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Holiday Shoppers Head Online for "Cyber Monday"

HolidaysTechnology IndustryE-Commerce IndustryThanksgivingCyber MondayBlack Friday (shopping)

NEW YORK -- After a weekend of strong online sales, retail websites are rolling out the gimmicks on "Cyber Monday" to draw buyers.

The sales promotions on the Monday after Thanksgiving got theirname from a retail trade group, which promoted the idea thatpeople, upon returning to work, would log onto their computersthere and shop.

Now it's about the deals online in the way that Black Fridaymeans a shopping frenzy in stores. In fact, as stores promote BlackFriday discounts online, it's getting harder to tell the differencebetween the two as sellers try to grab dollars any way and at anytime they can.

IBM's Coremetrics predicts the discounts, free shipping offersand other come-ons will make Cyber Monday the busiest onlineshopping day of the season.

The promotion follows a weekend that saw strong sales online.From Thanksgiving through Saturday, online spending rose 14percent, according to Coremetrics data. It also said shoppers werebuying 15 percent more items per order.

Online research firm comScore reported late Sunday thate-commerce spending for the first 26 days of November rose 13percent, reaching $11.64 billion, compared with the same period ayear ago. Black Friday saw $648 million in online sales, marking a9 percent increase compared with the same day last year.Thanksgiving Day, helped by merchants' concentrated efforts to pushexclusive deals, enjoyed $407 million in spending, up 28 percentfrom Thanksgiving 2009.

Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman, said in a statement that he isseeing consumers beginning to buy "online in a more meaningful wayon Thanksgiving Day, which has historically seen low buyingactivity."

Some retailers had already started touting "Cyber Monday,"including Amazon.com, which was offering the "Medal of Honor"

Xbox 360 game for $34.99, down from $59.99, and a $499 KitchenAidProfessional stand mixer for $299.99.

Walmart.com is promoting "Cyber Week" discounts from Sundaythrough next Friday, including a 24-inch 1080p HDTV for $199.

Online spending is still a relatively small piece of the holidaypie, between 8 and 10 percent by various estimates. But devoteesare confirmed in their enthusiasm for its convenience.

Scott Miller, a police officer from New York, plans to only shoponline this Christmas.

"All of my shopping is going to be over the Internet," hesaid. "Because of my job I don't have enough time to go out,especially at Christmastime, because I want to catch the (overtime)hours."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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