US sets record for online retail spending

Online retail spending hit a record $733m (£356m) on 'Cyber Monday', the Monday after Thanksgiving which usually represents the first significant spike in online holiday spending in the US.

The spend figure increased by 21% on last year and was an 84% jump from the average daily online spending totals during the preceding four weeks, according to ComScore.

More than $10.7bn has been spent online during the holiday season, covering the first 26 days of November, a 17% increase on the same period last year.

ComScore also found that the number of online buyers was up 38% compared to Cyber Monday 2006, while the average number of dollars spent per buyer was down 12%.

Amazon attracted the most visitors during the shopping frenzy, up 26% compared to the same day last year, and up 50% compared to the average daily visitors during the previous four weeks.

Wal-Mart was in second place, up 103% on last year, followed by Target Corporation, which saw an increase of 86%.

The Monday after Thanksgiving has been promoted as Cyber Monday since 2005 by the National Retail Federation because of a pattern of increased online shopping after the US holiday weekend., a site for online retailers to advertise their holiday season promotions also experienced strong gains, attracting 56% more visitors than last year.

In the UK, December 3 is predicted to be the busiest day of the year for online shopping by online electrical retailer 247electrical. The company, which has been tracking Christmas spending trends for the last five years, said that November 30 will be the last payday before Christmas for many people.

Dominic Yacoubian, 247electrical's managing director, said: "Many are taking refuge in the internet. We have seen no let up in spending patterns in the back end of this year. Everything points to a surge in shopping in the run up to Christmas."

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