How Cyber Monday Works

The Origin of Cyber Monday

cyber monday J.C. Penney
This J.C. Penney website displays an ad for a Cyber Monday sale. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The term "Cyber Monday" was dreamt up in 2005 by a marketing team at, a division of the National Retail Federation. The idea was to provide online retailers with a catchy hook to match the brick-and-mortar shopping frenzy fueled by mention of Black Friday savings. At the time, Cyber Monday wasn't the busiest online shopping day of the year -- it was more like the 12th -- but it's become a very popular day to shop since then [sources: National Retail Federation, Hof].

Lots of consumers were already taking part, shopping through the Black Friday weekend and into the next week, and the media seized on the Cyber Monday concept in a big way the first year it was introduced. Many online retailers saw an unexpected jump in sales, likely as a result of these free marketing efforts. By coupling the catchy phrase with sales and promotions, Cyber Monday has since served to push sales up and boost increased online shopping throughout the holiday season.


Online shopping on Cyber Monday hasn't just caught on in the United States. In the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Portugal and New Zealand, among other nations, Cyber Monday has become a promotional event as well.

Still retail shopping isn't dead yet. In 2018, e-commerce sales made up only 14.3 percent of all retail sales.