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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Cyber Monday is becoming one of the biggest online shopping days of the year

Have students explore what role newspapers can play in the Cyber Monday phenomenon? How does newspaper advertising have to change to address this new shopping model? How does print advertising compare to online advertising. Which do you think is more effective?
What advantage do newspapers have, either online or in print, that can help them cash in? Why do online merchants need newspapers in the new cyber world? Some concepts for students to explain: Brand identity, trust, "eyeballs."
Have students examine the ads in this week's newspaper and see how many list a website within the ad. Which is the smallest retailer to list an online presence?

"Black Friday" formally kicks off the holiday shopping season, when on the day after Thanksgiving, millions of shoppers hit the shopping malls. But Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, is quickly becoming one of the biggest ONLINE shopping days of the year.

Online shopping is expected to increase by 25 percent this holiday season, to $18 billion, according to Forrester Research, a technology research company. More than one-third of consumers, or 51.7 million shoppers, said they plan to use the Internet to browse or buy gifts this holiday season.

And a lot of those sales will likely occur the Monday after Thanksgiving, according to the National Retail Federation. Last year, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the peak day for online transactions, according to VeriSign Payment Services, a company that processes electronic payments for about 150,000 online merchants. Seventy-seven percent of online retailers said their sales increased noticeably that day, according to a recent survey. Last year, U.S. consumers spent $737 million online just during the Thanksgiving weekend, a 33% increase from the $553 spent during the same period in 2003, according to

Why shop online? The very existence of a phenomenon like "Cyber Monday" points to the Web's growing force as a retail outlet. People who shop online today aren`t just hard core Internet geeks. Shopping online saves time, saves trips to the store and (sometimes) saves money. A new wrinkle that's developing is that more people shop online at work, where they have faster Internet connections.

Who's shopping online today? According to several retail categories will experience steep growth this year, largely due to the growing acceptance of online shopping by women. In fact, categories with products purchased largely by women will see the most growth this year. Online sales of cosmetics and fragrances are expected to grow 33 percent while sales of over-the-counter medications and personal care will rise 32 percent. Additionally, sales of jewelry and luxury goods (31%) and flowers, cards, and gifts (30%) are expected to rise dramatically.

What are merchants doing to cash in? The online-shopping trend is driving serious online discounts and promotions for Cyber Monday this year in order to spur large selling volume. And it's not just online-only merchants who recognize the trend. "Brick and mortar" stores have built up their online presence, adding search functions and greatly increasing the number of items offered online to become virtual catalog sites.

How big has online shopping become? A greater number of Web shoppers is expected to boost holiday spending online to $18 billion this year, a 25 percent increase from 2004. Today, online sales make up 7.7 percent of total retail sales. For comparison, TOTAL retail sales for just the third quarter of 2005 were estimated at $957.9 billion according to the U.S. Commerce Dept.

How's all this affect "Old Media," like newspapers? New research shows that 70% of US adults use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and service -- up from 60% in October 2003. These figures put the Internet on par with newspapers as a local shopping information resource, and suggest that the Internet is on track to surpass newspapers as a consumer influencer in the very near future.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2014
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