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'Cyber Monday' spending up 15% over 2007

Dec. 1 was second-heaviest online spending day on record, with $846 million in sales

By Heather Havenstein
December 3, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Online shoppers spent $846 million on Dec. 1, a 15% increase over the Monday after Thanksgiving last year, according to data from research firm comScore Inc.

The heavy online spending on "Cyber Monday" made Dec. 1, 2008 the second-heaviest online shopping day on record. comScore added. Online shoppers spent $881 million on Dec. 10, 2007, making it the top sales day ever on the Web. This year's strong Cyber Monday sales came despite the failure of sites run by several top national retailers over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend preceding Cyber Monday. In fact, online spending during the four-day period spanning the day after Thanksgiving to Dec. 1 increased 13% this year compared with 2007, including double-digit gains on both weekend days and on Monday.

For the full holiday shopping season to date, which comScore begins on Nov. 1, the $12 billion in 2008 online sales is 2% less than last year, the research firm said.

"Mark Twain might have said, 'Rumors of the death of online holiday shopping have been greatly exaggerated,'" said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. "Consumers are clearly responding positively to retailers' aggressive online discounts. With Cyber Monday promotions beginning in earnest over the Thanksgiving weekend, consumers have finally begun to open their wallets, setting off a streak of four consecutive days of extremely strong growth. This is an extremely encouraging development for retailers, and we can but hope that their aggressive discounting has still left room for profits." In late November, comScore had predicted that 2008 online holiday spending would be flat compared to last year.

A comScore consumer survey found that online retail customers spent $8.2 billion during the first 23 days of November this year, 4% less than last year. In addition, the report noted that its projection of flat sales for the holiday season is far below the 9% increase in online sales so far in 2008. ComScore also noted that online sales in 2007 had grown grew by 19 % over the previous year.

ComScore also said its most recent survey found the following:

  • 51% of consumers found more online promotions and discounts this year.
  • 12% said they found fewer online promotions and discounts.
  • 39% of consumers said they have seen fewer people shopping in brick-and-mortar stores this year.
  • 7% saw more people in the brick-and-mortar businesses than last year.

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