What is Cyber Monday? Frankly, you could be excused for wondering how it is supposed to differ from Black Friday. You might already know that Black Friday immediately follows Thanksgiving and, with Cyber Monday, bookends the subsequent weekend - but confusion can still linger.

As reflected by its name, Cyber Monday was originally intended to spur online retail sales. However, with Black Friday bargains prone to spilling over into the weekend, you might not realize particular necessities of shifting your shopping strategy for Cyber Monday. What did 2017's event teach us?

The discounts often apply across all of a site's products

On Black Friday, only particular items tend to be discounted - but the products that do usually see deep price cuts. Though product-specific Cyber Monday deals can still abound depending on which site you visit, you are likelier to be permitted your choice of product to buy for a discount to kick in.

Therefore, if you are considering a particular product that isn't slashed in price for Black Friday, you could be comforted by the possibility that the right Cyber Monday bargain remains on the way. This could result in your eager anticipation building as the special day nears.

Black Friday deals can sometimes be rehashed

Another potential source of disappointment is if you learn about a great Black Friday deal slightly too late - in other words, after Black Friday has ended. However, in this instance, you might not have missed out just yet - as those deals could roll over to the weekend and even Cyber Monday.

This can be a surprisingly common occurrence. Amazon ran such deals on smart home devices last year, while it was also in 2017 that, on Cyber Monday, Best Buy brought back the gaming console deals which it had previously run on Black Friday, just a few days earlier.

Many retailers can be very predictable with their site-wide discounts

If reading this article has piqued your interest in Cyber Monday, you might naturally be wondering what discounts a particular retailer will offer on the day. Reassuringly, many companies have run identical - if not very similar - discounts year after year for Cyber Monday.

For example, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Target offered 15% off any of its products listed on its retail site. Crocs has gone further in the last two years with its 40% discount of similarly widespread applicability. No prizes, then, for guessing what these firms are expected to offer this Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is a great time to purchase an aging model of phone

If you are in the market for a new phone, you might be waiting until Cyber Monday to see whether your favored model is in the sales. That's not an entirely unwise strategy - but, if you seek a straightforward discount, you might only find it on a previous-generation phone.

In 2017, Best Buy was offering a $150 reduction in the price of an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. At the time, these models were just over a year old, having been superseded by the iPhone X and 8 models.

It's also a cost-effective time to book a vacation

The usual prominence of site-wide discounts doesn't apply if you want to capitalize on the vacation packages offered on Cyber Monday. If you seek a major discount on one of these packages, you might need to be particular with which one you choose.

Even if you forgo a package by deciding to book the flights and hotel separately, the Cyber Monday savings can noticeably vary between different airlines and hotels. Not all airlines might match, for example, Emirates' 2017 offer of $449 tickets for round trips between New York, Italy and Greece.

There can be significant savings on laptops and tablets

Is your current laptop or tablet long in the tooth? Cyber Monday can be an ideal time to replace it. This can especially be the case if you want a Dell laptop - as, in the last two years, the company has axed over $500 from the prices of some of its machines for Cyber Monday.

Last year's tech deals also included $254 off the 13.3-inch MacBook Air from eBay and discounts of more than $100 on iPads from various online retailers.

Cyber Monday 2018 could better last year's for gaming deals

With the Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch now both older than a year, Cyber Monday deals on these could be more abundant than they were last year. However, whether you are considering one of these consoles or something different, like the PlayStation 4 Pro, keep an eye on the bundles.

This bears emphasis because, even if the price of a bundle still looks relatively high, the package remains likely to include an array of extras that help to make it pleasing value overall.