Cyber Monday – What’s Happening in 2011?

The IMRG today predicted Christmas 2011 Online Spending will reach £7.75 billion during the 5-week shopping month of December – starting in the week commencing 28th November. Of this around £3.72bn will be spent in the first two peak weeks – so this year Cyber Monday and Mega Monday look likely to be 28th November and 5th December.

Cyber and Mega Monday were once bywords for a trend where Christmas sales on a few days far exceeded the rest of the month in terms of sales. However online sales for 2009 and 2010 actually revealed a trend toward peak activity weeks. In 2010, the two peak activity weeks (w/c 29th Nov and 6th Dec) had the exact same share of the month’s sales – 24% each. These peaks follow a steady increase in activity throughout November.

Cyber and Mega Monday were previously attributed to the days falling just after payday for many people who, having browsed products in a shop at the weekend, made the purchase using fast broadband at work. This year the economic situation may have led to people spreading the costs of Christmas over a few months whilst memories of last year’s snow may have a further impact this year – particularly with poor weather being forecast again for this year.

The IMRG see interesting patterns in consumer behaviour and believe that UK shoppers have proved adept at interacting with brands and making best use of the technology available to them – moving between physical and digital channels to get the best deal on offer – either in-store or online. It will be interesting to see whether the current economic uncertainty will mean consumers being even more savvy this year.

David J Smith, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at IMRG, commented: “The shopping behaviour displayed by the agile consumer reinforces the importance to retailers of offering a multichannel solution. Consumers want choice and continually demonstrate their willingness to switch channels to suit their specific circumstances and secure the best deal for themselves. Anyone focusing too heavily on a single channel is certain to miss out on opportunities for engagement as and when they arise.

“With this in mind, this could well be the year that mobile really has an impact on sales activity. Research we carried out earlier this year with eDigitalResearch found that 30% of tablet owners and 25% of smartphone owners have used their device to shop online. Consumers are clearly not fazed by interacting with retailers through these devices and the important role they play is only going to increase.”

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