Everyone knows that Christmas is the busiest time for retailers both online and off - but when is the busiest day for online retailers?
Although each of likes to believe that we are individual and unique, human beings are basically herd animals, and in large numbers our behaviour is extremely predictable. For the last few years, the busiest day for online sales has been the same. It's the day on which UK shoppers spend a million pounds a minute on the Internet.
Surprisingly, whilst offline retailers are usually busier at the weekend, the busiest online shopping day is on a Monday. It has become known in the e-commerce world as "Manic Monday" or "Cyber Monday". So when is Cyber Monday? And why is it so predictable that more people will shop online on that day than on any other?
Cyber Monday occurs when it does because it is the first Monday after the last payday of the year - so it's simply the week when people are feeling most flush as they fritter away their disposable income on gifts for others. People want to shop as soon as possible so that gifts arrive in time to be wrapped and, in some cases, posted in time for Christmas.
Since online retailing began, every year has broken the previous year's records for online sales. PayPal have predicted this year that online sales will soar by up to 60%, with the peak being expected on Cyber Monday - last year's was the busiest ever.
This year's Cyber Monday is 28th November. Online retailers would be wise to organise promotions and special deals around this date, and promote them to their customers using well-planned email marketing and social media campaigns, in order to grab their share of the massive amount of money that will be changing hands in just a few weeks time.