The same industry analysts also noted that 167 million shoppers will go on the Web to do their holiday shopping this year, spending an average of $472 during the holiday season.
What's unclear is how all of this online shopping will affect employers, who in years past saw a productivity hit as workers focused more on buying sweaters and snow shoes than on spread sheets and year-end reports.
Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester, said she doubts companies will have found much relief on Cyber Monday this year. "We're not seeing less shopping from work, but we're just seeing more shopping everywhere else," she said. "I think Internet usage from work that is non-work related is as high as ever."
Chiagouris, however, disagreed.
"Companies aren't losing as much productivity," he said. "Companies are, in fact, getting back productivity they lost because people aren't shopping from their desk as much as before because they were already electronically shopping on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's less problematic on Monday."
Mobile plays into that, as well.
According to the National Retail Federation, when asked how they plan to shop on Cyber Monday, 24.8 million, or 18.9%, said they would use their mobile device. That's a 22% increase from the 20.4 million who used their smartphones or tablets to shop last year — and an even bigger change from 2009, when only 3.7 million used mobile devices to shop.
And it means that while more people were shopping online yesterday, they could easily have been buying presents from the caf while getting their morning coffee or from the train as they commuted to work.
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