The media hype around “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” is already at a fevered pitch–and the din will only grow louder over the next few days. But can we get real for a moment?
To be sure, these are very large volume days. Black Friday sales will likely push $20 billion, and Cyber-Monday revenues are virtually (ha!) certain to be record-setting. But consider a few facts for a moment.
First, studies have shown that retailers’ performance on these two days has little or no correlation to their total holiday performance.
Second, the relative contribution of these two days to total holiday spending is small (for e-commerce players only about 4% of total holiday season sales are done on Cyber Monday). And given intense promotional activity, gross margins are skimpy at best, meaning the relative contribution to profits is even smaller.
Third, with quite a few brick and mortar retailers opening on Thanksgiving–and many online sites advancing “door buster” promotions to today and tomorrow–sales will get spread out a bit more than last year’s spending pattern.
Lastly, a lot can and will happen between Cyber Monday and Christmas. A look at last year’s data from comScore strongly suggests that there are many large shopping days ahead.
| Top 10 Online Spending Days of 2010 Holiday Season
|Monday, Nov. 29 (Cyber Monday)||$1,028|
|Monday, Dec. 13 (Green Monday)||$954|
|Monday, Dec. 6||$943|
|Friday, Dec. 17 (Free Shipping Day)||$942|
|Thursday, Dec. 16||$930|
|Tuesday, Dec. 14||$913|
|Tuesday, Nov. 30||$911|
|Wednesday, Dec. 8||$901|
|Thursday, Dec. 9||$898|
|Tuesday, Dec. 7||$880|
Stated simply and Yoda-like, two days do not a successful holiday season make.