co When Black Friday Comes |

This weekend is the weekend that every Internet marketer and every offline marketer will be looking at to determine the state of the economy overall and the state of their business. We all know that Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year – off line. The following Monday is the biggest shopping day online. Are you ready?

It’s called Cyber Monday, the Monday following Black Friday. And until 2008, it was the biggest shopping day online. comScore says that day has been moved to either Green Monday (the second Monday in December) or the Tuesday after. Why is that?

Here’s my theory. People would rather still shop off line. On Black Friday they go to the mall. They visit their favorite local merchants to see what they can find for Christmas gifts. If they don’t find what they want, they shop online.

Enter Cyber Monday. Big shopping day. But it’s still not the end of Christmas shopping. If consumers think they can still get a better deal on something locally, offline, then they’ll hold off on their online purchase. Until the last minute.

So they continue to shop locally off line until around December 15, the last day they can expect to order something online and receive it by Christmas. In 2008, Green Monday was December 15. It was the biggest online shopping day of that year. The next year the biggest shopping day was also December 15, but then it fell on the third Tuesday of the month – the first Tuesday after the second Monday. So what will happen this year?

Last year was the biggest online shopping day in history. The biggest day turned out to be Cyber Monday with more than $1 billion in online sales. The second biggest day was Green Monday, the second Tuesday in December, and that day was December 13. Sales on that day exceeded sales the previous Green Monday by $100 million.

If these trends are any indication, this could be another record year, but which day will be the biggest shopping day of the season? Will it be Cyber Monday, Green Monday, or the first Tuesday after Green Monday?

I think it’s anyone’s guess which day this year will be the biggest online shopping day, but one thing is for sure. Online merchants should be prepared for the best.