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Cyber Monday Sets Records

As countless Americans and visiting Canadians partook in “Black Friday” last week, so many others decided to wait until this past Monday to take advantage of major discounts offered by retailers. Known as “Cyber Monday”, this past Monday has become the busiest online shopping day ever. This past Monday, in fact, was confirmed as a record-setting $1 billion day for online sales.

As Mae Anderson of the Associated Press reports today, “Cyber Monday” this year garnered a sales increase of 16 per cent from a year ago. As a matter of fact, this past Monday marked the first time in history that there was over $1 billion in one-day spending!

For many Canadian shoppers, “Cyber Monday” was a welcome alternative to driving long hours, crossing the border into the States, waiting in long line ups in the cold and crashing their way into crowded department stores. Instead, from the comfort of their own homes, many were able to get great deals on some very popular gift items.

It is likely that more shopping will take place online throughout December, as the internet increasingly becomes a popular source for finding bargains. In addition, the convenience of not having to even leave home to shop is a large reason why online shopping is a growing trend.

Even still, Anderson points out that statistics show that hitting the mall is still as popular an activity as it ever was. Online shopping still only makes up to 8 to 10 per cent of all holiday shopping. There is reason to believe, however, that over the coming years, this number will rise.

Gian Gulgoni, the chairman of comScore had this to say: “While we anticipate that there will be more billion-dollar spending days ahead as we get deeper into the season, only time will tell if overall consumer online spending remains at the elevated levels we’ve seen thus far.”

Nevertheless, “Cyber Monday” was the most successful day in PayPal’s history as online payments rose 19 per cent from last year. This is a significant finding considering that American consumers are generally considered to still believe that their economy is still in a recession.

Writes Anderson: “The Cyber Monday figures come a day after a report showed American’s confidence in the economy rose to a five-month high in November and is welcome news for retailers hoping that Americans start spending more freely. But shoppers are still holding out for bargains and spending cautiously as unemployment remains high.”

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