Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In yet another eChristmas forecast, Cyber Dialogue estimates that 19.4 million Americans will shop online this holiday season. The figure represents 28% of online adults and 10% of all U.S. adults.
The total includes only adults who said they previously had made online purchases or who hadn't yet purchased online but plan to do so this holiday season.
The firm also projects that e-retail spending will double the $3.9 billion spent during the holidays last year. That translates to an average of $400 per holiday shopper, a figure buoyed by purchasers of major products such as appliances, home furnishings and computers.
E-retail sites will see peak sales this month, especially among Web newcomers: 51% of all Internet users and 73% of news users plan to do most of their online shopping in November.
"Cyber Dialogue found last year that the holiday shopping season catalyzed families to shop online, and that many of those families remained online throughout 1999," says Thomas E. Miller, the New York City-based firm's vice president.