When Did Cyber Monday Start? The Post-Thanksgiving Shopping Day Has Been Around For More Than A Decade

For those who like to finish their holiday shopping early while snagging a few deals in the process, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are tastier than Turkey Day. But while the day after Thanksgiving — aka Black Friday — has marked the start of the holiday shopping season since the early '30s, you may be wondering, when Cyber Monday started and become a shopping event in its own right. With the convenience of online shopping becoming ever more popular, Cyber Monday has quickly been catching up to its brick-and-mortar counterpart — and with Nov. 28, 2016 poised to be the biggest shopping day in history according to Forbes, those notorious mall fights on Black Friday will likely soon be a thing of the past.

People have been shopping online with some frequency since the mid-1990s, but the term "Cyber Monday" wasn't coined by the National Retail Federation until 2005. The marketing team at Shop.org used the phrase in a press release in an attempt to match Black Friday's catchy appeal: “77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving," the press release stated. "A trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday.” As Forbes explains, the increase in online shopping the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend was a result of many people only having access to high-speed internet at the office back in 2005 — not at home — and thus were more inclined to shop online once they returned to work.

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As of 2015, a third of Americans still do not have high-speed internet at home, according to the Pew Research Center, though 13 percent of adults without traditional home broadband service use their smartphones to access the internet. The easier it has become to access the internet, the higher Cyber Monday's numbers have grown — and of course, the introduction of "free shipping" has certainly helped.

Cyber Monday has had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8 percent between 2005 and 2010, Forbes reports, which increased to 24.7 percent between 2010 and 2015. In 2016, the year-over-year growth rate is predicted to jump yet again, with online sales expected to reach a total of $3.36 billion on Cyber Monday. Online holiday sales in 2016 are expected to be the biggest yet, with a predicted total of $91.6 billion overall this shopping season. If we keep up at this rate, brick-and-mortar will be a thing of the past. Anyone else getting nostalgic for those Tickle Me Elmo toy store fights right about now?

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For those thinking about purchasing a smartphone, tablet, television, or computer, most retailers are making the digital deals on technology available as early as 12:01 a.m. ET on Cyber Monday. Nobody enjoys picking through the crowds, or waiting in those incredibly long check-out lines when they can snag the same savings from the comfort of their own home, so come Monday, get ready to shop!

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