November Event C – 27 Nov: Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday) was termed over a decade ago by the National Retail Federation, in a view to encourage consumers to shop online. Its initial purpose was to drive web sales, competing with brick-and-mortar stores, at a time when online sales were not popular. Last year, Cyber Monday sales in the US made up $3.45bn, making it the biggest ecommerce day in the US.

Now, it is the last significant retail day before Christmas, so consumers stay alert to online discounts in hope to secure good deals before the heavy festive month. Overall Cyber Monday sales were up by 12.1% last year, compared to 2015 (TechRadar, 2017). Adobe predicts a 16.6% increase in online sales this year, making it the “largest online shopping day in history, securing $6.6 billion” (WWD, 2017).

Who is Cyber Monday targeted at?

Whilst traditionally targeting shoppers hoping to avoid the in-store crowds, Cyber Monday is no longer just the remit for ‘tech-savvy’ online shoppers but for all those who want to bag a bargain in the after-glow of Black Friday. The post-Black Friday bargain burst allows brands to unleash some of their biggest price cuts online, that weren’t available during the Black Friday weekend with tech and gadgets such as laptops, TVs, game consoles etc. being the firm favourite called for heavy discounts.

Many shoppers treat the day very methodically – they prepare thoroughly before the big online sale, by researching products online and bookmarking them (Forbes, 2017). According to Retail Dive’s Consumer Survey, 60% of shoppers use their mobile phones to find product information and reviews (2017). Consumers have become more aware of the loopholes of spending money on both days, so they do their homework and research beforehand to ensure the discount is really a ‘discount’.

Is Cyber Monday more dominant than Black Friday?

Cyber Monday has certainly surpassed Black Friday’s success in terms of revenue, by $110m (Tech Radar, 2017). Once the Black Friday frenzy is over, large retailers prepare themselves for a day of heavy online shopping. Compared to Black Friday’s popular offering of tablets, toys and clothing, technology and travel deals take the lead on Cyber Monday, with up to 60% off on hotel stays (dealnews, 2017). To gauge a winner on the discount-day-stake for dominance isn’t clear, as it really depends on the shopper and what they’re really looking for; or if they’re really looking for a deal at all. Whether customers choose to shop online or in-store seems not as relevant as the actual draw of the promotions itself.

Nevertheless, for advertisers it’s crucial to remain relevant with their messaging to all types of consumers; the ‘interested’ and ‘indecisive’ consumer. Those looking for great deals will be on the lookout for ads that offer them exactly that, and those not looking for any bargain in particular, might just have their attention engaged by ads that are tailored to them. It’s almost anyone’s game and all for the taking.

Desktop vs. Mobile

According to AppInstitute’s Mobile vs Desktop User Behaviour insights (2016), desktop was the most prominent means of purchasing over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend last year. Mobile shopping accounted for 31% of sales on retail websites during the online shopping holiday last year. However, Adobe predicts that during this year’s Cyber Monday sales, mobile visits will make up 54% of all traffic, outpacing desktop visits (WWD, 2017). Therefore, we can expect a considerable drop in desktop purchases.

Shoppers may still like the experience of going to a shop, but because they are being offered bargains online at a wider and more frequent scale, we can expect to see continued spiking online sales as a whole, compared to those in-store. Also, shoppers are becoming more tech-agnostic, so the more devices they use throughout their shopping experiences, the more useful insights advertisers can derive about their consumers; in turn, helping them to optimise their targeting strategies.


This ecommerce day can prove to be a revenue maker for those retailers who put in extra efforts to align their messaging to their consumers’ preferences. The Christmas shopping period has already begun and shoppers are willing to spend their hard-earned cash, so if your ads offer tailored deals, shoppers are more likely to end up on your site, ready to make a purchase.­­

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