‘Black Friday’ may have already heralded in the Christmas shopping season, but ‘Cyber Monday’ – or ‘Mega Monday’ as some shops are tagging it – is set to be the biggest online shopping day of the year.
The Centre for Retail Research estimates that this year 25% of all Christmas shopping will be done on the internet, an increase of 16% on last year.
Christmas shopping online? Take a look at the findings of our recent online shops survey – the biggest of its kind in the UK – which reveals the best and worst online shops according to thousands of Which? members.
When is Cyber Monday?
Over the next two weeks, record numbers of shoppers will take to their laptops – and increasingly their smartphones and tablets – to make their seasonal shopping purchases. But not everyone can agree on which day Cyber Monday actually falls.
Visa is predicting that today (28 November) will be the busiest day of the year for online shopping in the UK, with 4.8million transactions worth £303m going through their credit and debit cards.
But some major online retailers including Amazon are expecting online shopping peaks to happen a week later, on 5 December.
Why the Cyber Monday confusion?
Cyber Monday is traditionally a US phenomenon – anchored around the Thanksgiving holiday period – but UK shopping patterns are slightly different. In recent years, UK shoppers have been more cautious with their spending, spreading their purchases over a two week period.
It’s also thought that worries over the weather could lead to more shoppers placing their online orders earlier. Last year’s cold snap and heavy snow meant some stores were unable to deliver items in time for Christmas.
Which? shopping expert Matt Clear says: ‘Christmas is now less than four weeks away, so people who haven’t already started shopping will probably be thinking about doing so now. Given the delays to online deliveries which the cold weather caused last year, it makes sense to get your orders in sooner rather than later.’
Cyber Monday Deals
In the US, Cyber Monday is also a day of deals and discounts and a couple of UK stores are cashing in on the tradition and trying to turn the day into a sales event.
We found both Play.com and Zavvi.com offering a dedicated Mega Monday promotions while Curry’s ‘100 hour price crash’ runs until midnight.
- Buying and returning Christmas presents – make sure you know your online shopping rights
- Tell us what you think – are Black Friday and Cyber Monday cynical cash-ins?
- Christmas shopping for the difficult-to-buy-for – check out our top 10 crazy Christmas gifts