Statistics tell us that Monday will deliver the highest level of Christmas sales for online retailers, a phenomenon known as Cyber Monday.
The term Cyber Monday started out in The States but it has slowly made its way across the Atlantic to infiltrate UK retail.
This year Cyber Monday falls on November 28, although analysts believe that Monday, December 5 will also be an important day for e-tailers. Rather than being a complete freak, the days co-incide with shoppers receiving their last pay checks before Christmas, and so kick-starting festive buying in earnest.
UK shoppers are expected to spend £7.7 billion online in the five weeks leading up to Christmas, up from £6.8 billion last year, and half of this will be spent in the first two weeks if previous patterns are followed.
Emmanuel Hembert, principal at global management consultants A. T. Kearney, said that while Cyber Monday is picking up speed in the UK, it is still a long way from US levels.
He said: “It is still far from being a market-wide promotional event. Mondays Nov 28th and Dec 5th will be a crucial time for retailers as this is when consumers, having just received their last pay check before Christmas, have the most money available for Christmas shopping. With tools for online shopping becoming more and more sophisticated, allowing for 24-hour shopping and instant price comparison, online retailers will be well placed to reap a larger share of what UK consumers spend this Christmas, even more so if the severe weather conditions of 2009 and 2010 repeat themselves this year.”
To attract shoppers, many retailers in the US offer discounts on Cyber Monday to make their offers stand out from the crowd. This concept has started to take hold in the UK with retailers including SexyLingerie,com, Amazon, Debenhams and Gap offering Cyber Monday discounts of up to 30%.
While Cyber Monday is still very much an American holiday, Monday could prove to be big business for online retailers if the statistics ring true, and the Monday following, so regardless of whether promotions are branded up as Cyber Monday or not, this could be a key opportunity for online retailers to maximise sales in a very short space of time.