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Cyber Monday

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Cyber Monday is a marketing event created to promote online sales. The day falls on the Monday after Black Friday, a large annual in-person shopping event that directly follows American Thanksgiving Day. 

Why is it called Black Friday? 

"Black Friday" got its name from the Philadelphia police force. Back in the middle of the 20th century, police officers controlled traffic -- which was extremely heavy due to the all-day shopping event followed by an annual Army-Navy football game. Because all members of the force were required to work, and directing heavy traffic was not a popular assignment, officers referred to the day as Black Friday. The name, which caught on with the general public, is often thought (erroneously) to refer to the day of the year when many retailers turned to profitability: went from red ink (for negative amounts) to black (for positive). 

Cyber Monday statistics from 2013: 

  • Sales were up 15.7 percent over 2012, to $2.29 billion.
  • Tablets accounted for 12.7 percent of the total.
  • Smartphones represented 5.6 percent of the total.
  • Mobile commerce sales were up 55 percent.
  • Social media referrals drove $148 million in online sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  • Site visitor traffic was up 23 percent; conversions were up 14 percent.

The first mention of Cyber Monday was on November 28, 2005, in a press release from Shop.org. The term is now used in marketing material in many countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany and Chile.

 

This was last updated in November 2014

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