Cyber Monday traffic is set to grow by 43 percent in 2010, as 4 million users per minute jostle elbow-to-elbow for the latest online deal. That's the news from Akamai, an Internet tracking firm, which released a report earlier today showing a surge in visits to sites such as QVC.com, eBags.com, and Overstock.com.
Meanwhile, several analysts have released reports from Black Friday, and the news is similarly rosy. Retail spending rose to $595 million in 2010, up 11 percent over last year, according to comScore. As for total online retail, between the dates of Nov. 1 and Nov. 27, Web retailers unloaded $10.6 billion of stock in 2009, compared to $10.3 billion in 2008.
"While this acceleration in spending suggests the online holiday season may be shaping up slightly more optimistically than anticipated, it may also reflect the heavy discounting and creative promotions being put forth by retailers that now encompass the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter," comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement.
Social media is a major platform for Cyber Monday retailers in 2009. Amazon, for instance, has been broadcasting its best deals on Twitter, while Best Buy has used its Facebook page for advertising. Already, Twitter is saturated with Cyber Monday-related phrases, including #promocode, #coupon, and #cybermonday.
Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, told Reuters that social media had become a place where consumers have conversations about products and services. "It's almost crowd sourcing for opinions," she said. "We increasingly need affirmation from our peers and our loved ones and the people that create our lifestyle to feel good about where we are buying things."
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