Cyber Monday has been, since the advent of internet based shopping, a major day in commercial retail world. So named because it takes place on the first Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday is growing in popularity, rivaling the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping day, Black Friday. If recent years are any indication, Cyber Monday is likely a far safer way for one to do their shopping than Black Friday, as well.
Cyber Monday rose as a phenomenon when retailers noticed that many people began doing their holiday shopping online at the office when they returned to work Monday. Traditionally, since many had the day off on the Friday after Thanksgiving, they would go out to do their shopping on that day, a phenomenon that brick and mortar retailers responded to by offering discounts. Black Friday was born as a day of consumerism and even has become a tradition in some households. Online retailers have responded in a similar manner to Cyber Monday, offering savings and often free shipping, and creating a new tradition.
Cyber Monday is perhaps a more convenient way to shop, but it also increasingly seems safer than venturing out into the physical world on Black Friday. The day has often been marred by huge crowds and incidents bordering on – or crossing into – becoming riots. UPI spoke with one Black Friday shopper who claimed they were becoming frightened of an event they had made into a tradition over the years.
“It’s sad,” the shopper said.
“We’ve been doing this, me and my girls, for probably about 10 years now, just for the fun of going out — a girls’ night and trying to get some special sales and it’s getting scary now.”
This year’s Cyber Monday will likely be the cause of fewer deaths than Black Friday 2016, as well. The Hill reports that at least two people were killed this year while going out to shopping centers. The first incident occurred in San Antonio, Texas, where a man attempted to intervene in a dispute between 21-year-old Telles Juarez and an unidentified woman in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Juarez allegedly shot the man, who died at the scene.
The second incident occurred in the parking lot of the Hamilton Mall shopping center near Atlantic City, New Jersey. A young man was shot and killed in the incident and his brother, who was joining him at the mall, was wounded.
Black Friday shoppers in certain populated areas can expect huge crowds, in sharp contrast to shopping on Cyber Monday in front of a computer with a cup of coffee. The propensity for these crowds to turn violent on the busiest shopping day of the year is disturbing, however. This video from 2015 compiles scenes of violence ranging from pushing and shoving to trampling and outright brawls.
Perhaps with mitigating this violence in mind, and to take advantage of the growing trend towards online shopping on Cyber Monday, even traditional big box, brick and mortar retailers are offering Cyber Monday sales. Businesses like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target are offering major online discounts alongside dedicated cyber shopping companies like Amazon.
Cyber Monday seems to be a trend that could even surpass Black Friday. According to CNN Money, Cyber Monday last year was the biggest ever online sales day ever, with orders totaling in excess $3 billion, a 16 percent increase from the previous Cyber Monday sales figures. Much of the web traffic on retail sites came from mobile devices, and many opted to place orders on those devices. This year’s Cyber Monday seems likely to exceed those figures.
Technology and the rise of the internet age have changed our lives in many ways, and the way we consume products seems to be no exception. Black Friday may soon give way to Cyber Monday, and if the trend of Black Friday violence continues, it may very well be for the best.
[Featured Image by Dan Dennison/Getty Images]