The holiday shopping season is upon us, and internet marketers may be happy to learn that Cyber Monday sales suggest consumers are loosening their purse strings to make online purchases.

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and internet marketers may be happy to learn that Cyber Monday sales suggest consumers are loosening their purse strings to make online purchases. Coremetric's Benchmark Cyber Monday 2010 report reveals that online sales were up year-over-year yesterday, and they showed an increase over Black Friday as well.

Consumer spending was up 31.1 percent on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday this year. The average order value was $194.89, compared to Friday's $190.80. Plus, year-over-year sales increased by 19.4 percent yesterday, and the average order value showed considerable gains over Cyber Monday 2009, when orders averaged $180.03.

The full report offers insight about sales across industries, with luxury goods in particular showing big sales gains. Purchases for various products peaked at 9:00 PST/ noon EST, so marketers must remember that promotions targeting early birds pay off.

Another big Cyber Monday trend marketers should consider is the rise of social shopping. According to Coremetrics, consumers increasingly turned to social sites to learn product information, with Facebook dominating the social shopping space. This is not surprising, with Brafton's recent report that paid ads on social sites are proven to influence consumers' purchase decisions.

Additionally, mobile shopping saw gains on Cyber Monday. The Benchmark report reveals that 3.9 percent of shoppers visited retailers' sites via mobile devices. This coincides with reports that mobile commerce is on the rise.

Cyber Monday sales boosts bode well for the shopping season to come. Marketers should be sure to optimize their sites to catch clicks this week. As Brafton has reported, online holiday sales are highest during Peak Week – the first week of December.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.