Put Some Happy Back In Your Holiday: Your Gifts Are Just A Click Away

by Daniella Lee

With the holiday season approaching, the smell of crisp cold air, ice skating in the park, cute mittens, and delicious Starbucks gingerbread lattes can fill anyone up with joy. Come December, you’re freezing your ass off, sitting in a snowstorm and every driver has turned into your Grandpa Earl who walks faster than he drives. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” turns into over-eating, over-spending and simply just being over-it. This week our research focused on the correlation between shopping and unhappiness. This makes sense especially during the holiday season: who likes to go out and spend money on their loved ones when the scene from The Day After Tomorrow is live in color? The solution to your winter blues is online shopping.

A simple enough concept and one that we are all probably pros at, online shopping provides 24/7 access to the things you need, want, and love. There are no ridiculously long check-out lines, over excited sale associates and parking wars to endure. But on infamous days like Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving where stores offer special promotions, the crazies come out and we all become victims to their 3-day stake out for the new PlayStation. Shop.org provided a safe haven and restored some sanity to the holiday season when they coined the term “Cyber Monday” in 2005. The term stems from research in which retailers recorded a 77% increase in online shopping the Monday after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is the unofficial kickoff for online holiday shopping with retailers offering coupons and special offers only available online. So grab your credit card and work out that index finger because the faster you click, the better the deals get.

Last year, Cyber Monday deals ranged from cheap airfare, hotels, gaming consoles, digital cameras, toys, bedding, you name it. Retailers like Walmart and Target had Cyber Week where they offered a new deal everyday. According to data from Experian Hitwise, among the top online retailers Amazon was the top visited site for Cyber Monday 2009 with 15.53% hits. Amazon has a cool wish list feature so if you don’t get all of the 300 things you wanted for the holidays, they will be saved online for when your birthday rolls around. Trailing close behind were Walmart, Target, Best Buy and JC Penny. 2010 brings new deals and offers to the table, and sites like Cyber Monday Central, Best Cyber Monday Sales, and Offers.Com are keeping customers up-to-date with the latest Cyber Monday news.

The success of Cyber Monday can be seen in the statistics. According to comScore, online shoppers spent $887 million dollars on Cyber Monday in 2009 compared to $834 million dollars the year before. Data from comScore also shows an increase of dollars spent on Cyber Monday since the term was coined in 2005. The originator of Cyber Monday, Shop.org, has created their own online mall CyberMonday.com centered around offering exclusive deals from retailers throughout the holidays. Over 700 retailers are featured on the site which offers a complete variety of holiday gift ideas. Our personal favorite tab on this site, the free shipping offers allows you to get the best deals without having to pay to get them. Cyber Monday falls on November 27th this year, so be prepared for a more relaxed Chrismahanukwanzakah shopping season and don’t forget to show your love to Occam, we’ll send you our wish list if you don’t know what to get us!

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