US retail group says Cyber Monday sales up 10% this year

Is it a recovering economy or increased trust in internet based transactions that have caused a sharp increase in consumers chasing online deals on Cyber Monday this year?

A bit of both, says National Retail Federation president Matthew Shea to the Los Angeles Times, quite wordily:

“While Black Friday weekend is not always an indicator of holiday season performance, retailers should be encouraged that a focus on value and discretionary gifts has shoppers in the spirit to spend,” he said. “As retailers look ahead to the first few weeks of December, it will be important for them to keep momentum going with savings and incentives.”

Per the trade group, Black Friday foot traffic was up from 195 million crazed shoppers in 2009 to an estimated 212 million this year, so it’s not all the convenience of shopping in your boxer shorts. Average dollars spent jumped just over 6%, from about $343 per shopper last year to $365 on average this year.

A consultant for a management firm speaking to the paper said that examining the practices of web shoppers is an important component in measuring the impact of Cyber Monday on overall 2010 holiday season sales:

“The other thing that is important to watch is the shift to online,” [Laura] Gurski said. “Not only are consumers going out there for convenience to make their purchases in a greater number, but they’re also buying more items at a time. In years past, perhaps they’d buy five items in a transaction, now they’re buying seven.”

Did you participate in one or both shopping days? Which one yielded better deals?