“Cyber Monday might have started as a made-up occasion to give underdog e-commerce sites jealous of Black Friday a day of their own, but it has become an undeniably real thing—surprising even the people who invented it.”
I love etymologies of everyday things. Like the slightly inane phrase “Have a nice day,” for example.
I also love the New York Times and get all too much of my information from it. Here’s my enlightenment for the day:
Black Friday: “A carnival of capitalism, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when retailers across the country dangle deep discounts to lure customers out of bed. Black Friday is also the official beginning of the holiday-buying frenzy. For stores, the Friday after Thanksgiving can be the highest sales day of the year and is a barometer for what they need to do the rest of the season. The name itself is a reference to profit, because retailers historically “moved into the black,” or became profitable for the year, on that day.
Cyber Monday: “Cyber Monday was dreamed up in 2005 by Shop.org as a marketing ploy to kick off online holiday shopping. More people had high-speed Internet at work, the thinking went, the easier to shop with. But the day was far from the biggest shopping day of the holiday season, coming in at no. 12, according to comScore.” And: “‘Just like Thanksgiving weekend shopping is a ritual in America, when people go with their families to look for deals, as soon as they go to the office on Monday they look online,’ said Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research. ‘It’s almost ceremonial.’”
Of course, too much of a good thing never being enough, more people than me are dreaming up additional days to spendabrate:
Merry Monday: “The Monday before Thanksgiving, when Gap offered 35 percent off everything on its website.”
Sofa Sunday: A nickname given to the Sunday after Thanksgiving by Catalog Spree, an iPad app with retailers’ catalogs, from the prediction that people would shop on tablets on their sofas.
Mobile Sunday: Coming soon. “PayPal christened the second Sunday in December, and free shipping day on Dec. 16, brought to you by FreeShipping.org.”
Red Tuesday: The day “the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies warns will hit shoppers who go into debt on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”
PS—Late-breaking update to this post: because nothing exists until it’s an infographic, here’s one on the history of Cyber Monday.