As the United States prepares for its annual Cyber Monday online shopping bonanza, a New Zealand e-commerce operator is calling for Kiwi retailers to observe the American marketing phenomenon instead of creating local versions of the event, observed on different days.

Cyber Monday, which follows the traditional Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving (the last Thursday of November), began in the US in 2005 and has since spread to other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Britain and Canada.

A New Zealand version of the online retail event, Click Monday, was held last week and was hailed a success by its promoters.

More than 80 businesses - including Hallenstein Glasson, Briscoes and Rebel Sport - were involved and organiser Cate Bryant said participating retailers had up to 10-fold increases in online sales.


Local retail giant The Warehouse Group went alone and held its own Click Madness event on November 12.

Auckland online baby products retailer Belly Beyond, founded by Louisa Currie and Heidi Riley, has observed Cyber Monday for three years.

Currie reckons other New Zealand retailers should "stop splashing in a small local paddling pool" and embrace the North American event.

"Belly Beyond received a huge amount of local and international traffic from Cyber Monday and we traded more than a month's worth of business in three days," Currie said.

Last year's Cyber Monday brought in US$1.5 billion ($1.84 billion) of online sales in the US, a 17 per cent increase on 2011.

Forbes magazine is predicting sales of US$1.8 billion this year.

Other countries also have local versions of Cyber Monday. Australia had Click Frenzy day last month and figures from IBM suggested online sales of participating retailers were 16.3 per cent up on last year's event.

US shoppers begin their holiday shopping season:

The US holiday shopping season started as a marathon, not a sprint. Black Friday, typically the biggest shopping day of the year, drew scores of customers to neighborhood malls and department stores.