Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

December 3, 2013

Americans turn to mobile devices for Cyber Monday

NEW YORK (AP) — Power up and shop.

Millions of Americans logged on to e-commerce sites Monday to take advantage of deals ranging from free shipping to hundreds of dollars off electronics and half-price clothing on what was expected to be the busiest Internet shopping day of the year. And many of those purchases were made using mobile devices.

The spending surge associated with Cyber Monday came after a disappointing Thanksgiving holiday weekend in stores. It also showed that shoppers are increasingly comfortable buying on tablets and smartphones.

Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com, said 2013 would be the "tipping point" for mobile shopping.

Early results indicated online shopping was up 17. 5 percent compared with the same time last year, according to figures by IBM Benchmark. Mobile devices accounted for more than 29 percent of all online traffic.

Brandon Harris, 27, from Memphis, Tenn., started shopping at midnight Sunday and by Monday had spent around $300 and completed half of his Christmas shopping, including a Barbie doll for his niece and a TV for his mother.

"I haven't shopped for a Christmas present in a store in three years," he said, making purchases from his iPad instead. "It's a lot more convenient to be at home and shop."

The National Retail Federation, a trade group, predicted that more than 131 million people would shop online Monday, up about 2 percent from last year. Meanwhile, UPS expected to pick up more than 32 million packages on Monday, about a million more than on the same day last year.

Research firm comScore forecast Cyber Monday sales of $2 billion, up from about $1.47 billion last year. Online sales account for about 10 percent of total holiday spending, which was projected to grow about 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion for the months of November and December.

Anderson predicted that Cyber Monday would be the site's busiest day ever.

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