Online retail sales and payments made by mobile phone increased from a year earlier as shoppers flocked to the Web for deals and made purchases via wireless handsets on the first Monday after Thanksgiving.
Sales over the Internet increased 15 percent as of 6 p.m. New York time on so-called Cyber Monday, compared with a year earlier, according to International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Mobile payment volume increased more than sixfold, or by 514 percent, as of 2 p.m., said PayPal, a division of EBay (EBAY) Inc.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), EBay and other Internet retailers pay close attention to buying on the Monday after Thanksgiving, when many people step up Web purchasing of holiday gifts. Online spending today may rise to $1.2 billion from $1.03 billion last year, according to ComScore Inc (SCOR), a market-research firm. Shares of Amazon and EBay climbed.
“Consumers are definitely opening their wallets again,” said Andrew Lipsman, a vice president of industry analysis at ComScore. “Consumers have been saving and got their houses in order. They are feeling a bit better about spending than the past several years.”
Internet sellers offered early discounts and set up pop-up locations leading up to Cyber Monday, aiming to grab a bigger portion of holiday sales by luring consumers from bricks-and- mortar retailers. Sales on the Web and in malls surged over the weekend, with consumers spending a record $52.4 billion, the National Retail Federation said.
Shares of Seattle-based Amazon, the No. 1 e-commerce company, jumped 6.4 percent to $194.15 at the close in New York, the biggest gain in more than three months. EBay, based in San Jose, California, rose 5.1 percent to $29.66, its largest increase since mid-September.
Online Shopping at Work
E-commerce sales in November and December will rise 15 percent to $37.6 billion, Reston, Virginia-based ComScore estimated. The researcher said Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, brought $816 million in online sales.
Shopping from wireless devices is also on the rise this year, Armonk, New York-based IBM said in a statement, with about 12 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retail site today, and 6.7 percent using one to make a purchase.
Many consumers wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to make online purchases, some of them taking advantage of faster, more robust Internet connections available from offices. Half of U.S. workers plan to spend time shopping via the Web this holiday season, on par with 52 percent last year, according to a survey by Careerbuilder.com.
Of that tally, 34 percent will spend an hour or more shopping this season, according to the survey of 4,384 workers and 2,696 employers. It was conducted from Aug. 16 to Sept. 8.
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