Cyber Monday Now Sees Early Morning, Evening Traffic

The Monday after Thanksgiving continues to be a very big day for online retailers as holiday shoppers turn to the Web after braving brick-and-mortar retail stores on Black Friday.

But rather than shopping online from work during their lunch hour as in past Cyber Mondays, the heaviest shopping traffic is occurring during the early morning and evenings, according to, a division of the National Retail Federation, which claims to have coined the "Cyber Monday" term in 2005.

The shift in online shopping patterns reflects the fact that many consumers now have the kind of high-speed Internet connections at home that they once had only at work. The original driver for Cyber Monday was that consumers began their online holiday shopping on the day they returned to work after Thanksgiving and were able to take advantage of the high-speed networks they used at the office.

But that's apparently no longer the case. said Tuesday that online retailers experienced softer-than-expected sales during the lunch hour, but recorded heavy traffic and sales in the early morning and again between 5 p.m. and midnight.

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"More families have high-speed Internet access at home and don't need to rely on their work computers to make holiday purchases, which makes the early morning and evening hours crucial for retail sales," said Scott Silverman, executive director.

The biggest hour for traffic at the site was between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. EST when it received 1.2 million hits.

Results of a survey released Nov. 29 found that 41.5 percent of consumers shopping online on Cyber Monday planned to shop in the early morning, 32.9 percent planned to shop in the early evening and 22.7 percent planned to do so in the late evening. Overall, the survey found that 91.5 percent had plans to shop online from home on Cyber Monday while only 13.5 percent planned to shop online at work, with a few shopaholics obviously planning on doing both.

Altogether 96.5 million Americans planned to shop online on Cyber Monday, according to the survey, up from 85 million in 2008.