A record day for US E-Commerce

UTRECHT - Online shoppers spent $1.25 billion yesterday, Cyber Monday, the heaviest online shopping day in history, according to new figures from comScore Inc. Consumers last year spent nearly $1.03 billion on the first Monday after Thanksgiving—meaning this year’s shopping event, invented by the trade group, experienced a more than 21% jump in spending compared with 2010.

“Cyber Monday was yet another historic day for e-commerce,” says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “It was just the second billion-dollar spending day on record, following on the heels of Cyber Monday 2010. While last year saw Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year for the first time ever, it will be interesting to watch the next couple of weeks to see if any future individual days in 2011 manage to leapfrog this year’s highest day to date.”

For the five days from Thanksgiving through Monday, shoppers spent $3.577 billion online, up 20.5% from $2.969 billion during the comparable holiday period last year. IBM SmarterCommerce, which tracks online sales of 500 larger online retailers, says sales for those clients were up 30.2% over last year over the five-day holiday period.

ComScore says consumers so far this holiday shopping season have spent just more than $15 billion, 15.4% more than the approximately $13 billion spent in the same period last year. ComScore measured online retail spending between Nov. 1 and Nov. 28.

On Monday, the number of online buyers was 11% higher than in 2010—10 million to last year’s 9 million—setting another record, comScore says. The average buyer spent $124.82 online, up 9% from $114.24 last year. ComScore adds that half of the online spending yesterday originated from work computers, up only slightly from 49.2% last year.

“Looking forward to the balance of the season, it will be very important to continue to monitor the trend in consumer spending to determine the degree to which retailers’ heavy promotional activity at the beginning of the shopping season, and consumers’ encouraging response, has pulled forward consumers’ future buying,” Fulgoni says. “It will also be vital to see whether retailers’ deals and price discounting, which consumers are now able to discover via so many different digital media channels, will have a negative impact on retailers’ margins this holiday season.”

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