December 2, 2010

Cyber Monday Hits All-Time Sales Record

Online retail sales in the US hit an all-time high on Cyber Monday, surpassing $1 billion for the first time for any single day of Web shopping, according to data released by research firm comScore Wednesday.

Cyber Monday, a day retailers offer huge deals online following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, saw 1.03 billion dollars in sales, up 16 percent from the same day last year.

Cyber Monday represented "the heaviest online spending day in history and the first to surpass the billion-dollar threshold," comScore said in a statement.

The research firm said that total online sales for the Thanksgiving weekend, which lasted from Thursday to Sunday, totaled 2.97 billion dollars.

"The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

The strong sales are "almost certainly the result of retailers' heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season," he said.

Many brick-and-mortar retailers have jumped aboard the online shopping bandwagon in recent years, with companies like Wal-Mart and Macy's reporting sharp increases in Internet sales activity.

Average spending per transaction also rose to $60.05, up ten percent, while the total number of transactions was up 6 percent to 17.1 million. Holiday spending so far, is up 13 percent from this time last year, said comScore.

The comScore figures mimic those released by ChannelAdvisor and IBM Coremetrics on Tuesday that also found Cyber Monday online sales sharply increased this year.

ComScore expects online retail sales to rise 11 percent for 2010 holiday season. It has already raised the forecast twice because of strong consumer spending.

While online commerce makes up only 7 percent of the overall retail market, the spending growth is fast outpacing traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where sales gains have been more modest and inconsistent in the slow economic recovery.


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