Just when you thought the madness of Black Friday was over. You made it through the weekend, including Small Business Saturday and then Sunday, the busiest travel day of the year. But you’re not in the clear yet! No, it’s Cyber Monday – time to buy online. And it doesn’t end there!
“Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 when a retail trade group noticed a spike in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving when people returned to their work computers and shopped. While more people now have Internet access at home, retailers still offer discounts and other online promotions for the day. Last year, it was the busiest online shopping day ever, with sales of more than $1 billion, according to research firm ComScore Inc.
Marketers are hoping to strike gold again. Many are doing so by appealing to Americans who’ve become disenchanted with big business and commercialism.
Nonprofit Green America is launching “Green Tuesday” this week to encourage people to buy gifts with the environment and local communities in mind. The group is planning to push the event every Tuesday through December.
Green America, which says it aims to support society and the environment through economic programs, plans to showcase deals on its website, including jewelry made from recycled nuclear bomb equipment from online retailer Fromwartopeace.com and a self-watering system for plants by Dri Water.
“Mass culture encourages people to run out of their house, now at midnight, and go shopping,” says Todd Larsen, director of corporate responsibility for Green America, which vetted the businesses it’s highlighting on its website to ensure they meet certain environmental and ethical standards. “Why not wait another day or more and buy something that helps others?”
Last year, American Express named the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday” to encourage Americans to shop at mom-and-pop shops. This year, it offered a $25 credit to cardholders who register on social media website Facebook and shop at participating stores.
The company says it launched a multibillion-dollar campaign to promote it the day. The campaign included TV ads and marketing materials for small businesses to display in stores.
The effort has worked. Small retailers that except Amex had a 28 percent increase in revenue during the daylong event last year, compared with a 9 percent rise for all retailers, according to card activity measured by American Express. The company did not disclose the dollar amount spent that day.
It’s not clear yet how small businesses fared during the event this past Saturday, but a company survey before “Small Business Saturday” showed that 89 million consumers had planned to “shop small” on the day.
If you’re interested in our Cyber Monday sales, take a look at our Holiday Sparkle Sale, where most high-quality, staff picked pieces are under $500.