Black Friday & Cyber Monday Creep: Retailers Plan Earliest Thanksgiving Openings Ever

Before the mega-retailer made headlines late last year for its data breach, Target was in the news for how it handled Cyber Monday.

Falling on the Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday is a day when countless brands offer their customers aggressive sales on their websites. Essentially, it’s the digital world’s answer to the brick-and-mortar retailer world’s Black Friday.

And it’s more popular than ever: Last year, e-commerce retailers hauled in $2.29 billion on Cyber Monday, a 16 percent bump from the year prior.

That’s a lot of money, and all e-commerce retailers want as big a slice of the pie as possible.

Perhaps to preemptively claim some of it, last year Target held a Cyber Monday event on Sept. 30, roughly two months before the annual sale was scheduled to occur. This “creeping” phenomenon is also evident in the physical world, with stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s announcing they’ll hold their Black Friday events starting on Thanksgiving Day—this year even a few hours earlier than in 2013.

As an e-commerce retailer, there’s a good chance that you’ve had your eye on Cyber Monday—Dec. 1, 2014—for quite some time. But as other retailers begin creeping up their holiday sales, it might be time to consider whether your customers might be in the holiday spending mood earlier than you’d imagined.

In other words, if your competitors have their Cyber Monday sale begin a few days or a week earlier than anticipated, there’s a good chance your site could receive some significant spillover. There’s also a good chance you might decide to move your own Cyber Monday promotion ahead, too.

Since your traffic really can’t be predicted, it’s imperative that your e-commerce platform is ready to seamlessly absorb all volumes of customers at any given point in time.