Monday proved to be the biggest online spending day in history, racking up $1 billion in sales, according to ComScore. The firm cautioned the strong showing was likely driven by promotions and might not continue throughout the season.

“Cyber Monday was a historic day for e-commerce as we saw daily spending surpass $1 billion for the first time,” said ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news. At the same time, it’s important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers’ heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season. So, while we anticipate that there will be more billion-dollar spending days ahead as we get deeper into the season, only time will tell if overall consumer online spending remains at the elevated levels we’ve seen thus far.”

This story first appeared in the December 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Revenue on Monday increased 16 percent over last year, when sales reached $887 million the same day. The number of buyers on Monday grew 4 percent to 9 million, while average spending per person increased 12 percent to $114.24. The average transaction was $60.05 and buyers made an average of 1.9 purchases each during the day, said ComScore.

The top 10 most popular sites in terms of traffic Monday were, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Toys ‘R’ Us, Sears, Macy’s, Kmart and, according to Experian Hitwise.

Mobile commerce grew significantly Monday. EBay reported a sales increase of 146 percent from mobile devices Monday versus the same day last year. The company said it is on track to do more than $1.5 billion in sales over mobile devices for all of this year, nearly triple the amount in 2009.

Shoppers also visited private sale sites Monday. Sales were up 883 percent at Ideeli, the company said.

Strong online sales Thursday through Monday reflect the ongoing shift from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, said analysts and retail executives. More than 33 percent of shoppers over the weekend made their purchases online, according to the National Retail Federation.

The greatest increase in online sales occurred on Thanksgiving Day, when shoppers spent 28 percent more than they did last year.

“I think the Thanksgiving surge was driven by early deals and discounts, which pulled demand forward somewhat. I don’t think mobile factored in in a meaningful way,” said ComScore analyst Andrew Lipsman.

“Retailers clearly chose to take advantage of selling on their Web stores when most stores in the nation were shut,” said Fiona Dias, executive vice president of strategy and marketing for GSI Commere, which operates more than 100 e-commerce sites and owns Rue La La.

The majority of purchases Monday occurred at work, said ComScore.

Discounts at department and specialty stores were not higher Monday than last year, according to promotion alert service Shop It to Me, which tracks discounts at more than 75 retailers, although not discounters and mass merchants.

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