November 30, 2005, 12:00 AM

By any measure, consumers were shopping online Monday in record numbers

Online retail sales on Monday grew 26% over the Monday after Thanksgiving a year ago, comScore Networks reports. Nielsen/NetRatings reports that Monday traffic to retail web sites at home and at work grew 11% over the prior Monday to 27.7 million users.

 

Online retail sales on Monday grew 26% over the Monday after Thanksgiving a year ago, reaching $485 million this year from $386 million a year ago, comnScore Networks Inc. reports. And while there has been a lot of hype and media attention over the well-known phenomenon this year of employees shopping from work on the Monday after Thanksgiving, comScore reports that that day last year was not the largest online holiday shopping day. In fact, as the 12th busiest day, it wasn’t even near the top. “Last year, peak sales actually occurred in mid December as consumers scrambled to take advantage of late-season discounts and free-shipping offers,” says Gian Fulgoni, chairman and co-founder of comScore. The growth of sales on Monday vs. a year ago was in line with growth of online sales most of the year.

For Thanksgiving through Sunday, online sales were up 26% to $925 million from $737 million a year ago, comScore reports.

If comScore numbers are any indication, retailers are not succeeding in their efforts to persuade consumers to shop online on Thanksgiving; that day recorded sales growth of 12%, with sales reaching $144 million from $128 million a year ago. Average online spending on Thursdays in October was $263 million; in November, $305.9 million.

On Friday, consumers spent $305 million, up 22% from $250 million on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2004.

Nielsen/NetRatings reports that Monday traffic to retail web sites at home and at work grew 11% over the prior Monday to 27.7 million users. It was the high point of weekend shopping, with unique users of 23.9 million on Friday, the same numbers as shopped online the previous Friday; 21.2 million on Saturday, up 8% over the Saturday a week earlier; and 21.6 million on Sunday, the same as the previous Sunday.

The idea that consumers wait to shop online until they get to work Monday gains some credence from the Nielsen/NetRatings numbers: Monday online shopping was up 9% from home computers over the prior Monday, but up 18% from work computers.

Even baseball benefited from the surge in Monday shopping: MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, said that sales at its online store rose 220% Monday over last year`s Monday after Thanksgiving. Traffic increased 200%.

 

 

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