[star]The American Mind[star]

November 29, 2005

"Cyber Monday" a Myth

I fell for online marketers' claims that the Monday after Thanksgiving is the big online shopping day:

So what's up with this Cyber Monday idea? A little bit of reality and a whole lot of savvy marketing. It turns out that Shop.org, an association for retailers that sell online, dreamed up the term just days before putting out a Nov. 21 press release touting Cyber Monday as "one of the biggest online shopping days of the year."

The idea was born when a few people at the organization were brainstorming about how to promote online shopping, says Shop.org Executive Director Scott Silverman, who answered his phone, "Happy Cyber Monday." They quickly discarded suggestions such as Black Monday (too much like Black Friday), Blue Monday (not very cheery), and Green Monday (too environmentalist), and settled on Cyber Monday. "It's not the biggest day," Silverman concedes. "But it was an opportunity to create some consumer excitement."

The genesis of the concept goes back even further. Shop.org member Shmuel Gniwisch, chief executive of the online jewelry site Ice.com, recalls getting an e-mail from Shop.org last year, suggesting that online retailers come up with their own marketing hook to match Black Friday. "The online guys got together and said, 'Let's give people something different,'" he says. "The reality is, we didn't notice anything special" on the Monday after Thanksgiving.


The biggest online shopping days are actually "around Dec. 5 and Dec. 15."

Bravo to Shop.org. There are some cleaver people there. Too bad for them I'll discount anything put out by them as pure spin. Like The Who "I won't be fooled again."

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 10:10 AM | Comments (16)