A Canadian’s guide to Cyber Monday

By Ben Myers November 15, 2010

You can’t blame Canadians for not ‘getting’ Cyber Monday – the #2 online shopping day of the year in the United States. After all, we don’t really ‘get’ Black Friday – the #1 in-store shopping day of the year. So why is Canada generally uninvolved in the shopping orgy that revolves around these two days?

Not this type of Pilgrim.

I blame the Pilgrims. (And not lovable Canadian comic-book character Scott Pilgrim.)

Black Friday (November 26, 2010) is the day that immediately follows American Thanksgiving (November 25, 2010). It’s generally regarded as the beginning of the Christmas/Holiday shopping season. That particular day is known as Black Friday because it’s the day that stores break even – get ‘in the black’ – for the year and begin to make profit.

Living in Ottawa, I’m no stranger to long weekends – and Americans don’t seem to mind them either. Black Friday is an unofficial Holiday in the States, where many people simply take the day off work and kick off their long weekend with a shopping spree.

Cyber Monday (November 29, 2010) is the day following the Thanksgiving Weekend when people return to their work computers and begin shopping again… err, I mean working. According to Wikipedia, 52.7% of online transactions on Cyber Monday were initiated from a workplace computer.

So next week, while we Canadians are looking forward to some Saturday Night NHL hockey action featuring the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, remember that a frenzy of shopping is going on in the good ol’ US-of-A.

Online retailers across North America can see huge boosts in visits and sales from both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Online measurement agency Comscore reported that $887-million was spent online on Cyber Monday and $595-million was spent online on Black Friday in 2009. And who can we thank for this annual shopping phenomena? That’s right: the Pilgrims.

…and don’t even get me started on Green Monday.

UPDATE

It was suggested that Americans ecommerce retailers might be interested in the unofficial Canadian shopping holiday called Boxing Day. That’s December 26 of each year and it has become something of a Canadian Black Friday.

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