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'Cyber Monday' Expected to Lure 97M Shoppers

The initial numbers for Black Friday are giving retailers hope that the holiday season will be better than expected.

According to comScore, consumers spent $913 million online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday - about 10% more than last year, when consumer spending drastically slowed just as the holidays approached. Web marketing analyst Coremetrics reports that the average amount online shoppers spent on Black Friday rose 35% from last year as shoppers spent roughly $170.19 per order.

Both pure-play e-tailers and retailers with an online presence benefited from the traffic and subsequent sales. According to Hitwise, Amazon received the most visits on Black Friday from online shoppers - 13.6% among the top 500 Retail websites. It was followed by Wal-Mart with 11.2 % of visits, then Target.com with 5.7%; BestBuy.com at 4.6%; and Sears, 3.0%.

Top That

Now online retailers are waiting to see how Cyber Monday delivers. Hopes are high: On the Monday after Thanksgiving, according to Shop.org, 96.5 million Americans are expected to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from 85 million in 2008.

The Cyber-Monday phenomenon was first observed after Thanksgiving several years ago when retailers noticed an uptick in online purchases by employees back at work and using their employers' high-speed internet to shop online. However, now that many consumers have high-speed connections at home, there has been some debate whether Cyber Monday will deliver a similar online wallop as it has in year's past, reports the Chicago Tribune.

More Sales, Promotions

Online merchants, though, show little signs of relinquishing their hopes for the day, despite the bargains and sales racked up last week. Nearly nine in 10 (87.1%) retailers will have a special promotions for Cyber Monday, up from 83.7% last year and 72.2 % in 2007, according to Shop.org’s eHoliday Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. The most popular promotions are expected to be specific deals (42.9%), one-day sales (32.9%), and free shipping on all purchases (15.7%).

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