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Jupiter Online Shopping Index Up 43% During First Week of Holiday Shopping Season

29 Nov, 2001 By: Hive News

Internet research firm Jupiter Media Metrix on Thursday released the first installment of its weekly holiday 2001 e-commerce series, revealing online retail results for the week ofThanksgiving, including the shopping weekend starting with Black Friday.

According to the survey, the number of different people visiting shopping sites at home and at work during Thanksgiving week increased by 43% compared to the sameweek last year, with the Jupiter Media Metrix Online Shopping Index climbingfrom 35.2 million unique visitors to 50.2 million.

"Usage of the Internet continues to grow significantly on a year-over-year basis, but the strong year-over-year growth in online shopping duringThanksgiving week demonstrates that e-commerce activity is alive and well inthe midst of an otherwise difficult economic environment," said CharlesBuchwalter, v.p. media research, Jupiter Media Metrix.

Compared to last year, traffic to retail sites on Black Friday were up68% to 16.1 million unique visitors, while visitors on Saturday were up 59% to 15.3 million and visitors on Sunday were up 55% to16.1 million. Similar to last year, the peak shopping days this year were Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when there were 21.2 million, 20.2 million and 18.9 million visitors, respectively. Thanksgiving day had the least amount of shopping activity with 13.7 million visitors.

"While the initial holiday traffic results are positive relative to last year, the key question is whether these shopping patterns will reflect the entire season," said Ken Cassar, Jupiter senior analyst. "In an effort to spread demand throughout the season, retailers like Amazon.com, Toysrus.comand 800.com are offering consumer incentives to push sales to the early portion of the holiday shopping season."

Other survey highlights include:

-- Top Shopping Sites: Similar to last year, the top three sites in this year's Index, ranked according to the number of average daily unique visitors, are Ebay.com up 57% versus last year to4.0 million average daily unique visitors; Amazon.com, up 49% to 2.3 million visitors; and Mypoints.com, up 31% to 1.8 millionvisitors. Because Jupiter Media Metrix can track online networks beyond the Web, it was noted that the shopping channel on the AOL proprietary network had 1.2 million average daily unique visitors for week one of the holiday season.

-- Top Gaining Sites: The top three sites in this year's Index, ranked according to their percent gain in traffic versus lastyear, are Ticketmaster, up 424% to 713,000 average daily unique visitors; Ebates.com, up 400% to 120,000 average daily unique visitors; and Drugstore.com, up 319% to 373,000 average daily unique visitors. The top sites according to their increase in total average daily visitors versus last year are Ebay.com, which grew by 1.5 million average daily visitors to 4.0 million; Amazon.com, which grew by 741,000 average daily visitors to 2.3 million; and Ticketmaster, which grew by 577,000 average daily visitors to 713,000.

-- Top Categories: This year's top three categories, ranked according to the number of average daily unique visitors, are auctions with 4.3 million; books with 3.1 million; and computers with 3.1.

-- Top Gaining Categories: While traffic to all retail categories increased versus last year, the top three categories according to theirpercent increase in average daily unique visitors are games, up 414% to 216,000 average daily unique visitors; healthcare, up321% to 787,000 average daily visitors; and furniture, up240% to 136,000 average daily visitors. The categories with the highest growth in total average daily visitors versus last year were auctions, which grew by 1.3 million to 4.3 million; computers, whichgrew by 1.1 million to 3.1 million; books, which grew by 1.0 million to 3.1 million.

-- Bricks, Clicks and Catalogers: The major brick-and-mortar sites outpaced the Internet pureplays in terms of percent traffic growthversus last year. Walmart.com, Target.com and BarnesandNoble.com allgrew by at least 40% in average daily unique visitors versus last year. While Amazon.com grew 49% to 2.3 million average daily unique visitors, other major Internet pureplays like Cdnow.com, 800.com, Buy.com and Overstock.com grew by 15% or less. Major catalogerscontinue to find their niche, with the major catalogers rarely exceeding 100,000 average daily unique visitors. Eddiebauer.com had 111,000 average daily unique visitors, Landsend.com had 84,000 and Llbean.com had 70,000. Chadwicks.com and Jcrew.com had no reportable traffic.

Jupiter analysts predict that 2001 holiday online retail and travel sales will reach approximately $11.9 billion -- an 11% increase over last year's $10.8 billion. Although growth this season will be slower than last, Jupiter analysts expect to see more people shopping online and consumers allocating a greater percentage of their holiday budget to online shopping.

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