Cyber Monday set for record takings in US

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NEW YORK: Cyber Monday was on track to become the biggestInternet shopping day in the United States as people snapped up bargains on toys and electronics, with many more buying from their phones.

The shopping event is expected to generate US$6.6 billion (S$8.9 billion) in sales, up from US$5.6 billion a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measured 80 per cent of all online transactions from the top 100 US web retailers.

Amazon said it broke sales records over the weekend and was on pace to do so on Cyber Monday.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday, during which shoppers spent US$7.9 billion, according to Adobe, had also generated record online sales.

The world's biggest shopping event was China's Singles' Day earlier this month, in which Alibaba Group Holding reported sales of US$25.4 billion.

Online sales have brightened the overall outlook for traditional US retailers that have expanded beyond brick-and-mortar.

However, the availability of deals and promotions for weeks hurt foot traffic at stores. The lengthening of the holiday shopping season had another effect: Many Cyber Monday promotions were unremarkable.

"It is not as exciting as what the marketing makes it out to be," said Mr Guru Hariharan, the chief executive of e-commerce software firm Boomerang Commerce.

"The majority of these 'deals' have been around since early November, or late October." - REUTERS