Retail Web sites have bumped back deadlines and offer free express shipping after weekend snowstorms kept holiday shoppers home in large areas of the East Coast.
Meanwhile, some bricks-and-mortar stores are extending early morning bargains that had been offered on Saturday through Wednesday.
Amazon.com has extended the cutoff for standard shipping by one day through Monday. Macy’s Web site offered free shipping through Monday, and J.C. Penney through Tuesday.
The moves are a bid to capture business from snowed-in shoppers in the final days before Christmas. The weekend before Christmas is one of the busiest of the year, but snow that stretched from the Carolinas to New England closed malls and kept shoppers off slick roads.
Web retailers saw heavy traffic during the weekend. On Friday and Saturday, online sales rose 24 percent from the same days last year, Web research company Coremetrics said. It also showed the average shopper spending and ordering more on Saturday, when the weather’s effects were deepest, than Friday.
Retail Web traffic peaked at 2.9 million visitors per minute Saturday night, according to the Akamai Retail Net Usage Index. That was up from 1.9 million on the Saturday before Christmas in 2008, though that day — Dec. 20 — was closer to Christmas than this year.
Online spending has been a bright spot. It grew 14.4 percent through Dec. 12, according to a release Sunday from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which estimates sales in all payment forms, including cash and checks.