Cyber Monday could set record

It's likely to be biggest Web shopping day ever
While Andres Munoz, left, gets shipping boxes in place, Gabriel Melendres packs up an order on "Cyber Monday" at Amazon.com's 1.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center on Monday in Phoenix.AP

CNEW YORK — Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.

Shoppers are expected to spend $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday, up 20 percent from last year, according to research firm comScore. That would not only make it the biggest online shopping day of the year, but the biggest since comScore started tracking shoppers' online buying habits in 2001.

Online shopping was up 28.4 percent on Cyber Monday compared with the same time period a year ago, according to figures released late Monday by IBM Benchmark, which tracks online sales. Sales from mobile devices, which include tablets, rose 10.1 percent. The group does not track dollar amount sales.

The strong start to Cyber Monday, a term coined in 2005 by a shopping trade group that noticed people were doing a lot of shopping on their work computers on the Monday following Thanksgiving, comes after overall online sales rose significantly during the four-day holiday shopping weekend that began on Thanksgiving.

"Online's piece of the holiday pie is growing every day, and all the key dates are growing with it," said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. "

It's the latest sign that Americans are becoming addicted to the convenience of the Web. With the growth in smartphones and tablet computers, shoppers can buy what they want, whenever they want, wherever they want. As a result, retailers have ramped up the deals they're offering on their websites during the holiday shopping season.

Amazon.com, which started its Cyber Monday deals at 12:01 a.m. Monday, is offering as much as 60 percent off a Panasonic VIERA 55-inch TV that's usually priced more than $1,000. Sears is offering $430 off a Maytag washer and dryer, each on sale for $399. And Kmart is offering 75 percent off all of its diamond earrings and $60 off a 12-in-1 multigame table on sale for $89.99.

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally not a popular day for online shopping, rose 32 percent over last year to $633 million, according to comScore. And online sales on Black Friday were up 26 percent from the same day last year, to $1.042 billion. It was the first time online sales on Black Friday surpassed $1 billion.

For the holiday season-to-date, comScore found that $13.7 billion has been spent online, marking a 16 percent increase over last year.


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