Cyber Monday? No it's not another Hallmark holiday, but rather a shopping holiday you should add to your holiday marketing strategy. Lisa Martin, founder of Operation Spa, coaches salon and spa owners to put on their creative thinking caps and make sure their websites are up to snuff in preparation for the day which is fast approaching. Martin did a little investigative reporting for us and turned in this report:

According to Wikipedia, the term Cyber Monday originated in 2005, and refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday season. Considering that Black Friday is associated with the traditional brick and mortar stores, it only makes sense that the digital world should have its own counterpart. 

The National Retail Federations division, an association for retailers that sell online, invented the term. According to's Executive Director Scott Silverman, the people within the organization were brainstorming about ways to promote online shopping. He said they quickly discarded suggestions such as Black Monday (too much like Black Friday), Blue Monday (not very cheery), and Green Monday (too environmentalist) before settling on Cyber Monday.

In actuality, Cyber Monday may be when consumers log onto the internet to check out products offered by online vendors, but it isn't the day most of them are making purchases. Another trend that's emerging is the increase of online traffic during that time. Though not necessarily purchasing, searching and visiting are happening on Thanksgiving Day as well.

Typically, the busiest in-store shopping day of the year occurs on the Saturday before Christmas, and the busiest e-commerce day takes place on the Monday or Tuesday a week or two before the week in which Christmas falls.

So, for those of you who are scheduling your Christmas marketing and promotion plans, you might want to include some additional dates. For 2009, the genuine Cyber Monday will most likely be either December 7 or December 14, and the busiest in-house shopping day may be around December 19.

Salons and spas can benefit from Cyber Monday by adding some eye-catching promotions on services and products and promoting gift certificate sales on their websites and e-mail newsletters. 

Why not step out of the box and develop an in-house promotion that links to your site? Invite your existing clients to spread the work by inviting friends to join in on the Cyber Monday event. How about hosting a scavenger hunt online where winners can redeem a printable coupon to use for services. The idea is to be creative and allow the atmosphere of your salon or spa to translate onto your website. Consumers want to know what to expect if they choose to personally visit or send a friend or family member to your place of business. They also need to feel confident they are getting a good deal and quality goods before they make a purchase.

Lisa Martin, founder of Operation Spa, coaches salon and spa business owners and management to create successful strategies, customized solutions for spa operation, protocol, employee incentive plans and undercover evaluation programs. 

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about