This week, we experienced Manic Monday. A completely fabricated retail marketing concept that doesn’t actually mean anything.
It’s also called Cyber Monday, and is very similar to Cyber Sunday, Mega Monday and of course the latest phenomena in the UK thanks to Amazon – Black Friday.
What all these days have in common is being a pointless marketing gimmick, irrelevant to consumers and irritating (at best) for retailers and industry commentators. Surely, the only benefactors of these terms are the tabloids in the form of ready-made alliterative headlines?
According to research commissioned by Kelkoo, Monday (29 November) was predicted to be the busiest online shopping day of the year.
It was predicted that £537m would be spent as consumers rushed to order their gifts online and make sure they would arrive in time for Christmas. That’s £22.4m spent online every hour, up 28.8% compared with last year.
While the stats and the social observations are interesting, and well worth reporting on, they lose all their credence when paired with the juvenile term Manic Monday, or any of its derivatives.
For one it’s not manic. Manic is London’s Oxford Street, or any other high footfall shopping centre, the Saturday before Christmas.
As for it’s stablemates Cyber Sunday, Cyber Monday and Mega Monday – since no one really knows what each term refers to, far from clarifying the concept they only serve to confuse and fuel conversations along the lines of “what does Cyber Sunday even mean?”
And let’s not get started on Black Friday. Amazon attempted to launch “Black Friday discounts” in the UK last week. It met a backlash from UK shoppers that found the deals sold-out instantly and the website crashed thanks to an influx of traffic.
I’m usually a fan of Amazon. It is a shining beacon of how to do online retail right. However, it serves Amazon right for trying to bring a concept only relevant in the US, to the UK, without so much as repointing it for the local market.
If you missed this phenomena, Black Friday, is a common practice in the US to slash prices and offer unbelievable deals on the Friday after Thanskgiving, which signals the traditional start of Christmas shopping in the States.
Since we in the UK don’t celebrate Thanskgiving, Black Friday is completely arbitrary and meaningless and I think it misfired by bringing Black Friday to the UK.
It will be interesting to see if Kelkoo, or anyone else can back up the predictive hype about Manic Monday with the reality.
The only good thing about all this Manic Monday activity, is that I’ve had The Bangles classic 80s track of the same name playing on a loop in my head for the past week.
Manic Monday? I wish it were a Sunday. ’Cause that’s my funday. My I don’t have to run day. It’s just another manic Monday.