A new forecast from Forrester Research credits greater online spending by Canadians, lower shipping costs and more selection for the spending increase.
Though up 41% over Thanksgiving week, last week's e-commerce traffic rose just 2% from Dec. 5, according to Media Metrix, New York City. "We are seeing a more steady increase in visitors to e-commerce sites as Christmas draws near," said Mary Ann Packo, the firm's president and chief operating officer. "Year-to-year growth remains high, with most of the top e-commerce sites increasing significantly."
Top performers were a familar trio: Amazon, eBay and eToys. They were followed by Buy.com, Barnes & Noble, Toys 'R' Us, CDNow, Travelocity, eGreetings and KbKids.
Three brand-name sites in the brick-and-mortar world, Eddie Bauer, Victoria's Secret and Best Buy, joined the ranks of Media Metrix's top gainers for the week. Other sites to debut among top gainers this holiday season include Toysmart, Ticketmaster and Dell. KbKids and eToys.com have ranked as top gainers for three weeks running.
"Not only has this been a banner season for toy sites and brick-and-mortar sites, we've also seen e-commerce enablers, sites that drive traffic to e-commerce sites, such as Mysimon.com and Dash.com grow significantly," Packo said.
Flowers, gifts and greeting card sites showed the greatest growth of any category over last week (up 36%), reflecting a shift in shopping as the holiday approaches.