Cyber Monday brings in record sales

November 28, 2011 5:41:02 PM PST
The country's retailers are enjoying record sales as the holiday shopping season kicks off. And the so-called Cyber Monday, when online shopping deals abound, got off to a strong start.

Online sales are up 15 percent so far this Cyber Monday over last year. If that pace keeps up, Cyber Monday sales could hit $1.2 billion, compared to $1 billion last year.

In Silicon Valley, people are online all the time, so it's no surprise that shopping on Cyber Monday comes naturally.

"You don't have to go out and be in the Christmas rush for shopping," said Casey Satterlund of San Jose. "It's crazy out there."

This year shoppers are crazy about using their mobile devices.

"Mobile device has been the real standout as consumers are starting to use their iPhone, their iPad and Android devices a lot more than they did last year," said John Squire of IBM Smarter Commerce who tracks online commerce. "In fact, the growth of online sales going through mobile devices is 250 percent."

Online sites, or e-tailers, are using their usual come-ons, such as free shipping and limited time offers. However, Best Buy added a twist. Pick up your online purchase at one of its stores, and you get a $10 e-card.

Prof. Kirthi Kalyanam of Santa Clara University's Retail Management Institute says it's a novel way to lure you in to do impulse shopping.

"So if you want to buy online, great, and if you want to come and pick up in the store, great. But if I just let you pick up and walk away, you're going to walk away, and probably on that item I'm going to lose money," said Kalyanam. "So I'm going to have to try to keep you in the store somehow, so I'm going to give you an e-card."

About 150 websites have been put out of business for selling counterfeit goods this holiday season. Immigration and Customs, along with the Department of Justice, have blocked them from the Internet. Many had ties to China.

We discovered that retailers also turn to online shopping for competitive reasons.

"There are some really good deals out there, but I think it just keeps us up on our toes, and we're able to offer some really great deals this year," said Salomeh Zohouri who owns two clothing shops.

Online shoppers are buying toys, as you might expect. But, they're also buying home goods -- small appliances, furniture, bedding and kitchenware. Analysts suggest that's fueled by pent-up demand.


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