Cyber Monday to be biggest shopping day ever

Monday madness: Last year, Amazon customers ordered more than 64 million items worldwide. © Getty

Should we feel ashamed of how much we spend? Today, cyber Monday, is likely to break world records in Britain and America as the biggest single-day spend on consumer goods ever in history.

In 12 years, Cyber Monday has become the biggest shopping day of all. This year some estimates suggest internet sales in the USA alone will pass $6.6 billion.

The term “Cyber Monday” was first coined by the US National Retail Federation in 2005 after it found that 77% of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

The American traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have been gaining popularity around the world. This year, shoppers in the UK are expected to spend around £8 billion over the four-day shopping weekend, with more consumers turning to Cyber Monday to stock up for the holidays.

Yet some experts say these sales encourage a game of chicken between the retailer and the customer. As big sales become ever more popular, customers buy less during the rest of the year and wait, knowing shops will eventually slash prices for fear of losing out to a competitor.

As an “antithesis” to the sales, many people are now observing Buy Nothing Day, which encourages people to forgo shopping on Black Friday, and non-profit organisations have started promoting Giving Tuesday as an alternative to gift-giving.

So should we feel guilty about spending so much?

Shop 'til you drop?

Absolutely, some say. Not only does Cyber Monday reveal society at its most shallow, but consumers rarely save money or make rational purchases. These sales are, in the words of one economist, nothing more than a depressing “experiment in consumer irrationality”.

But others say the frenzied sale shopping is vital for boosting the economy, and a good indicator of its health. Shoppers are the main winners anyway: they get a good deal while retailers lose out as a result of reduced profit margins. There is nothing wrong with being a savvy shopper.

You Decide

  1. Do sales like these bring out the worst in people, or the best?

Activities

  1. Write a humorous guide explaining the holiday shopping season. What is it like, and how can people survive it?

Some People Say...

“The things you own end up owning you.”

Tyler Durden — “Fight Club”

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
According to Adobe Digital Insights (a digital marketing research organisation), more than 90% of retailers offer online Cyber Monday deals; many retailers take advantage of social media as a way to connect with their customers. We also know many retailers rely on these sales to boost their profits for the year.
What do we not know?
Whether these spending trends will continue.

Word Watch

Some estimates
Adobe Digital Insights predicts that online holiday sales (November to December) in the USA will reach $107.4 billion, which is a 13.8% increase over last year.
£8 billion
According to the Centre for Retail Research and online voucher marketplace VoucherCodes.
Giving Tuesday
Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday encourages individuals to give back to their communities and local charities. See the link in Become An Expert to find out more.

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