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Making Sense of Cyber Monday 2011

Cyber Monday Computer Holiday Season

With Cyber Monday only one week away the widely-anticipated 2011 Holiday Survival Kit was recently released by the National Retail Foundation. The kit outlines some key holiday expectations about the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season as a whole. Taken from the kit are some statistics about Cyber Monday and what to expect on the busiest online shopping day of the year:

  • 44% of holiday shoppers last year made an online purchase, a number which is expected to increase this year not only on Cyber Monday but throughout the holiday season.
    • This is important to retailers because shoppers who shopped online AND in-store spent 25% more during the holiday season on gifts than shoppers who only shopped in-store.
  • Last year Cyber Monday saw 106.9 million shoppers visit online retail sites, a 10.8% increase from 2009 (96.5 million shoppers) and a 43.3% increase from 2006 (60.7 million shoppers).
    • Given the growth of Cyber Monday over the past few years it’s possible as many as 120 million shoppers could visit online retail sites on Cyber Monday this year.
  • In 2010 Cyber Monday sales surpassed one billion dollars for the first time ever and sales are expected to follow this trend again in 2011.
    • Cyber Monday sales were $608 million in 2005 and have seen double-digit growth every single year except for 2009 (up 5% to $887 million).

Cyber Monday 2011 will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. With web traffic set to reach record levels for Cyber Monday this year, what can retailers do to prepare for this huge surge in site traffic?

  • Understand why consumers are shopping online – There are many perks to shopping on Cyber Monday instead of on Black Friday. Last year (a division of NRF) asked consumers exactly why they are shifting their holiday shopping online, especially during high-volume shopping days…

As you can see, the thought of waking up early on Black Friday and other holiday shopping days is appealing less and less to holiday shoppers. These shoppers now expect to find the same deals when they choose to go online and in the comfort of their own homes.

  • Make deals prevalent to efficiently drive site traffic – Normally online retailers would love for consumers to browse the depths of their site but on Cyber Monday, when the so-called “deal hunters” are out, sometimes the minimal approach is best. By creating a clean landing page featuring Cyber Monday deals retailers can reduce the stress on their site servers and allow a wider audience to enjoy a positive site experience. Adding a link to a landing page of the most enticing deals on every site page can also help boost conversion rates dramatically.
  • Get creative with e-mail and social – Cyber Monday may be the day when consumers shop online but it’s also the day when consumers get bombarded with marketing messages from online retailers. While bargain basement deals may flood sites creative uses of interactive marketing tools such as e-mail and social media can still drive traffic even without the presence of rock bottom prices.

Cyber Monday 2011 is set to be a historic day in the world of eCommerce. With more mobile and tablet devices in hands of shoppers than ever before it’s become easier to score your favorite Cyber Monday deal from wherever you are. Industry speculation isn’t related to whether or not records will be set, but what records will fall and by what amount the new records will triumph over the old ones.

November 28th can’t come soon enough!