safety tips you should follow:
- Only use trustworthy websites (and double-check to make sure you are not buying things from some fake site)
- Only use secure and private internet connections to make payments
- Save receipts
- If you’re not comfortable using your credit card to make online purchases, you can use services like PayPal or Stripe to make secure payments and keep your credit card information private.
But you should know that as long as you’re buying from a trustworthy company and using a secure connection, you have nothing to worry about. Shopping online is safe, convenient, and easy.