While mobile is a key driver behind this trend, according to IBM, it's not only restricted to online. A forecast released by ShopperTrak last month predicted that for the first time since 2005, Black Friday will no longer be the biggest day for store visits and sales. Instead, as Thanksgiving continues to steal share from Friday, it will be overtaken by the Saturday before Christmas, known as Super Saturday, on those two metrics.
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"Retailers are anxious to get to the wallet before the money is gone," ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said.
For her part, Gaffney said she's a proponent of Cyber Monday shifting to the Monday before Thanksgiving, or possibly earlier. For one, this would help retailers avoid logistical nightmares caused by last-minute shoppers; for another, it would help them compete with international companies that are increasingly targeting U.S. shoppers, such as Alibaba's promotions for China's Single's Day holiday on Nov. 11.
"That's actually possibly going to move these promotional activities even earlier," Gaffney said.
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All of this is not to say that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer relevant. According to Adobe, Cyber Monday's online sales are expected to hit a record high of $2.6 billion this year, while Black Friday's online sales could rise to $2.48 billion. Both days drastically surpass that of Thanksgiving, which is expected to ring in a record $1.35 billion online.
From a consumer perspective, there are also certain purchases that are better suited for Cyber Monday. According to DealNews, clothing, shoes and beauty items are all cheaper that day than on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.