Are You Ready for Black Friday?

The day following Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday shopping season. It’s been dubbed Black Friday, signifying a crucial time period in which retailers start to turn a profit, or enter the black, each year. Funny, I always thought it got its name from the potential black-eye you’d receive trying to wrestle that latest must-have toy (on sale I might add) from a mom-on-mission who’s been standing in line since dawn waiting for the store doors to open.

However, Black Friday, which is traditionally billed as the biggest shopping day of the year, must now compete with Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping holiday, that occurs that first Monday after Thanksgiving.

Although Black Friday may have once been the most popular day to look for bargains, Cyber Monday is certainly offering up its fair share of steals online. Not to mention, that consumers enjoy shopping from the convenience of their homes instead of actually venturing to the malls or discount outlets. No waiting in long lines. No braving unsavory crowds. Additionally, a majority of retailers offer free shipping on this day. And, add in the benefit of a potential 6-10 percent cost-savings in sales tax and increasingly more shoppers are saying “Sign me up!” instead of “Send me out!”

Last year, online sales hit a historic one-day high of $1.028 billion on Cyber Monday, according to comScore Inc. data. As retailers hope for a repeat performance, they, too, should be readying their websites to provide an enhanced online shopping experience in order to separate themselves from the competition. Cost-effective, easy-to-deploy adjustments to online retail sites made through the use of IP-geolocation technology, for example, create value for consumers in terms of a more personalized shopping experience and, ultimately, help drive sales.

I have a feeling online retailers will rake in the green again this year. If that’s the case, we might just be changing “Cyber” Monday to “Green” Monday in the coming year.

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