Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the past few years — or somewhere with no Internet connection — you are by all means aware of the concept of Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday. What separates it from Black Friday – an in-person sales day – is that it occurs online (which basically means most people shop while at work — yes, you know who you are).
Last year, ComScore found that excluding travel, consumers spent $887 million online on Cyber Monday 2009: the second highest spending day of the year.
While we are still to see what the bottom line will be this year, there are some hints where the best deals can be found. Here are five suggestions:
As one of the web’s leading retailers, Amazon is a major participant in Cyber Monday sales. Discounts on virtually every product category – from books to DVDs to computers – are available throughout the entire day. This year, Amazon’s Cyber Monday deals can be found here. The page will be live starting November 22 and include Black Friday deals as well.
Additionally, Amazon notes that followers of the company on Facebook and Twitter will be made aware of the latest deals and offers through these channels. In 2009, the first Cyber Monday deals went live online at around 3AM Pacific time. New deals are added throughout the day, so don’t assume what you see at any given time is the last of what’s coming.
Retail giant Walmart takes the concept of Cyber Monday even further by holding an entire “Cyber Week” of sales, beginning on Cyber Monday. In addition to its special deals this year, Walmart offers free shipping, as well as the option of ”site to store” delivery that lets you order things online and pick them up at the Walmart nearest you. It all begins on Monday, November 29 and runs through Friday, December 3.
Competing retailer Target is another undeniable presence on the Cyber Monday scene. But rather than freely offering its best sales for all to see, Target takes a more exclusive approach. The company’s Cyber Monday webpage describes “e-mail steals”, which are only disclosed to those who sign up. A signup page is available here. In exchange for some basic information, Target will proactively notify you when sales of interest go live by your choice of e-mail or SMS text message.
Like Walmart, Target extends its Cyber Monday deals beyond Monday itself – although not for a full week. Instead, Target will be running a number of “2 Day Sale Deals” starting on November 29.
Electronics powerhouse BestBuy takes a similar approach, running a two-day sale. The BestBuy website devoted to Cyber Monday deals reminds us that savings will be available on every single product category: from TVs and home theaters to GPS units and digital cameras, as well as movies and MP3 players. As an incentive to place expensive orders, BestBuy is promising free shipping on all purchases $25 and up, as well as financing deals on larger-ticket items.
Once the main two-day event is over, the company pledges to offer “more Cyber Specials all week long.”
When in doubt, consumers can always check out the official Cyber Monday website – CyberMonday.com – for an overall view of the best deals and offers from 550 different merchants. Organized by Shop,org, the site servers as an aggregator where Cyber Monday discounts from all the leading retailers can be found in one place. This is ideal for busy shoppers who know exactly what they want, but don’t want to compare prices from fifteen different stores, one by one, before ordering.
It’s also perfect for those who simply love the buying process and will happily view every bit of sales material put in front of them. CyberMonday.com will notify you of sales via your choice of e-mail alerts, Facebook or Twitter.