Some Cyber Monday traffic triples, Yahoo reports commerce outages

Early indications from the National Retail Federation and elsewhere are revealing positive sales traffic this Cyber Monday, as the headquarters site that coined the phrase triples its hit count by 1:00 pm EST.

CyberMonday.com serves as a portal site, comparing online shopping deals for the season's big-ticket items from its 550 member stores. Its hosting service reported the rollover earlier this afternoon.

Higher than normal traffic is being blamed for apparent outages in Yahoo service for its commercial customers. Many of the online retailers it hosts received this message this afternoon: "Some merchants are reporting that shoppers are receiving an error message indicating 'system unavailable' during the checkout process. We are aware of this issue and are currently investigating."

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The positive online traffic news comes as the dust settles for retailers whose physical and virtual traffic experienced surges last Black Friday. While major store sales were apparently robust, with Best Buy now signaling it's preparing to report very positive numbers for the weekend, the news may be bad for smaller stores including nationwide boutiques, such as video game outlets.

Financial analysts began signaling that smaller stores, and retailers that cater to one sector, may have experienced much lower conversion rates (customers convinced to make purchases) than discount retailers.

The huge exception to this observation, according to three major financial analysts cited by Seeking Alpha, is Apple. While iPod sales are bringing in customers to Apple Stores nationwide, it could be the Mac - believe it or not! - that rakes in the big bucks. A Piper Jaffray survey of Apple Stores sampled for 50 hours of operation show that, while the average store sells one iPhone per hour, it sells 5.3 Macs in the same time period - a higher figure for the Mac, and a lower one for the iPhone, than for a similar survey conducted last August.

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