Online retail: 4.6M visitors a minute

Cyber Monday traffic and sales reported at a blistering pace. Retailers say 72 million people will shop sometime during the day.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Online retailers were set to break one-day records for traffic and sales, as consumers hunted down Cyber Monday bargains.

By 2 p.m. ET, more than 300 retailing Web sites tracked by Internet monitoring firm Akamai were drawing 4.6 million visitors per minute - a three-year record for most traffic in a single day to retail Web sites.

Akamai said that its Net Usage Index - which monitors North American visitors to sites such as jcpenney.com, Bestbuy.com and Circuitcity.com - said traffic was up more than 80 percent compared to a normal Monday.

In addition, ComScore Networks estimates that Cyber Monday sales will surpass $700 million, which would make it the heaviest online spending day on record.

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