Cyber Monday Adds New Element To Shopping Season

Dec 2, 2013

Online retailers are preparing for a huge rush of shopping as the holiday weekend wraps up. 

Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow takes a look at the impact Cyber Monday has on shoppers and stores.

Black Friday has come and gone but some of the best deals can still be had without even leaving the house. The growing trend of Cyber Monday spurs the growth of e-commerce for the holidays by rolling out bargains through online-only shopping.

It all started back in the days when it was uncommon to have high-speed Internet at home. After people shopped on Black Friday and the rest of the weekend they would return to work that Monday, jump on their work computers and continue to shop online. Web retailers decided to capitalize on the spike of business by offering big deals.

And it’s now a huge day for online shopping. How big? Last year, sold 306 items per second.

Julie Law is a spokesperson for the world’s largest online retailer. She says there are three reasons shoppers continue to turn to the Internet to complete their Christmas list; competitive prices, convenient shipping, and a huge supply.

Law: “There’s just nothing like the convenience of shopping from your home or from your phone or from wherever you are—you don’t need to wait in long checkout lines—you’re not fighting for parking—and everything’s delivered right to your doorsteps.”

Law says the large stock of products cuts down on the dreaded feeling of running to several stores only to find out that each shop has run out of that one needed item on the Christmas list.

Law: “Yeah you know we really try to offer as much in-stock product as possible so there’s no surprise. When you come to Amazon there’s no surprise about what’s in-stock or not.”

Online shopping continues to pose a challenge for brick and mortar retailers. The University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center says Ohio stores could see a 3.5% increase in sales this November and December compared to last year.

But researchers say the continued growth of online shopping eats away at those numbers. According to the report, Ohioans will spend nearly $1 billion by shopping on the web in November and December. Senior Researcher Jeff Rexhausen says this means state and local governments are missing out on $70 million in sales tax revenue, which is not collected through online shopping.

Storefronts are changing their game plans to keep up with e-commerce.

Rexhausen: “The Internet shopping season really kind of kicks off in early November and if you take a look you’ve probably seen that and we’ve seen—therefore—some brick and mortar retailers also starting to make strong mid-November promotions.”

And online retailers are seeing a new trend to shopping on the web. According to Law, the online shopping rush is already well underway, thanks to the holiday that started the season.

Law: “Thanksgiving Day is quickly becoming a popular mobile shopping day—so people shopping on their phones from a family members house or from Starbucks or wherever they may be.”

Amazon is a hub for more than 2 million retailers. Law adds that online shopping and Cyber Monday have become great outlets for smaller companies that want to get in on the burst of sales during the holiday weekend.