What Is Cyber Monday? The History Behind the Digital-only Discount Shopping Event

Cyber Monday has emerged as a pivotal digital counterpart to the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, serving as an alternative to Black Friday. Its origins unfold from the early 2000s to its current status as an anticipated online shopping event.

In 2023, shoppers have a plethora of discounts and deals to look forward to during Cyber Monday and Black Friday, with Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Nordstrom starting holiday discounts early (the Sephora Sale began in October and Ulta Beauty is advertising up to 50 percent off online). Nordstrom is boasting deals of up to 70 percent off the week of Thanksgiving and advertising Cyber Monday deals, too.

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According to experts from Boston Consulting Group, despite inflation and a tense geopolitical landscape, shoppers still plan to spend this holiday season. A consumer behavior survey published by the e-commerce company Shopify titled “Shopify-Gallup Holiday Shopping Pulse” pointed out that nearly 75 percent of shoppers plan to spend the same or more on gifts compared to last year.

Why Is It called Cyber Monday?

The Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was coined by the National Retail Federation in 2005 by the company’s online arm,, as online shopping became more popular.

When did Cyber Monday become popular?

The e-commerce holiday saw a rise in popularity in the early 2000s after the advent of the internet.

Cyber Monday was introduced to capture the surge in online sales occurring on the Monday after Thanksgiving. As high-speed internet and e-commerce became more popular, Cyber Monday became a strategic response to more consumers seeking holiday deals online.

Is Cyber Monday a Holiday?

Cyber Monday is not a U.S. bank holiday or public holiday.

Cyber Monday is one of the year’s busiest shopping days, with many business, e-commerce transactions and holiday shopping conducted during the discount period. Some companies like Target, T.J. Maxx and Walmart start their sales earlier than the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend.

Cyber Monday allows online shopping to thrive without the constraints of physical store hours.

Cyber Monday on TikTok

Younger consumers are looking for deals and holiday gifts on Instagram Shopping and TikTok Shop. According to Shopify, nearly 50 percent of Gen Z plan to purchase some gifts through social media.

TikTok Shop’s Black Friday deals began advertising 50 percent off beauty products, 15- to 25-percent-off coupons, and 30-percent-off coupons with no minimum spend for first-time shoppers in late October.

Shopify also noted more than 60 percent of consumers polled plan on purchasing something for themselves during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Where Are the Best Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals?

  • Sephora: The beauty giant just finished its annual Sephora Sale, in which Sephora members and VIPs get access to shocking deals from the beauty retailer. This year, shoppers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to look forward to, too, with discounts reaching 50 percent off several beauty items.

  • Target: The retailer offers price-matching deals and will match the lower price of an item found on the site of its competitors. Target is also offering early Black Friday deals that will run to Nov. 25. The retail company is advertising several deals online, with discounts running up to 40 percent off apparel and accessories. Target is also hosting a two-day Cyber Monday event with discounts running from Nov. 26 to 27.

  • Amazon: Shoppers can save 35 percent on computers and video games. Several other items are also on sale, including up to 50 percent discounts on beauty and personal care items.

  • Nordstrom: The discount retail chain is advertising Cyber Monday deals on clothing and shoes with markdowns on shoppers’ favorite brands like Uggs, Nike, Hunter and The North Face.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch: Abercrombie is offering 40 percent off kids’ apparel during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • Saks Fifth Avenue: The department store chain is advertising up to 50 percent off of select apparel and up to 75 percent off of designer styles during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • Ulta Beauty: The beauty giant is offering up to 50 percent off beauty products all week.

  • Urban Outfitters: The retail corporation offers shoppers early access to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Consumers can save up to 25 percent off and earn free shipping on their orders when they spend $75 or more.

Cyber Monday deals can change each year, and savvy consumers may find valuable promotions from a variety of retailers across different sectors.

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