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If you thought Black Friday sales were huge, just wait until Cyber Monday which has already begun at many places.

Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) is the largest shopping day of not only the Thanksgiving weekend but the year. According to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), it is expected to be the largest online shopping day in history. The upcoming holiday season will be the largest online shopping affair yet, with expectations of 11% biggest growth year over year (YoY) and $91.6 billion in total holiday online sales.

The History Of Cyber Monday

In 2005, the National Retail Federation coined the term “Cyber Monday” in a press release from its Shop.org unit: “77% of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday.” The reason that the Monday after Thanksgiving saw a spike in online sales rather than the weekend is simple. In 2005, many consumers only had access to high-speed internet at work and would use it to begin their Holiday shopping the first day they were back in the office, after the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Consumers have become more comfortable spending money online, a major positive for Cyber Monday sales. According to ADI, Cyber Monday is expected to hit $3.36 billion in online sales this year, a YoY growth of 9.4%.

The Growth Of Cyber Monday

In a survey from digital marketing firm Fluent, 34% of respondents said they had done some holiday shopping before September this year. Many of those consumers polled will also focus on Cyber Monday this year: 40% will be participating in the online shopping holiday, with 53% planning to spend the same amount as last year and 26% planning to spend less. The poll reveals the importance of retail websites during the 2016 holiday season and their contribution to overall sales.

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The graph below shows the dramatic growth in Cyber Monday sales from 2005 through 2015. Sales on Cyber Monday have grown at a 16.8% CAGR over the period, and the rate has been slightly higher in recent years (it was 24.7% in 2010-15).

cyber monday 2016 sales projection

Is Cyber Monday Still Significant?

Retailers seem to be falling all over themselves competing to see who can announce their holiday deals the earliest. Cyber Monday has become Cyber Week, and November is turning into Cyber Month. With increased access to high-speed internet at home as well as on mobile devices, pent-up demand for shopping the Monday after Thanksgiving ought to be weaker now than it has been in previous years.

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But Cyber Monday is as strong as ever, and there appears to be no letup in sight in consumers’ appetite for chasing deals. Data from comScore indicate that last year, Cyber Monday was a major shopping day—indeed, it was the biggest day—even outpacing the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (12% vs. 10% growth YoY).

cyber monday graph sales

Cyber Monday’s Convenience Factor

There are many reasons why consumers are more likely to shop online during this holiday season. ADI determined that the top reasons for shopping online include: lower-priced goods, free shipping and product availability. Consumers are looking at convenience factors more than ever this year.

cyber monday online shopping graph

The projected figures for Cyber Monday’s 2016 sales look to be quite exciting, as it is forecast to be the largest online shopping day in history. While consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online and attracted to Cyber Monday’s convenience, retailers prep themselves for what is sure to be a strong, revenue-generating day.

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