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Cyber Monday – Then And Now

Technology has changed the world in so many ways, both for the good and for the bad. One of the simplest examples of this is how we look at Cyber Monday. “Back in my day” … the unofficial start to the Christmas Season was Black Friday. It’s when everyone headed out to the malls with their family and friends on the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend off work or school to start shopping for Christmas gifts and decorations.

Back in those days, we didn’t have the large discounts at Big Box stores to consider. The newspaper would come on Friday with a few advertisements of just a couple specials local stores were offering to get you excited about shopping. The malls would show off their newly decorated aisles for the season, ugly Christmas sweaters would be on display, Santa would be in his workshop with his elves for the children to visit and we would hear Christmas music piped in for the first time that year.

Then came the Internet, and everything changed

I am old enough to remember the “birth” of Cyber Monday. It was the first Monday after Thanksgiving when we all went back to work and could use the fast, reliable, and secure Internet connection in the office to do our Christmas shopping. It was a day marked by reduced productivity and grumpy, angry employees as we tried to navigate the clumsy interfaces of early eCommerce.

This was when Amazon only offered books, and new startups everywhere were launching dot com domains to sell what they had in brick and mortar stores to shoppers online. Prices were usually the same as the stores, and you paid an arm and a leg for shipping, but we did so gladly for the “convenience” of online shopping.

My how have things changed since then. Now there are stores that don’t exist in brick and mortar at all. Amazon can deliver just about anything from anywhere that you could possibly want. Groupons and ecoupons can be found that offer deep discounts to the listed price, and free shipping is ubiquitous. In fact, Cyber Monday is bigger than Black Friday for offering super discounted sales prices across cyberspace.

And then came mobile

How we access our online shopping sites has evolved as well. We’ve gone from clunky desktops to laptops to tablets to smartphones. We no longer rely on fast connections to land based lines. Now ubiquitous Wi-Fi has replaced the old dial up modem connections. Apps remove the need to use web browsers at all and let us conveniently spend money at the sites we love the most.

And while we still need to keep security in mind with eCommerce, we used to be too afraid to give credit card information online or even over the phone. Now it’s more frightening to use it in a store.

This shift from physical to electronic has changed how we work as well. There is an ever-growing demand for business websites, which has led to an ever-growing demand for web designers. And all these websites need pages, which entice and allure shoppers, so they need an ever-growing supply of stock images.

Which has led to a growing demand for creative type to produce the imagery available to web designers to use in the pages they create for web sites to promote their eCommerce offerings to lure the shopper to their site on Cyber Monday when we all go back to work. And that has personally changed my life for the better.

All images via Dreamstime Stock Photos.

Karen Foley is a professional freelance photographer and writer who enjoys sharing her art with others. See more of her work at http://www.karenfoleyphotography.com.