This year's Cyber Monday was the biggest day in the history of online shopping, with a record $1.25 billion in sales, up from $1.03 billion last year, according to research firm comScore. Online sales were very strong all through the holiday weekend, but the following Monday "is increasing in importance, with virtually all retailers getting involved and more consumers knowing it for big discounts," a comScore analyst tells the Wall Street Journal.
The growth in online sales eclipsed Black Friday's 7% rise in in-store purchases. Payments made via smartphones or tablet computers were up a whopping 500%, according to PayPal. Thanksgiving sales may not be a reliable indicator of where the economy is headed, "but as the biggest consumer nation on earth, it tells us where we're headed as a business culture," writes Jordan Weissman at the Atlantic. "Our future is on our phones. And the companies that learn to compete in that environment are the companies that will survive." (Read more Thanksgiving weekend shopping stories.)