Online shopping explosive growth for sites like AmazonThe popularity of this Cyber Monday has surprised many pundits, myself included. Some estimates showed online buying increased on Cyber Monday by nearly 20% since last year, and the average ticket size grew, too. It wasn't just a single day of explosive growth; spending for the entire holiday season is expected to jump by 11% to nearly $32.4 billion this year.

Individual retailers are releasing even more impressive numbers, especially online-only stores. Sales at Amazon.com jumped nearly 98%, according to a report by ChannelAdvisor, which processed roughly 500,000 Cyber Monday transactions -- about six per second.Even my mother, who's never owned or used a computer in her life, bought something online on Cyber Monday (she was visiting with more "connected" family members that day).

It appears that the phenomenon isn't just confined to Cyber Monday; we're all logging in more often for much more than research. ComScore.com projects online spending to increase 11% this year over last. According to the National Retail Federation, the percentage of people who shopped online during the long Thanksgiving weekend rose 15.2%, from 28.5% last year to 33.6% this year.

And that was before Cyber Monday. Walmart.com alone saw a 30% increase in traffic on Friday, Nov. 26 compared to last year, and a 50% jump in traffic on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, over last year.

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