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Happily shared via USA Today
2:58PM EST November 26. 2012 – Cyber Monday got off to a fast start with some sites showing huge sales and traffic spikes, despite all of the busy online shopping days that preceded it.
As of 12 p.m. ET, online sales at 500 of the top online retailers were up 24.1% over the same period last year, according to IBM Smarter Commerce.
There were no early reports of crashes or major slowdowns on overloaded websites. Websites “in general are better prepared then in prior years,” says .Brad Wilson of BradsDeals.com.
Wilson’s own CyberMonday2012.com site struggled to accomodate a 40% increase in traffic for the 24 hours starting at noon Sunday. He was able to add add more virtual servers last night through Amazon Web Services, which does much of the site’s web hosting.
“I think this move to virtual web hosting in the much-discussed ‘cloud’ is a part of why the day is better overall,” says Wilson.
A final judgment on how successful the day is for retailers won’t be called until the very end of the day, she says.
While in past years, online shopping has usually peaked around the middle of the day Monday, heavy traffic will likely extend through the night this year, says Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, an analyst for Forrester Research.
“People have their phones with them or their tablets,” she says. “There’s just more ambient shopping time…There’s going to be a lot of shopping right up until the deadlines of whenever offers are available.”