Online sales jump on Cyber Monday, eBay shines

Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:05pm EST
 
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By Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Online sales jumped on Cyber Monday, sending e-commerce retailers' shares higher and suggesting strong growth from earlier in the holiday shopping season is continuing for now.

Sales on eBay Inc's online marketplace were particularly strong and Amazon.com Inc continued its rapid holiday shopping season growth, according to early Cyber Monday data released by e-commerce firm ChannelAdvisor.

EBay's shares climbed 4.9 percent to close at $51.40. The stock hit an intra-day high of $51.78, the highest level since early 2005. Amazon's shares gained 1.6 percent to $243.62.

Cyber Monday has been the biggest online shopping day in recent years, as workers return to offices and use computers to make holiday purchases. ComScore expects online sales to hit a record of about $1.5 billion by day's end.

Online sales were up 25.6 percent as of 3:00 pm EST on Monday, compared with the same period a year ago, according to International Business Machines Corp which tracks transaction data from 500 U.S. retail websites. In 2011, Cyber Monday year-over-year growth was 15 percent by 3:00 pm, IBM said.

Strong online sales growth on Thanksgiving Day and "Black Friday" sparked concern that shoppers were just buying earlier, threatening revenue later in the season.

"So far, that is not the case," said Jay Henderson, the strategy director for IBM Smarter Commerce. "Extending the shopping season has really just fueled additional online spending rather than cannibalizing days later in the season."

ChannelAdvisor said client sales - or sales generated by third-party merchants using the company's software - soared 57 percent on eBay.com early on Monday, compared with the same period in 2011.   Continued...

 
A UPS delivery man unloads boxes from a truck in New York November 26, 2012. Cyber Monday's online sales got off to a brisk start, sending e-commerce retailers' shares higher and suggesting strong growth from earlier in the holiday shopping season would continue through December. REUTERS/Keith Bedford