Cyber Monday shoppers jam internet

NEW YORK Cyber Monday generated record volume online that caused traffic jams at some retail sites. And while the final numbers are still coming in, total sales for the day are expected to equal or exceed the $700 million forecast by research firm ComScore Networks.

According to Internet tracking firm Akamai, online traffic peaked at 4.6 million visitors per minute at the more than 300 retail Internet site it tracks. The peak traffic was 37 percent higher than Cyber Monday in 2006.

That traffic also created problems at a few Web sites. Matt Poepsel, a vice president at online research firm Gomez, reported slow checkout times at Toysrus.com, Costco.com and CompUSA.com and said smaller retailers using Yahoo reported glitches during the payment process.

As usual, consumer electronics were the main draw for online shoppers looking for bargains. Some of the deals included $50 instant savings on digital cameras at Bestbuy.com and $300 off a Garmin GPS navigation system at Walmart.com. Wal-Mart also said that it’s extending Cyber Monday for the entire week and plans to offer new bargains each day.

Shop.org, the group that coined the “Cyber Monday” phrase in 2005, expected 72 million people to shop online Monday. And while sales were heavy yesterday, Cyber Monday isn’t likely to be the busiest day of the year. The top online sales day in 2006 was Dec. 13 and on Dec. 12 in 2005. Online sales are expected to top $39 billion during the holiday season this year.

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