This week's Cyber Monday, the annual day of Internet sales after Thanksgiving, pulled in 19.4% more online purchases than last year, boding well for the rest of the holiday shopping season, a research firm reported Tuesday.
Web sales were also estimated to be 31.1% higher than on Black Friday, three days earlier.
One important factor in Internet shopping on Monday was the move by many major retailers to offer free shipping and other aggressive discounts to lure consumers, said John Squire, of the research firm Coremetrics, in a statement.
"Consumers this year appear much more willing to open their wallets and are turning to online stores for the convenience of shopping wherever and whenever they like," he said.
According to the firm, the average online shopper spent $194.89, up 8.3% from $180.03 last year. Affluent shoppers drove sales of luxury items, such as jewelry, up 24.3% over 2009, the company reported.
About 4% of shoppers Monday bought items by using a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet computer, Coremetrics said.
One thing the research firm didn't report on was precisely how much revenue Cyber Monday generated for online retailers, though Monday was likely the biggest shopping day of the year, surpassing even Black Friday, Squire said.
While consumers online have little choice but to pay by credit card, Black Friday was a different story. Only about 16.3% of consumers on Black Friday bought goods with credit cards, a significant drop from last year when 30.9% of shoppers chose card over cash, according to a report from America's Research Group and financial services firm UBS.