Cyber Monday Racks Up Big Numbers

If you saw Peter Varhol's report on Cyber Monday in yesterday's Redmond Report, that may have reminded you to start your own online shopping. That means repeatedly clicking on one of my favorite phrases: "Add to Cart."

Cyber Monday may be a myth propagated by the nation's retail behemoths, or it may be a real phenomenon -- hard to tell. Wal-Mart, Target and several of the other usual suspects ran specials on Cyber Monday, ranging from discounts to free shipping.

Early indications from shop.org were that online clicking and buying rates were running three times higher than last year's electronic shop-fest. According to stats just released from market researcher comScore, Cyber Monday sales rose 21 percent over last year to a whopping $733 million. That's good news for an economy reeling from high gas prices, high war prices and the high cost of the mortgage mess.

Still, Cyber Monday may not be the ultimate "make or break" day. Last year's busiest online add-to-cart day was Dec. 5 or 12, according to two separate surveys conducted by MasterCard and shop.org, respectively. Either way, Cyber Monday certainly signals the kickoff of the online shopping season; I know it does for me. I found some funky, hard-to-find things for my mom and my son (fear not, boss -- it was during lunch).

Myth or reality, anything that saves me a trip to the mall is a beautiful thing. I'd much rather click "Add to Cart" for my entire Christmas list than face one hyper-caffeinated cell phone salesman or try to hold my breath through the barrier of perfume fog that guards the inner sanctum of any department store. I don't shop; I buy. It really is as simple as that.

And I think they should change the name of Cyber Monday to "Add to Cart" day. Don't you? What are your online shopping habits? Have they changed in the last couple of years? Were you a part of Cyber Monday? Stop "adding to cart" for a second and let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Lafe Low on November 28, 2007 at 11:57 AM