December 2, 2011, 4:36 PM

E-retailers keep the party going

E-retailers extend Thanksgiving weekend deals into what marketers call Cyber Week.

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Not content to let a good party simply die out, several online retailers this week did their best to extend the good fortune of the Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzy into the following week.

Some called it “Cyber Week,” while others merely acted merciful in keeping alive for a few days more of their Cyber Monday specials. Whatever the tactic, online shoppers browsing the e-commerce sites or e-mail marketing messages of the Top 100 retailers, as ranked by Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, would have had little problem finding discounts and offers designed to keep them shopping for holiday gifts, or for themselves. Some 20 of the Top 100 retailers surveyed by Internet Retailer’s editors offered some form of Cyber Week or extended Cyber Monday sale this week.

Among the most aggressive retailers in pushing the offers to consumers in the week after Thanksgiving was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 6 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The retailer put at the top of  Walmart.com a Cyber Week Online Specials link that took consumers to the week’s deals. The retail chain also sent e-mails to consumers on Thursday urging them to “Hurry! Only 2 Days left to shop Cyber Week specials.” That e-mail followed one on Wednesday that offered what Wal-Mart called “extended” Cyber Monday discounts.

“This year, we’re offering more than 250 online-only Cyber Week specials, significantly higher than last year,” says Joel Anderson, president of Walmart.com. “We know consumers are on a tight budget.”

Amazon.com Inc. also gave its Cyber Week promotions a prominent place this week, putting a link to the deals on the upper right-hand corner of its e-commerce site. “We're keeping the Cyber Monday party going all week long, with more amazing deals,” the No. 1 retailer in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide said in a message on its web site.

Not all retailers this week were willing participants in the extended sales, though. Ann Taylor, part of No. 95 retailer Ann Inc., sent e-mail messages to consumers late this week apologizing for slow load times of its Ann Taylor and Loft sites this Monday, due to the popularity of a 50% off Cyber Monday promotion. The multichannel apparel retailer offered shoppers a coupon code good for $25 off purchases of $50 or more. Online-only men’s apparel retailer Bonobos, which is No. 789 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide, basically issued consumers rain checks this week by extending its Cyber Monday offers to make up for site outages on that first work day after Thanksgiving.

Here are examples of some other Cyber Week and Cyber Monday deals this week:

• Army & Air Force Exchange Service, No. 96 in the Top 500, offered up to 35% off for Cyber Week.

• Best Buy Co., No. 11, touted its Cyber Week specials on its e-commerce home page, with deals good through tomorrow.

• OfficeMax Inc., No. 9, had an “It’s Black Friday Every Friday” promotion, with a new sale item every week through Dec. 16. Today, consumers could save $140 on an HP Pavilion laptop.

• 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., No. 45, maintained its Cyber Monday free shipping deal.

• Vistaprint Ltd., No. 36, this week offered 50% off holiday cards and calenders, plus free shipping on all orders of more than $50.

 

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