Successful Cyber Monday Draws Millions of Shoppers

While “Black Friday” has long been the mascot for the best holiday shopping deals, this weekend and following Monday showed that more consumers are logging on instead of fueling up. Last year, 96.5 million people shopped online on Cyber Monday, and that number jumped even higher yesterday to an estimated 107 million, according to the National Retail Federation.

About 90 percent of online retailers hosted Cyber Monday promotions. Photo: Amanda Wills, Earth911.com

Mandy Pomella, 34, describes herself as an “avid online shopper,” and she has been slinging Cyber Monday deals for the past three years.

“I am a big Black Friday shopper, but there are deals I wanted to take advantage of because of free shipping for Cyber Monday,” says Pomella, a resident of Knoxville, Tenn.

“I have been shopping online for Cyber Monday for years now […] and it’s definitely a household turn-of-phrase, just like Black Friday. Even my co-worker popped his head into my office today and said, ‘It’s Cyber Monday; I’m going online to get a GPS.'”

Pomella says Cyber Monday is one of the better ways to get a good deal on electronics. And according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), she’s right on the money.

“Among those who purchased electronics during the weekend, on average nearly 25 percent of their total purchase was made online,” says Timothy Doyle, senior manager of Environmental Communications for CEA. “About 11 percent said all of the consumer electronics they bought was purchased online.”

Rock-bottom bargains are just the beginning of Cyber Monday’s touted attributes. A report by MindClick SGM and GigaOm found that Black Friday is about 50 times more carbon intensive than Cyber Monday, in a comparison of the relative greenhouse gas emissions of online and in-store holiday shopping during the post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend.

Over the past couple of years, greenies have pushing Cyber Monday as the more eco-friendly alternative to trekking to the mall in the minivan to buy holiday gifts. This year, “Green Gift Monday” was another phrase on the fingertips of online shoppers perusing green gift guides and other environmentally conscious items.

But despite the savings on both emissions and the wallet, Black Friday continues to dominate weekend online shopping and Cyber Monday deals…for now. Thanksgiving Day sales online were up 33 percent over last year, while the historically money-maker Black Friday only showed a slight increase in sales over 2009.

“We make Black Friday into a girls’ shopping weekend, and it’s time that my family enjoys spending together. But I’m always out for the better deal,” says Pomella when asked if she’d ever do all of her holiday shopping online. “Free shipping is mandatory for me, otherwise you can find better deals somewhere else.”

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