December 4, 2008, 12:00 AM

More shoppers made online purchases Monday, but spent less per person

Deep discounts on the Monday after Thanksgiving enticed more consumers to visit their favorite retail sites looking for deals, but the economy made them think twice about pulling out their credit cards, comScore Inc. reports.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Deep discounts on the Monday after Thanksgiving enticed more consumers to visit their favorite retail sites looking for deals, but the economy made them think twice about pulling out their credit cards, comScore Inc. reports.

Online retail sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving increased 15% over last year, but the number of buyers was up 22%. Meanwhile, the amount spent on average per online shopper fell 5%, comScore says. This decline in dollars per buyer is a result of the average consumer completing fewer purchases, comScore says.

"Because of the extremely attractive prices offered by a myriad of retailers, it shouldn`t be surprising that nearly two million more consumers purchased online this Cyber Monday compared to last,” says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “But, because of their reduced spending power it`s also evident that those who did buy were unable or unwilling to spend as much per person as we saw last year.”

Cyber Monday is the term coined by online retailer trade group Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, for the Monday after Thanksgiving.

ComScore offered the following breakdown of sales (in millions), with 2007’s number, 2008’s number, as well as number of buyers (in millions) and percent change for the two years:

  • Amount Spent, $733, $846, 15%

  • Number of Buyers, 7,585, 9,254, 22%

  • Dollars per Buyer, $96.62, $91.43, -5%

  • Average Transaction Value, $53.89, $55.76, 3%

  • Transactions per Buyer, 1.79, 1.64, -9%

About half of purchases made online the Monday after Thanksgiving were made from work computers, 30% were made from homes, 3% from universities and 7% from international locations, comScore reports.

Additionally, more than 57 million U.S. consumers visited retail sites Monday-a 33% increase over average daily visitors to e-commerce sites for November. The top retailer site for traffic was eBay, increasing 45% over average November traffic to nearly 13 million. That was followed by Amazon retail sites with 9.2 million, an increase of 56%; Wal-Mart with 6.8 million visitors, a rise of 90%; and Target Corp. with 4.8 million visitors, up 54%.

Additionally, comScore reports more web shoppers trekked to comparison shopping sites to find out where they could nab the best prices.

Shopzilla.com ranked No. 1 as a resource site with nearly 2 million visitors, up 98% from the average for November. It was trailed by Yahoo Shopping with 1.9 million visitors, an increase of 81%, and Google Product Search with 1.1 million consumers, up 59%.

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