Cyber Monday may not be like previous years, still projected to bring in billions

Cyber Monday deals 2019
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Cyber Monday deals 2019

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major shift in shopping habits and some predict that Cyber Monday won’t be an exception.

Retail experts told the Dayton Daily News they don’t expect Cyber Monday to break records for online sales as it has in the past, but it’s still projected to generate billions of dollars for U.S. businesses, according to a Adobe Analytic 2020 holiday forecast.

“I think you’re probably going to see an uptick on that day in comparison to some previous days but I don’t think it’s going to be as big of a discreet thing as maybe in some years past because people have already started doing their online shopping,” said University of Dayton marketing professor Riley Dugan.

Historically, Black Friday sales weren’t available online which made Cyber Monday more attractive to some consumers. Deals for Cyber Monday in the past have mirrored Black Friday discounts and those looking for specific things but had no luck in store were encouraged to wait until Monday. This year, most online sales started online prior to Black Friday and have run all month long.

“Not to say Cyber Monday isn’t going to draw a lot of interest but I think over time we’ve seen a lengthening out of the Thanksgiving weekend shopping event and how people approach it,” said Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights at the National Retail Federation.

The Adobe holiday forecast projected this year’s online spending to bring in $189 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31. They predict Cyber Monday will account for $12.5 billion of that. In 2019, online spending saw a 13% increase from the previous year, a 33% increase is expected in this years sales.

Cullen doesn’t believe that low sales on Cyber Monday will hurt businesses.

“Whether consumers spend the money on Cyber Monday or Tuesday, that sale is still going to benefit the retailer. I think it doesn’t necessarily matter if it was bought on Cyber Monday, but what we’re seeing is that people are excited about these deals and promotions in general,” she said.

Miamisburg resident Chelsey Gates said she will shop online looking for deals this year as she has in the past. Gates still believes that Cyber Monday has earned its place on the calendar even during the pandemic.

“I do think Cyber Monday is a real thing this year, because there will be more sales this Monday even though they did many sale throughout the month,” Duke said.

Dugan said businesses without an online presence will struggle this year due to the pandemic.

“I think overall this holiday season, spending is going to be down so obviously retail establishments are just going to get killed. If you don’t have an online presence and just a brick and mortar presence it’s going to be really tough.” he said.

While unemployment has dropped, many are still left without jobs as the virus surges and that could curtail shopper spending abilities. “I mean I think everybody, even online traditional retailers, are going to see a hit because people may not be feeling super confident right now with discretionary spending,” said Dugan.

Shoppers could see different deals online this year. In the past, retailers have offered deals on appliances, computers and clothes on Cyber Monday, slightly different from Black Friday to keep shoppers engaged.

“Retailers are offering different deals on different days. So you might see that the hot item for Back Friday might be different from the hot item for Cyber Monday,” Cullen said.