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Strong mobile spending fuels record $3.1 billion on Cyber Monday

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online this “Cyber Monday,” making it the biggest online shopping day ever.

Research firm comScore said shopping by phone, laptop or tablet jumped 21 per cent to $3.11 billion Monday.

The 10-year-old shopping holiday has lost some of its lustre as retailers push sales forward on the calendar to Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Yet “Cyber Monday” has become engrained in the minds of enough shoppers and it endures as the top online spending day of the year.

“Despite some talk of Cyber Monday declining in importance, the day’s historical highs and continued strong growth rates confirm it is still a hugely important shopping event,” said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni.

It’s the sixth year in a row that Cyber Monday has been top online sales day on record. Mobile spending, or sales via smartphones and tablets, jumped 53 per cent to $838 million, making up 27 per cent of total online spending. Top online shopping destinations included Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Target and Best Buy.

The spending spree comes even as several retailers had problems during Cyber Monday. Amazon said some orders in the U.S. and Canada had incorrectly applied shipping charges, but it discovered the error and refunded the charges. Target’s Web site was briefly offline due to high traffic.

ComScore expects online sales to rise 14 per cent to $70.06 billion during the November and December shopping period, slowing slightly from last year’s 15 per cent rise. Online sales make up 10 per cent of overall retail sales, but that increases to 15 per cent during the holidays as online shoppers snap up Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, according to research firm Forrester.

The name “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 by the National Retail Federation’s online arm, called Shop.org, to encourage people to shop online. The name was also a nod to online shopping being done at work where faster connections made it easier to browse. Now, even with broadband access, Cyber Monday continues to be a day when retailers pull out big promotions.

The NRF estimates overall sales for November and December will rise 3.7 per cent to $630.5 billion compared with last year.

Shopper Diane Boral, from Oxnard, California, found toys, games and clothing at Kohls.com for 20 per cent off.

“Most of my shopping is done online, only because I have more time to browse for items,” she said.