Has “Cyber Monday” Arrived in the UK?

In the US, which is usually the home of commercial celebrations, a relatively new phenomenon dubbed “Cyber Monday” has got online retailers across the pond all excited. “Cyber Monday” follows “Black Friday” (stay with me here…) which traditionally marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. The Thanksgiving holiday that falls on the last Thursday in November makes this an obvious starting point for Christmas, giving people the chance to get their Christmas shopping started nice and early. “Black Friday” originated as American consumers who were off work on the Friday chose to hit the High Streets, turning the day into a major occasion in retailers calendars. “Cyber Monday” has become its online equivalent, with internet stores now gearing up for what has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

The presence of Thanksgiving in the American calendar acts as a useful introduction to Christmas, situated in such a way where it can be the start of consumers’ focus for the festive season. Without such a natural holiday to focus attention on Christmas the UK does not experience this one pre Christmas shopping day, with the festive season tending to see a gradual increase throughout December rather than one huge day. But with lead time considerations when ordering online combined with the dawn of December, “Cyber Monday” could be about to hit the UK.

According to a report by online price comparison site Kelkoo for the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), online sales are set to peak at a staggering £22.4 million per hour on Monday 29th November, this year’s “Manic Monday” as the report calls it. In a volatile financial environment, occasions such as this are set to bring online retailers and businesses a great sense of relief, providing a much needed boost to get the festive season rolling. According to the same report, online sales are due to rise by 29% on last year, further evidence of the growing demand for shopping online.

So how does that effect the online Christmas shopping habits of businesses? Well “Cyber Monday” can quite easily be applied to the business world as those shopping for corporate gifts will get a sharp chill down the spine if they haven’t started thinking about it until December. It is only human nature to put tasks such as corporate gifts shopping off until the last minute, so “Cyber Monday” could well provoke the same response as is seen in the retail world. Stock levels and lead times are always important considerations when shopping for Christmas corporate gifts, so the earlier you start the more choice you will have.

As November winds towards its end and Christmas starts to become a real concern, “Cyber Monday” could soon be the day where businesses up and down the UK choose to start their Christmas corporate gifts shopping in earnest.

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