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ComScore: So far, online holiday sales are up

Company releases metrics for Cyber Monday and the holiday season to date. And like statistics from other research firms, the numbers are heartening for retailers.

The 2009 holiday season thus far is revealing much stronger online sales figures than what was witnessed in 2008, market-research firm ComScore announced late Wednesday.

According to the company, which has monitored spending for the first 30 days of the November-December shopping season, sales are up 3 percent to $12.26 billion, compared to the same period in 2008. Cyber Monday sales hit $887 million in online spending, tallying a 5 percent gain over the same day last year. That amount also matched "the biggest spending day on record, December 9, 2008."

"We've seen an encouraging start to the online holiday shopping season and it would appear that retailers' aggressive and early marketing efforts have so far succeeded in persuading consumers to open their wallets online," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday were atypically strong online sales days this year, and Cyber Monday has continued that trend by outperforming the season-to-date average growth rate and matching last year's record day of $887 million in online spending."

The good news doesn't stop there. Cyber Monday also saw an increase in the number of buyers, ComScore found. The total number of online buyers grew 6 percent to 8.7 million people. That said, the average amount each person spent dropped 2 percent to $102.19.

True to the day's origins, the majority of sales originated from work computers. The company found that 52.7 percent of all purchases were completed in the office. Just 41.6 percent of shoppers picked up items from home, ComScore said.

ComScore wasn't the only company reporting strong numbers this week. eBay said that Cyber Monday transactions outpaced Black Friday's by a whopping 35 percent. More than 2.4 million transactions were completed on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, eBay said. The site even has a heat-map graphic that shows how the transactions pored in over the course of those days.

ComScore and eBay's data follows another strong report from marketing-optimization company Coremetrics, which said earlier this week that sales were up 13.7 percent at some online retailers that it received data from.