Holiday Shoppers Head Online in Droves to Pick up Cyber Monday Deals

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NEW YORK (AP) - Cyber Monday appears on track to becoming the biggest online shopping day ever, and web traffic isn't expected to peak for another several hours.

IBM Benchmark says, as of noon Eastern time, sales were up more than 24 percent compared with last year.

And ComScore says nearly $14 billion already has been spent online this holiday season, a 16 percent increase.

Analysts say the online sales are growing as shoppers become comfortable with, if not hooked on the convenience of the Web and the deals to be found. Adding to the boom are sales from smartphones and tablet computers.

The National Retail Federation coined the term "Cyber Monday" in 2005 as data showed people were doing a lot of shopping on their work computers on the Monday following Thanksgiving. But it now looks like the advances in technology could allow companies to reclaim some of that lost productivity. The group's digital division says people are relying less on work computers to shop with the growth in high speed Internet access and the popularity of mobile devices.