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Cyber Monday: Online shoppers set single-day spending record

Black Monday may have been a dud for U.S. retailers, but Cyber Monday saw record spending by online shoppers.

Sales for the day hit $2.04 billion, up a sizable 17 percent on last year, research firm comScore reported on Tuesday.

It’s the first time online spending in the U.S. has exceeded $2 billion in a single day of shopping, with sales for the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday hitting $6.6 billion in all, marking an increase of 24 percent over last year, comScore said.

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“Any notion that Cyber Monday is declining in importance is really unfounded, as it continues to post new historical highs and reflects the ongoing strength of online this holiday season,” comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a release detailing the stats.

He added that while slow Black Friday sales led some commentators to point to a weakness in the consumer economy, what may actually be happening is “an accelerating shift to online buying as mobile phones spur increased showrooming activity. The data we’re seeing suggest it may be more a change in shopping behavior than a lack of consumer demand.”

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While data from IBM suggested a slightly smaller increase in online spending for Cyber Monday compared to last year – 8.5 percent – it agreed with comScore that the figures set a new record for single-day shopping online.

The fact that many big-name retailers started running online deals earlier than usual this year suggests that had they saved them till Cyber Monday, the sales figures for December 1 would’ve been even higher.

“Consumers are not holding back their purchases for deals on certain days anymore and that trend is becoming increasingly clear,” Jay Henderson, strategy program director at IBM, told Reuters.

How was your Cyber Monday shopping experience? Snag any standout deals?