Yesterday, Seth Godin referenced our email exchange about holiday/online shopping trends...While he can undoubtedly do a better job with insightful commentary and rationale, I think one important element was missing from his discussion (And he is someone I genuinely respect, so this is in no way a slight).
Online retail and brick-and-mortar retail are often pinned against each other. In Seth's discussion he gave some great commentary on why these two classification of retailers have different peak holiday shopping days. Traditional multi-channel retailers are certainly gaining "market-share" in the online world (over single channel retailers like Amazon, ebay, etc), and while perhaps the aggregate traditional customer doesn't "get" the shipping concepts and think there is a more powerful reason...
I can often be found preaching online marketing prowess to drive offline sales. That said - I think the reason why "Cyber Monday" is the biggest sales day for traditional multi-channel retailers is because offline shopping also drives ONLINE sales. People go shopping the day after Thanksgiving - period. And while no one would think of a retail store as a stand alone marketing tool -- in this case -- it is. I believe that people go into stores and truly "shop" (rather than solely purchase), knowing that they still have time to price compare online and then buy.
Online marketers care about the separate sales channels ... Customers don't.