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Online sales keep setting records, more to come

Online sales are up 13% so far this holiday season and approaching a record $27 billion, according to the latest tally from the digital measurement firm comScore.

From November 1 through December 7, comScore puts total online spending at $26.8 billion, up 13% from $23.7 billion during the comparable period last year. Last week saw spending on December, 3, 4 and 5 each surpass $1 billion, according to the firm. That brings the number of billion spending days to seven. The highest volume day so far was Cyber Monday when sales hit nearly $1.5 billion.

"Despite posting three consecutive billion-dollar spending days and five in excess of $950 million, this past week saw a noticeable softening in e-commerce momentum as growth rates dipped into single-digits after beginning the season in the mid-teens," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "However, we expect this lull to be a temporary effect having more to do with the extended shopping calendar this year with two additional shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, rather than weakening consumer fundamentals. This upcoming week led by Green Monday is likely to be the heaviest online spending week in history with a realistic chance of delivering five billion-dollar days."

According to the company, Green Monday got its moniker several years ago because of the widely held misconception at the time that Cyber Monday was the heaviest online shopping day of the season when in reality it was lucky to crack the top ten. Green Monday came to refer to that Monday near mid-December when online spending actually tended to peak as consumers hurried to finish their online shopping in time for shipments to arrive before Christmas.

"While we still see that steady build in spending continuing into mid-December, Cyber Monday's intense promotional activity has vaulted it into the top spot in recent years while Green Monday has had to settle for a spot in the top three. Still, it should be a very active online shopping day that will post a strong total when all is said and done," Fulgoni said.