Cyber Monday brings glad tidings

Cyber Monday brings glad tidings

No calendar states it but today is Cyber Monday-- the Monday after Thanksgiving— now regarded as the kickoff of the holiday season for sales online. And early indicators of buying activity over the Internet suggest online retailers will find this season plenty jolly.

According to www.shop.org, the association for retailers online, for the past few years, Internet retailers have seen their sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving climb higher. The Shop.org/BizRate Research 2005 eHoliday Mood Study indicated that 77% of online retailers said their sales increased substantially last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving. And that trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions right now during this year’s Cyber Monday.

Shop.org has forecasted that 58.9-million consumers will shop online today, whether from home or at work, in what it expects will be one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. “On Cyber Monday, consumers set their sights on surfing for holiday gifts and shopping online,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org. “This year, online retailers will be capitalizing on the increased traffic by offering special promotions and discounts.”

Information consultancy comScore Networks has reported that consumers spent more than $380 million on last year’s Cyber Monday—which represented a 29% increase over 2003 activity. And comScore is predicting that consumer spending on retail goods at U.S. Internet sites will exceed $19 billion during the November/December ’05 holiday season—making for approximately 24% higher growth over the same period in ’04.

Cyber Monday receipts will be helped along by the many online retailers that will offer extra incentives to encourage such shopping. According to the eHoliday Mood Study , 43% of online retailers plan to offer special promotions and discounts on Cyber Monday. These deals will range from free shipping to gifts with purchase to percentages off.

The survey also indicates the biggest Cyber Monday winners last year were jewelry/luxury retailers, with 89%t of websites seeing substantial increases in sales, and consumer electronics retailers at 86%. Retailers offering food, beverages, or other gourmet items (83%) and furniture and home décor (80%) also saw above-average gains.

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