November 27, 2001, 12:00 AM

Monday was the real start of the online shopping season, comScore reports

With $156 million in online retail sales for the day, Monday was the second highest shopping day of the year, topped only by Nov. 15. The Friday after Thanksgiving had online sales of $103 million; the Saturday-Sunday weekend, $157 million.

All those people coming back to work on Monday after the long Thanksgiving weekend and firing up their computers linked to high-speed data lines fueled the real start of the online holiday shopping season, comScore Networks Inc. reported today.

With $156 million in online retail sales for the day, Monday was the second highest shopping day of the year, topped only by Nov. 15, which was 3% higher. An average Monday sees online retail sales of $87 million. The Friday after Thanksgiving had sales of $103 million and the Saturday-Sunday weekend had retail sales of $157 million.

"While the Friday following Thanksgiving is traditionally the day to watch in the offline world, it`s the following Monday -- when people return to work and are able to use their companies’ high speed Internet connections -- that really waves the starting flag for holiday e-commerce,” said Dan Hess, comScore vice president.

Including online travel sales, Monday’s spending volume was $220 million.

Computer hardware and consumer electronics are clearly among the major gifts again this year. While those products usually account for about 20% of online spending, they leapt to 33% of online spending Monday. Computer sales grew 164% compared to an average Monday and 76% compared to last Friday. Consumer electronics grew 133% vs. the average Monday and 19% vs. last Friday.

Other gift categories posted huge increases vs. an average Monday and vs. the Friday after Thanksgiving: jewelry and watches, 248%, 83%; movies/video, 272%, 120%; music, 109%, 53%; toys, 314%; 2%; apparel, 76%, 58%.

ComScore bases its estimates on the purchase activity of a representative cross section of over 1.5 million Internet users who have given comScore permission to monitor their browsing and buying behavior.


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