As online shopping becomes a bigger part of consumers' holiday buying strategy, retailers are forced to offer new types of deals that go beyond the traditional Black Friday earlybird specials. Take a look at last year, for instance. U.S. shoppers spent a record $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday, the term for the huge shopping day that takes place the Monday after Black Friday. By comparison, they only spent $816 million on Black Friday. Of course, "only" is a misleading term, as that's still an incredible amount of sales for one day. But it's becoming clear that Cyber Monday is not only competing with Black Friday as the number one shopping day of the year - it's actually overtaking it.
And a new report from Nielsen suggests that 2012 is going to continue that trend, if not expand on it.
According to the report, 30% of the consumers they surveyed said that they plan on shopping online on Cyber Monday (November 26th).
If that doesn't sound like a large percentage, just wait until it's compared to those planning on participating in Black Friday. That number is only 17%. But Black Friday still packs a punch, as the shoppers in the 17% said they plan on spending 50% of their holiday budget on that one day.
"Just as consumers are converging their use of traditional and new media, so do we see a convergence of traditional Black Friday with the new Cyber Monday .This is not an either/or decision for marketers, but rather a collaborative strategy to reach an increasingly engaged consumer,” said Nielsen's James Russo.
But it's clear that more consumers are turning to the low-stress shopping offered by Cyber Monday. Retailers, even those who have neglected their online contingent during past holiday seasons, have to shift their deals strategy to catch up with the times.