The trans­for­ma­tion of Cy­ber Mon­day

On­line shop­ping no longer a big deal as more Amer­i­cans are con­nected

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Mae An­der­son AP Tech­nol­ogy Writer

NEW YORK » The Mon­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing is still a time when mil­lions of Amer­i­cans pause to check out on­line deals and check off items from their gift list — but a one-day Cy­ber Mon­day frenzy ap­pears to be go­ing the way of the dial-up mo­dem.

Shop­pers who have high-speed con­nec­tions at home and on their phones are pounc­ing on deals that stores are spread­ing out over sev­eral days, leav­ing the so­called Cy­ber Mon­day on­line shop­ping bo­nanza in danger of los­ing its ti­tle as the top on­line sales day.

“Be­cause Cy­ber Mon­day is no longer about the con­nec­tion, it’s just an­other sales day that I can plan for, like a La­bor Day sale or Fourth of July sale,” said Gart­ner an­a­lyst Gene Al­varez. “‘I know it’s com­ing, does it fit into my sched­ule, and will I do my hol­i­day shop­ping that day, Black Fri­day or wait to see what comes up later?”

So in­stead of door­buster mark­downs on a se­lect few prod­ucts, re­tail­ers are shift­ing to a stream of dis­counts and alerts dur­ing the en­tire week via email and so­cial me­dia. Cartwheel, Tar­get’s dig­i­tal app, started of­fer­ing hol­i­day deals in­clud­ing 50 per­cent off one toy per day on Nov. 1. Ama­zon started of­fer­ing 35 days of Black Fri­day deals on Nov. 16. And Wal­mart kicked off its Cy­ber Mon­day deals on Fri­day for the first time as it aimed to grab cus­tomers ahead of its com­peti­tors.

“It’s re­ally this week­long flow of deals,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief econ­o­mist at the Con­sumer

Tech­nol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion.

Lea Bishop from Carmel, In­di­ana, picked up tick­ets to the Texas Tenors at her lo­cal per­form­ing arts cen­ter be­cause they had a rare buy-two-get-two-free deal. “It’s those once-a-year deals that I’m look­ing for to­day,” she said. Oth­er­wise, she no­ticed re­tail­ers have been spread­ing out deals.

“It seems like they should re­name Black Fri­day to Black Fri­day Week and re­name

Cy­ber Mon­day to Cy­ber Mon­day week­end,” she said.

Matthew Can­nata of New Bri­tain, Con­necti­cut, said he and his wife metic­u­lously map out their shop­ping week­end. They hit the stores Thurs­day night and Fri­day morn­ing and started brows­ing on­line Satur­day. They saw more dis­counts early this year and use ser­vices like buy­ing item on­line and pick­ing them up in the store, Can­nata said.

“We are cast­ing a wide net on any and all types of gifts,” he said.

On Mon­day, he bought an

Ama­zon Tap smart speaker for $40 off at $90 on Ama­zon.com and Blue­tooth stereo head­phones for $30, $100 off the orig­i­nal price.

The Mon­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing has been the busiest day of the year for on­line shop­ping since 2010, and re­ferred to the day when peo­ple re­turned af­ter the hol­i­day week­end to of­fices where they had high­speed in­ter­net con­nec­tions.

Cy­ber Mon­day still packs the biggest punch in terms of a sin­gle on­line shop­ping day — for now. Shop­pers spent $540 mil­lion be­tween mid­night and 10 a.m. East­ern

time on Mon­day, af­firm­ing that sales are ex­pected to to­tal $3.36 bil­lion, up 9.4 per­cent from a year ago, ac­cord­ing to an early tally by Adobe Dig­i­tal In­sights, which tracks on­line re­tail trans­ac­tions.

But other days are catch­ing up. Adobe’s fore­cast puts Cy­ber Mon­day neckand-neck with Black Fri­day, when con­sumers spent $3.34 bil­lion, a 21.6 per­cent jump from last year.

“Be­cause of tech­nol­ogy, the shop­ping process has been de­con­structed, and the con­sumer con­structs their own flow,” said Al­varez.

Joseph Ja­coni, whose com­pany TechAr­mor sells smartphone ac­ces­sories through Ama­zon, other out­lets and his e-com­merce site, said Black Fri­day was his biggest sales day of the year and he ex­pected Cy­ber Mon­day to out­pace that, will sales about dou­ble or triple that of a nor­mal day. Ama­zon kick­ing off its deals on Nov. 16 helped give the whole month a sales lift.

“Cy­ber Mon­day has kind of be­come Cy­ber Month,” he said.

Re­search firm comS­core pre­dicted that on­line

spending on Cy­ber Mon­day will jump to $3.5 bil­lion from $3.12 bil­lion last year, and will re­lease its tally for the day on Wed­nes­day. The firm’s pre­lim­i­nary hol­i­day shop­ping fore­cast, which in­cludes November and De­cem­ber, is for on­line sales to rise as much as 19 per­cent to $81 bil­lion.

Over­all, the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion trade group is fore­cast­ing hol­i­day sales for the November and De­cem­ber pe­riod to rise 3.6 per­cent to $655.8 bil­lion, bet­ter than the 3 per­cent growth seen in the year­ago pe­riod.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Tashalee Ro­driguez of Bos­ton uses a smartphone app while shop­ping at Macy’s in down­town Bos­ton.

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