Just as Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – is critical to brick and mortar retailers looking for an indication of what to expect during the holiday shopping season, Cyber Monday is the equivalent for online retailers. For online retailers Cyber Monday is the busiest shopping day of the year.
Missouri Retailers Association President David Overfelt says there are several reasons for the Monday after Thanksgiving becoming so important to those selling goods and services online: Some shoppers get an idea of what they want by shopping over the weekend or looking at retail store circulars … while others simply want to avoid the crowds and parking hassles and shop from the comfort of their own homes. And, it’s not just the online only retailers who pay close attention to sales on this day.
"Every major brick and mortar retailer and a lot of independent retailers," says Overfelt. "Now have their own websites and do a lot of their sales over the Internet, regardless of size."
But there is a downside to the increasing popularity of selling online – not to the consumer, but to the retailer. "We believe that there’s going to be some major declines in growth of sales on this Cyber Monday," says Overfelt. "The competition is very stiff. There’s more Internet retailers out there in all types of sectors of the economy. We’re probably going to see more failures on the Internet retailers, this year, than we are probably going to see on brick and mortar."
Overfelt says that while there are benefits to purchasing online from cyber retailers, shoppers must be aware of the negatives. He says return policies, especially from smaller companies, might not be what the consumer would get from a brick and mortar store selling online. Overfelt says there are sometimes restocking fees that could negate the savings that are realized with the initial purchase.