(CBS News) – Some fifty million Americans visited online retail sites on Friday. They’re about to break that record today, scoring the Internet for Web-only deep discounts and special promotions.
Welcome to Cyber Monday, a day when online retailers offer deals to holiday shoppers, has turned into a tradition in the last year. Indeed, Comscore, an online research company, says that online sales on this Cyber Monday could reach a record $1.2 billion. If so, it would be a welcome follow-on to the momentum which started on Friday, when Black Friday online sales reached $816 million, according to Comscore, which said that Amazon.com, Wal-Mart and Best Buy, Target. and Apple garnered the most traffic.
Friday’s online sales were up from $648 million a year earlier, a 26 percent increase.
Where are the hot deals? Amazon and Walmart launched weeklong online sales promotions on Sunday. Amazon’s offers included a discounted price of $259 on a Kindle DX e-reader that normally sells at $379. That offer was scheduled to end Monday. Walmart expanded its Cyber Week offerings with more than 250 online-only specials, with savings of up to 40 percent. Walmart also offered free shipping on orders of $45 or more. For more, check out the coverage by our sister sites CNET and ZDNet, which have pointers to gadget deals available today on the Internet.