30 is the new 20, Thursday is the new Saturday, and Cyber Monday is most definitely the new Black Friday. Whether you celebrated Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday or headed out into the hubbub, remember to pace yourself. Today, Cyber Monday—the first Monday after Thanksgiving and the biggest online shopping day of the year—has ousted its pre-weekend predecessor for good reason. Actually, three reasons: great deals, no crowds, and the flexibility to shop from anywhere.
But, if you’re ready to head out into the internet fray, you need a strategy. We bring you our thorough Cyber Monday dossier to help you create the best plan of attack:
What Kinds Of Deals Should You Expect?
Cyber Monday is the online equivalent of Black Friday. Expect the same rock-bottom prices, door-buster specials, and ridiculous stunt-like deals that you'd find at physical stores on Black Friday, like timed specials, limited-quantity sales and other gimmicks, like buy-one-get-one or free shipping. Don’t just limit yourself to retail, as there are even deals in realms like airfare and restaurants; keep an eye on TravelZoo.com and Restaurant.com to stay in the know.
No Crowds, But You Can Still Crowdsource
The idea behind Cyber Monday is that everyone is physically back in the workplace, but mentally stuffed with turkey. Since our minds are in holiday mode, it only follows that online shopping will be much more interesting than sorting through an inbox. Plus, we can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t be interested in saving the stress of Black Friday's ridiculous crowds. But, even if you’re sitting alone by the computer, there are still ways to reap the benefits of the collective hive-mind…via Twitter. Follow deals in real time by tracking the day's hashtag (likely #CyberMonday, but check Twitter's trends that morning to be sure). Follow your favorite deal Tweeters, as there may even be special deals for Twitter shoppers.
The World (Wide Web) Is Your Mall, But Where To Begin?
Although the beauty of the web is that it doesn't matter if a store has a physical location nearby, too many options make for a weak strategy. In order to anticipate which sales you'll want to shop, get on the mailing lists for your favorite stores, shopping websites (both sample sale sites and online-only retailers like Amazon) and brands. Bookmark your favorite deal sites (Dealio, RetailMeNot, CheapTweet, etc.) and watch for roundups from sites like Mashable, LifeHacker, and WalletPop. In our experience, these sites do the dirty work for you in a better way than ad-filled aggregators like CyberMonday.com and CyberMondayCentral.com.
Tell us in the comments: Do you participate in Cyber Monday, or are you shopped-out by then?