Cyber Monday Breaking Records So Far, Akamai Says

Today is Cyber Monday—the Internet sequel to the Black Friday retailing rush. And according to Cambridge, MA-based Akamai, whose global network of content servers is used by hundreds of large e-commerce sites to accelerate website performance, traffic to e-retail sites is approaching record-breaking levels today as consumers try to complete their holiday gift-giving online.

Akamai’s Net Usage Index for Retail, which aggregates data for a representative set of more than 280 retail sites using Akamai’s services, showed that as of 10:00 a.m. this morning, Eastern time, about 5.32 million people per minute were visiting retail sites supported by Akamai. That number already surpassed the 2007 Cyber Monday peak of 4.6 million visitors per minute.

But by 11:00 a.m. traffic had risen to some 5.80 million visitors per minute. And it seemed on track to surpass the global retail traffic record of 6.50 million visitors per minute, set yesterday (November 30).

Online traffic was impressive on Black Friday as well, peaking at 5.96 million visitors per minute at 12:00 p.m., well above 2007’s Black Friday peak of 4.04 million visitors per minute. About half of Friday’s peak traffic was from North America.

Akamai agreed to supply Xconomy with additional data as the day continues, so please check back for updates to this story.

Update, 4:10 pm, 12/1/08: Monday e-retail traffic through the Akamai network reached a peak of 6,713,653 visitors per minute today at roughly 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, setting a new record.

Traffic from North America peaked at around 1:45 pm at 3,106,453 visitors per minute. (Data for additional regions is online here.)

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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