The “real” Cyber Monday…was December 10th.

According to the Atlas Institute, which has analyzed online transaction data over the past 7 years, the “real” cyber Monday , or busiest online shopping day of the year would have been December 10th. For the past 7 years the Atlas Institute has observed a number of online shopping patterns with the most obvious being that online shopping peaks in the weeks leading up to Christmas, there is a period of depressed sales immediately before Christmas, and most online shopping occurs on Mondays and Tuesdays during business hours.

For instance in 2006, the busiest online shopping day was Monday December 11th, which recorded activity 89% above average. The following Monday, December 18th, recorded the second highest online shopping volume during the season; and the last Monday before Christmas, with adequate shipping time, had also established itself as a strong day for online sales. This would make sense, as this is the last day that online shoppers feel they can order and expect their purchases to arrive on time.

Interestingly enough, after the second monday in December, online shopping starts to dramatically decline until Christmas day. Which begs the question, the Atlas Institute says; What are online marketers doing after this date? and what should they be doing differently to counteract this?

The bottom line is that retailers, advertisers and online marketers need to essentially gear the months of November and December towards Christmas. They need to concentrate their efforts on Mondays and Tuesdays and from the hours of 8am to 4pm. And They also need to make sure that their sites, are intuitive, easy to understand, easy to shop, easy to checkout and they damn well better deliver those packages before December 25th!

Cyber Monday Results, How Big Was It?

So, perhaps Cyber Monday is more myth than Black Friday is reality. Is Cyber Monday really this rockem-sockem day where we all come in and the first thing we want to do on monday morning is hit the “sales” offered online?   I say that because I just don’t think it’s nearly as big for online retailers as Black Friday is for traditional retailers in the malls.

 The stats bear this out. Though the numbers have improved from year to year, this would make sense since the possibility of a computer in the home has risen to a level that rivals the washer and dryer. It’s not the first big spike in traffic or sales for the holiday season, nor the last. It’s actually not even close to the biggest of the year. Here’s the proof in the pudding. ComScore Networks showed only a slight 9% increase in sales yesterday from the previous Tuesday, which was in actuality, the real start of the holiday retail season. Why you ask? Merely because sales had spiked 55%.  Thats right, 55%.

Likewise, Nielsen//NetRatings said Cyber Monday traffic from people shopping at work rose 18% from the week before. But that’s far below the 39% week-over-week spike on Black Friday from home shoppers. In fact, it’s even below the 25% at-work jump in traffic on  the Saturday following Black friday. And you thought most people didn’t work on the weekends? night.

As we stated earler,  the Cyber Monday numbers each sucessive year should grow as access to pc’s grows. Thus this year, Cyber Monday once again saw the highest unique audience of any day so far this holiday season with 29.5 million unique visits to Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday eShopping Index, according to the metrics firm.

Sixteen million of those visits came from the workplace, Neilsen//NetRatings said. That’s up 7 percent over last year. Of that, eBay, Amazon and Wal-Mart again took the top three spots, drawing 5.6 million, 4.2 million and 2.5 million unique visitors, respectively. The top shopping search engine was Shopzilla.com with 959,000 unique visitors. Customer spending on Cyber Monday totaled $608 million, up 26 percent versus the same day last year, according to ComScore.  That number is not etched in stone since it does not take into context all e-tailers.

So the point is,  though Cyber Monday has a cool moniker the fact of the matter is that it merely is just one of the more busy online shopping days of the year. In the grand scheme of things it’s merely another active day of online shopping.