Ranked as the heaviest online shopping day of the year, the increasingly popular Cyber Monday follows Black Friday as an eagerly anticipated day of online retail discounts that kick off the start of the Christmas shopping season. The Black Friday shopping phenomenon started in the U.S on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Brick- and-mortar retailers open stores early and slash prices similar to Boxing Day sales, in an attempt to attract the Christmas shoppers who keenly start that weekend.
Retailers take advantage of the upsurge in consumer spending that weekend by offering huge discounts, with technology giants Apple and Amazon leading by example and offering discounts of up to 40% on merchandise.
With the growing numbers of multi-channel retailers offering their services in-store and online, it was only a matter of time before the bulk of those crowds got online. The unprecedented popularity of Cyber Monday comes as the rise in online sales continues to grow.
Online retailers capitalise on the increased internet traffic on the Monday following Black Friday, by offering unbeatable discounts from a wide selection of online deals. Last year, the UK spent £91bn online and spending grew by 16% during the course of the year, according to IMRG-eRetail Sales Index for December.
The IMRG now forecasts a 17% growth in 2014 and estimates £107bn will be spent online over the year.
This well publicised boom in e-commerce has highlighted the death of certain high street stores this year, so it’s predictable that the online trade industry is expected to break more records, with Cyber Monday set to see the biggest online sales in the UK so far.
Research conducted by Hitachi Personal Finance has found that shoppers will spend a record breaking £1.5bn on cyber discounts this year - translating to over £1m a minute - a leap of 10% on last year’s expenditure.
Lisa Harrison, head of retail finance at Hitachi Personal Finance said: “With 21% of retail sales now taking place online, we expect digital sales to break the £100bn threshold this year. A lot of this growth is coming from mobile channels, with sales over smartphones and tablets having grown by 138% in 2013, compared to the previous year. Shoppers can make some big savings by hitting the web before they hit the high street.”
So it will be a busy Christmas for retailers, whose multichannel services mean that customers are using click and collect services more than ever before.