Last year, the world's largest retailer pulled up the Cyber Monday deals to the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving for the first time.
Cyber Monday, which technically falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving, is typically the busiest day of the year for online shopping. The phrase was coined in 2005 by the National Retail Federation's online arm to encourage online buying when people returned to offices where they had high-speed Internet connections. Since then, the proliferation of smartphones has given shoppers constant Internet access, and now Cyber Monday is being used by retailers to pull in deal-hungry shoppers.
The push to start Cyber Monday deals earlier follows what's been happening with
This year, Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., is making Thanksgiving deals available online at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on the holiday, three hours earlier than last year. Wal-Mart is starting its deals at its stores at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, the same time as last year.
Ravi Jariwala, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said 3 out of 4 customers polled by the company said they wanted to shop for Cyber Monday deals earlier — after the kickoff in stores.
The move comes as Wal-Mart aims to compete more aggressively with online leader Amazon.com. Inc. Wal-Mart reported last week that its online sales growth accelerated to 20.6% in the third quarter, up from its 11.8% pace in the second quarter. Wal-Mart's online business has been helped in part by its growth in product assortment. It now offers 23 million products online, nearly triple what it did during last year's holiday shopping season.
ComScore predicts online spending on Cyber Monday will jump to $3.5 billion from $3.12 billion last year.
The firm's preliminary holiday shopping forecast is for online sales to rise as much as 19% to $81 billion.