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Black Friday is Done, Now Cyber Monday has Begun

Cyber Monday, the only Monday most people actually love. Imagine, shopping in your pajamas? Cyber Monday has long been around before the pandemic. The name Cyber Monday was first coined by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in 2005 when the organization noticed a significant uptick to online shipping after Thanksgiving. With e-Commerce companies like Amazon and eBay beginning to offer convenient online shopping alongside big retailers like Walmart, consumers quickly began the habit of adding items to their online shopping carts. These companies capitalized on the Thanksgiving shopping mania and dedicated the Monday after Thanksgiving as Cyber Monday, and sales continued to grow, especially during the pandemic.

Cyber Monday according to Professor Barbara Kahn of the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, was a response to consumer behavior. In the ‘90s and 2000’s, internet service was usually only available at work. So when people went back to work after Thanksgiving break, people were able to browse and shop online retailers, thereby giving them more access to goods that otherwise won’t be sold in stores. With the widespread service of the Internet nowadays, Cyber Monday as a name may have been rendered obsolete, but its significant remains strong. Over the years, the line between Black Friday and Cyber Monday seems to be blurred and less distinct, but the sales remain strong, especially as more retailers join in the fun.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday…is there really any real difference?

So what drives the Cyber Monday frenzy? It’s the same consumer behavior that also drives the Black Friday madness. Loss aversion, or the fear of missing out, and the constant stream of advertisements leading to Cyber Monday fuel the behavior. On top of these, though, the added convenience makes Cyber Monday such an alluring option. The convenience that is offered by the online shopping format allows consumers to make purchases without leaving the comforts of their home, work, car….the list goes on. This gives these online retailers that competitive edge over brick and mortar retailers. Oftentimes, the cost of these items may be more expensive than brick and mortar stores, but because of the convenience, consumers are willing to pay for it. In fact, allowing consumers to try products, simulate their purchases and even return their items adds to the convenience factor. However, returns come with the cost of carbon emissions and landfill waste, which I also discussed in a previous post.

While many look forward to Cyber Monday deals, mail workers dread Delivery Tuesday.

The moral of the story, retailers respond to consumer behavior especially if it will drive sales and profits. Retailers on the other hand respond by offering even more alluring deals and the convenience of anytime shopping. I do hope though that you will consider to purchase items you hopefully do not need to return to reduce the impact on the environment. But in the meantime, I hope you find the best deals out there!

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