Black Friday's doorbusters may be long gone, but deep online discounts were set to help retailers click up record Cyber Monday sales.
Millions of Americans used their computers, smartphones and tablets to make online purchases on the so-called Cyber Monday. The Monday after Thanksgiving is the year's busiest Web shopping day.
Online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving spiked 26% by mid-afternoon over the same period last year, according to an early tally by IBM Benchmark.
Like their brick-and-mortar cousins, some of which kicked off the biggest shopping season of the year as early as Thanksgiving night, online retailers were aiming to get a jump on holiday sales.
Walmart began its Cyber Monday promotions as early as Saturday and rolled out deals like $1,000 off a Samsung 55" HDTV.
Clothing retailer Gap was offering its 30%-off Cyber Monday special on Sunday morning. Amazon.com, which kicked off its Cyber Monday promotions at the stroke of midnight, cut the price of its Kindle Fire by $30.
Cyber Monday is expected to be the busiest Web shopping day of the year for a third year running, with retailers racking up online sales of $1.5 billion, up about 20%, according to comScore.
"We're seeing good momentum," said Andrew Lipsman, comScore's vice president of industry analysis. "This is a key test for the season."
The day first got its name in 2005, when industry trade group Shop.org noticed a spike in online spending as many consumers with sluggish dialup Internet connections at home headed to relatively quicker ones at work.
While that may no longer be the case, the surrounding marketing blitz -- with some retailers looking to stretch the day into "Cyber Week" -- has taught shoppers to expect online deals, said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.
"It's a phenomenon that gets bigger every year," she said. "Right now, we're seeing continued strength."
Source: New York Daily News | ELIZABETH LAZAROWITZ