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Cyber Monday sales break record, surpass $1.25 billion

Consumers took full advantage of Cyber Monday deals, racking up a record-breaking $1.25 billion worth of online purchases on the first business day of the week following Thanksgiving.

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After a busy Thanksgiving and stellar Black Friday, web watcher comScore predicted that Cyber Monday sales would exceed last year's record. In 2010, Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day of the year, with sales just over $1 billion.

The predictions came true. Monday's $1.25 billion tally is 22% bigger than last year's Cyber Monday haul. It's the heaviest online spending day in history, and the second day on record to surpass the billion-dollar threshold, comScore says.

There were more people shopping online, and buyers were spending more per person than they did a year ago. Overall, 10 million people bought online on Cyber Monday, up 11% from 2010. The average online buyer conducted 1.9 online transactions for a total of nearly $125 in spending (up 9%).

While employers may not be happy to hear it, half of the dollars spent online at U.S. Web sites originated from work computers (50.2%), up slightly from last year, comScore reports. Buying from home accounted for 43.2% of sales, and buying at U.S. Web sites from international locations yielded 6.6% of sales.

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Mobile shoppers did their part: 10.8% of online shoppers used a mobile device to visit a retailer's site on Cyber Monday, up from 3.9% a year ago, according to data from IBM. In terms of money spent, mobile sales as a percentage of total online shopping sales reached 6.6%, up from 2.3% in 2010.

Cyber Monday's shopping surge came on the heels of a strong Thanksgiving and Black Friday. On Thanksgiving, online shoppers spent $479 million, which is up 18% from last year's holiday sales tally, comScore reports. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, U.S. e-commerce sales jumped to $816 million, which is up 26% from last year. (ComScore's e-commerce spending figures exclude auction sites and travel sales.)

So far, U.S. retail e-commerce spending for the first 28 days of the 2011 holiday season is just over $15 billion, marking a 15% increase compared to the corresponding days last year ($13 billion).

Ann Bednarz covers IT careers, outsourcing and Internet culture for Network World. Follow Ann on Twitter at @annbednarz and check out her blog, Occupational Hazards. Her e-mail address is [email protected].

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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