The biggest shopping days of 2012 and the numerous articles and reports that have been published in its wake inspired this little holiday poem.

‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving and at every mall
The shoppers were camping, awaiting their haul

Threats of mass riots filled them with dread
While millions more shoppers were smug in their beds

Though the masses lined up to score the doorbusters
The media reports in-store sales were lackluster

More shoppers are logging online instead
To shop from their work, their homes, or their bed.

They shopped on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and more,
Without ever stepping one foot in a store.

The shipping was free and the discounts were deep
The apparel, electronics, and goodies were cheap.

Some shoppers went mobile and shopped with their phones
Some shoppers used tablets as store owners groaned

They compared every price and each stores’ selection
No scam or false promise avoided detection.

E-sales were up over 20 percent
By the time that Black Friday events came and went

When Cyber Monday dawned, sunny and bright
Millions of cries rang out with delight

The traffic was heavy, the servers were slow
The faces of shoppers were basked in the glow

Of millions of laptops, computers and screens
As consumers stocked up on toys, trinkets, and jeans.

Sales records were broken, marketers shouted with glee,
Envisioning their bonuses beneath the tree.

Sales figures were way up, by 30 percent
By the time $1.98 billion dollars were spent.

The sale was a success, all the e-retailers cheer
But will those same shoppers re-order next year?

The fact that more people shopped online over the holiday weekend was no real surprise to anyone at SheerID. In survey after survey this year, everyone from college students to veterans has told us that they prefer shopping and redeeming discounts online.

The real question on our minds this morning was whether or not the business models of both the big box stores and the smaller mom and pop shops can continue to support deep discounts, free returns, and free shipping year after year? Are super sales like Cyber Monday and Black Friday training customers to hold their orders, waiting for what they perceive to be the best deals of the year? And if so, is this a sustainable business model?

If your goal is to increase traffic and boost Q4 sales, these holiday sales are effective. But if your goal is to create long-lasting relationships with loyal customers (you know, the kind whose average spend is about 67% higher than that of a new customer), competitive shopping events like Cyber Monday don’t exactly foster brand loyalty the way that customized, targeted offers can.

At SheerID, we tend to agree with one of the veterans who answered a recent survey we did about military discounts. He told us “Once a year is good, but daily discounts are better.”

If you want to hear more of our thoughts on Cyber Monday, download the MP3 of my radio appearance on OPB’s Think Out Loud. But don’t expect any more poetry. I save that for the SheerID blog.