Online Retailers Plan Cyber Monday Sales

Cyber Monday, the ceremonial kickoff to the online holiday shopping season, is expected to be more promotional as retailers offer one-day promotions and special offers to bring holiday shoppers online.

On Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, online retailers will be unveiling deals to demonstrate what Web sites have to offer this holiday season. The majority of online retailers will feature special promotions for Cyber Monday this year, according to Shop.org‘s eHoliday Survey, conducted this fall by BizRate Research. Promotions will range from special email campaigns (32%) to specific deals (30% ) to one-day sales (29%).

In addition, 24.7 percent of retailers will offer free shipping on all purchases. In fact, 72.2 percent of online retailers are planning a special promotion for Cyber Monday, up from 42.7 percent just two years ago.

Cyber Monday, a term coined by Shop.org in 2005, began after online retailers noticed a trend of people shopping online on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“As more people rely on the Internet for holiday shopping, retailers have stepped up their game to compete,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org. “This year, promotions on Cyber Monday are extremely competitive as online retailers use an assortment of one-day specials to send shoppers online.”

Though more than half of U.S. homes have high-speed access, many Americans feel the best place to shop for gifts is not at the mall, but at the office. This year, according to a BIGresearch survey conducted for Shop.org, 54.5 percent of office workers with Internet access, or 68.5 million people, will shop for holiday gifts from work, up substantially from 50.7 percent in 2006 and 44.7 percent in 2005.

According to the survey, men are more likely to shop from work than women (57.3% vs. 51.7%) and young adults 18-24 years old are more likely to shop there than any other age group (72.9%). Additionally, consumers in Western states are more likely to shop from the office than those in other regions (56.4%).

In addition to a rise in online sales, the Internet will have a large impact on overall sales this holiday season. According to the survey, the Internet will influence 30.2 percent of holiday sales this year, up from 28.9 percent last year.

The online retail industry has come together again this year to create a collection of the best online offers for Cyber Monday. At CyberMonday.com, which launched the previous year, more than 550 retailers will be posting holiday promotions and special savings both on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season. CyberMonday.com was created by retailers as a one-stop shop for consumers looking for the best Cyber Monday promotions.

More than 400 special offers will be available on the site, some of which will be exclusive promotions only available on CyberMonday.com. Offers will include free shipping specials, doorbuster deals, percentages off, and free gifts with purchase. Consumers may sign up at CyberMonday.com to receive a weekly email right to their desktops featuring a sneak peek at the latest promotions.

Last year, more than 300,000 people visited CyberMonday.com on Cyber Monday itself. Traffic to the site was so substantial that Mall Networks, the service provider, has dramatically increased capacity for the site this year.

CyberMonday.com also has a charitable purpose. When shoppers make a purchase through CyberMonday.com, retailers provide a percentage of will be donated to its Ray M. Greenly Scholarship Fund, which helps students pursuing careers in eCommerce. Ray Greenly was a vice president at Shop.org before passing away from cancer in 2005.

Online retailers participating in CyberMonday.com include:

Barnes & Noble.com

circuitcity.com

eToys.com

JCPenney

Lands’ End

Newegg.com

Overstock.com

Sears.com