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Updated: International Shoppers Tune in To CyberMonday

CyberMonday proved to be just as bountiful for online retailers as Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day with online sales increasing 33% from the same day last year, according to IBM's Cyber Monday Benchmark. Online sales for Black Friday this year increased by 29.3% over 2010's performance.

An International Audience

A higher-than-expected percentage of these sales came from international visitors, according to FiftyOne which powers the international sites for major retailers including Macy's, Nordstrom's, Williams Sonoma, Aeropostale and Gilt.

FiftyOne saw international sales grow by 82% as compared to 2010 for the three days following Thanksgiving - 49% growth in number of merchants, and 22% growth in existing merchants (equivalent to same store sales.)

Countries with the biggest sales growth have been Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland with shoppers from Brazil, Canada and Australia being the most active on FiftyOne’s customer sites.

Global Missteps

Other countries, as well, tried to participate in this American shopping tradition, albeit with less success. There are anecdotal reports of Chilean retailers pushing their own version of CyberMonday – but failing to make sure their back end operations could scale with the demand. A number of retail companies' servers in that country failed as a result. Customers that did get through often found deals only available to credit card-holding customers. Such missteps can be common in global markets.

The lesson for retailers: even globally savvy companies such as Apple can make mistakes as it moves away from its home turf, or in the case of those retailers in Chile, tries to adopt a foreign-based concept without the necessary due diligence.

Update: FiftyOne has revised its figures since its first release. The company  saw international sales grow by 141% as compared to 2010 for the three days following Thanksgiving - 116% growth in number of merchants, and 25% growth in existing merchants, which is the equivalent to same store sales.

Countries with the biggest sales growth so far are Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland with shoppers from Brazil, Canada and Australia being the most active on FiftyOne’s customer sites.

And early indications from countries ahead of us timewise show that Australia and Japan are on the way to high double digit growth for Cyber Monday as well.

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