From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
Not long after Cyber Monday was invented in 2005 as an online alternative to Black Friday, I called it a “marketing myth” because it was actually not even close to a top holiday shopping day.
Then a funny thing happened–Cyber Monday, created by the National Retail Foundation’s Shop.org online unit, became a self-fulfilling prophecy as retailers jumped on the term and began offering special sales that day after the Thanksgiving holiday. By the following year, it had turned into a real phenomenon, at least for many retailers, and last year it became the heaviest shopping day ever to date. It might even happen again this year.
But now, even as many retailers have made Cyber Monday sales a stock part of their holiday strategy, I’m betting its days are numbered. Why?
* Early sales. Smart retailers noticed that before Cyber Monday, at least (and perhaps still), the period leading up to the big day actually were even more active shopping days. And in their never-ending attempt to get a step ahead of rivals, many retailers ran not just pre-Cyber Monday sales, but pre-Black Friday sales as early as the evening before Thanksgiving. Apparently they worked. They almost certainly will cannibalize Cyber Monday sales. …