Getting Ready for Cyber Monday: Lessons Learned from 2010-2014

Cyber Monday is officially the biggest day of online shopping in the US. In 2014, 39% of online shoppers who purchased on Cyber Monday said that it would be their biggest shopping day of the year, up from 17% who said the same thing in 2010. Forrester estimates that Cyber Monday in 2014 (December 1) generated more than $2 billion in sales, out of a total of $89 billion in eCommerce holiday sales projected for 2014.

The term “Cyber Monday” came into official use in 2005 following a press release by, a division of the National Retail Federation, which called out a spike in online sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Competition is stiff and offers have become more and more robust over the last few years, but Forrester says the merchants who do the best do two (seemingly) simple things well: compelling promotions with strong execution.

One particularly interesting insight from Forrester was how promotions have changed as competition for share of wallet, eyeballs and email clickthroughs has gotten stiffer. While many merchants used to offer free shipping and maybe another form of promotion, today almost every leading merchant offers various types of promotions on top of free shipping. The big takeaways from this report was that Free Shipping simply wont be enough and merchants must come up with creative ways to start their sales early (doorbusters!), make their emails stand out more and optimize each and every touchpoint with their digital brand, especially mobile. 

Below are some of Forrester’s charts and examples illustrating the trend from 2010-2014. See the rest of the Forrester Report here.



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