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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cyber Monday rings up over $1 billion

Market research firm Comscore has tallied up its figures for online sales for Cyber Monday—November 29, 2010, the first Monday "back at work" after Black Friday—and says it was a record-setter. Comscore says U.S. consumers spent more than $1 billion online on November 29, bringing U.S. online spending for the 2010 holiday season so far to over $13.5 billion. The overall figures represent a 13 percent increase from the same time period in 2009, and the Cyber Monday total is 16 percent higher than 2009.

"The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news," said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni, in a statement. "At the same time, it's important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers' heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season."

Comscore finds that the record-setting day was driven by online buyers spending more money on average—up 12 percent compared to last year—combined with an overall 4 percent increase in the number of Cyber Monday online shoppers. The average amount spent per transaction was $60.05, up 10 percent from 2009.

Cyber Monday also appears to be an appropriate name for the online spend-fest: according to the report, nearly half (48.9 percent) the dollars spend at U.S. Web sites on November 29 originated from "work computers," although Comscore doesn't detail how it tries to figure out whether a particular computer is "at work." Nonetheless, that figure actually represents a slight decline: last year, the figure was 52.7 percent. Fulgoni speculates that the slight decline in at-work Cyber Monday shopping may be do to the increase availability of broadband at home—fewer online shoppers need to rely on high-speed broadband connections at businesses to have an acceptable online shopping experience.