November 29, 2005 12:24 PM PST

Cyber Monday exceeds last year's holiday sales peak

Online shopping got a shot in the arm Monday according to figures released Tuesday by credit card processor Visa USA. Sales were higher than last year's biggest online holiday shopping day and they arrived even earlier in the holiday season.

This bodes well for online merchants, who will likely post even larger numbers in the days ahead, said Brad Nightengale, Visa's vice president of emerging products. Strong online sales had been anticipated for "Cyber Monday," the day shoppers returned to work after the Thanksgiving holiday and used their employers' high-speed Internet connections to make online purchases.

Consumers rang up $505 million in Visa-related transactions on Cyber Monday, 26 percent more than the same time last year. Notably, that sales volume was larger than last year's biggest holiday shopping day, which didn't occur until Dec. 1, when online shoppers spent $481 million.

"Today is only Nov. 29, so I would expect to see even higher volumes than this in the next few days," said Nightengale. "E-tailers will have a banner year this year."

That sentiment is shared by Pinny Gniwisch, who oversees marketing for online jewelry store Ice.com.

On Monday the six-year-old company posted a 94 percent increase in sales and an 82 percent increase in traffic, as compared to the same day a year ago.

"We find a lot of people do shopping on the weekday," Gniwisch said. "And although we had huge growth on Monday, we think it'll be even better on Tuesday."

Employees returning to work on Monday are busy trolling through the e-mail that has accumulated in their inboxes over the holidays, leaving more free time to shop on Tuesday, he added, characterizing the day as Cyber Tuesday.

Ice.com sales were already up 130 percent by late morning on Tuesday, compared with the same day last year, Gniwisch said.

"Last year, our growth in November was good but not great. This year, it's unbelievable," he added.

Free shipping for orders of all sizes has played a role in boosting sales, as did a 10 percent discount offered in the past week, Gniwisch said. The average order is $205 this year; last year it was $140, he noted.

On Cyber Monday, online sales accounted for nearly 14.9 percent of $3.4 billion in Visa-related transactions, the company reported.

Overall online sales have been strong this month for e-commerce merchants, with Visa-related transactions up by 41 percent on Thanksgiving day alone, according to Visa.

5 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
"Cyber Monday" is a marketing myth
It's not even a particularly busy shopping day. See

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/nov2005/nf20051129_9946_db016.htm?campaign_id=rss_tech" target="_newWindow">http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/nov2005/nf20051129_9946_db016.htm?campaign_id=rss_tech</a>

for a journalist who actually bothered to look behind all the breathless hype.
Posted by (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please stop
If you were to look through search index archives, you'd see the phrase "Cyber Monday" didn't even exist in measurable usage before this September.

The more 'journalists' write articles using "Cyber Monday" the more people will believe it's a legitimate term about a legitimate phenomenon.

Please don't perpetuate misinformation by parroting what you saw others say.
Posted by lordbear (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
c|net News or c|net PR Tool?
c|net, do you employ journalists? "Cyber Monday" is a marketing ploy, similar to Valentine's Day. c|net is being used to drive this internet marking campaign. Let the internet companies by ad placements from c|net, don't give it to freely.
Posted by ThreadSurfer (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree...
While it might be a fact that people buy more stuff on this day, it's
ridiculous to try to make an event out of it where one doesn't exist.
I never heard of "cyber Monday" until I read a brief article about it
the other day. When I searched on Google all I came up with was
articles from news sites...no retailers, no personal/group websites,
just the media.

Oy with the poodles already...
Posted by soakley75 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Ridiculous
Another made up day which generates more marketing hype which in turn generates more sales (because people are just so gullible!), and more ways for our children to forget the real meaning of the holidays.

I'm sure most are not taught, or don't even know the true meaning of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Sorry to gripe, but this whole world is going down the toilet...
Posted by tpullano (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.