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Every day is Cyber Monday

I bet you are online shopping!

Online shopping booming in the years leading up to 2005, when the National Retail Federation (NRF) coined the term “Cyber Monday.”

Amazon was founded in 1994, eBay launched in 1995 and Walmart debuted its website in 2000. Shoppers quickly grew accustomed to adding items to a virtual shopping cart rather than a physical one. And yet, when Black Friday came around every year, e-commerce sellers felt left out of the revenue boost that is guaranteed brick-and-mortar stores.

“With the growth of online shopping, online-only players like Amazon were looking for a way to capitalize on Thanksgiving weekend sales,” said Katherine Cullen, the NRF’s senior director of industry and consumer insights. “The Monday after Thanksgiving became dedicated to online sales, differentiating it from Black Friday.”

Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving, two days after Black Friday. The NRF coined the name “Cyber Monday” in 2005, introducing it in a press release that described a new trend the group began noticing a few years prior: Without fail, online revenue and traffic spiked the Monday following Thanksgiving. Soon after, media outlets and retailers started using the term, too.

Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday was a response to consumer behavior, explained Barbara Kahn, a professor of marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. When people returned to work on Monday after being home for the holiday weekend, they once again had access to computers and the internet — in the ‘90s and early 2000s, not everyone owned a computer or kept one at home like we do today. Kahn said being back at work allowed shoppers to browse online-only retailers for deals, which allowed them to access an assortment of products they may not have found in stores. Retailers with an online presence in addition to their storefronts also hosted Cyber Monday sales, allowing them to reach a larger audience than just those who shopped in-person on Black Friday.

Beyond a new and more diverse assortment of deals, Kahn said Cyber Monday was attractive because it offered a convenience and flexibility Black Friday did not. People could shop whenever they had time on Cyber Monday. In short, Cyber Monday provided an opportunity to shop quickly and from virtually anywhere.

It keeps growing and growing organically.

Kristin McGrath, from, also attributed Cyber Monday’s origin to people using high-speed internet at work.

“It used to be the case that Black Friday was the in-store holiday and Cyber Monday was the online holiday. So, if you didn't line up on Thanksgiving night to get your in-store Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday was from the comfort of your work computer,” McGrath told VERIFY.

She says times have changed since 2005, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday have pretty much morphed into one giant shopping weekend, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now, a lot of people have good internet connectivity at home. A lot of people are still not even back in the office yet. So it's kind of like Black Friday has moved increasingly online. There's not as many differentiations between those two days anymore,” said McGrath.

Happy deal hunting on Cyber Monday!

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