November 29, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online holiday shoppers in Week 1 spike 43% vs. last year, Jupiter says

The number of unique visitors to shopping sites during Thanksgiving week increased 43% from the same week last year, hitting 50.2 million from 35.2 million, reports the Jupiter Media Metrix 2001 Online Holiday Shopping Index.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

`Tis the season for online shopping reports. A new one out today from Jupiter Media Metrix says the number of different people visiting shopping sites at home and at work during Thanksgiving week increased by 43% compared to the same week last year, climbing from 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 during Thanksgiving week demonstrates that e-commerce activity is alive and well in the midst of an otherwise difficult economic environment,`` said Charles Buchwalter, vice president, media research, Jupiter Media Metrix.

Compared to last year, traffic to retail sites on the day after Thanksgiving was up 68% to 16.1 million unique visitors, while visitors on Saturday were up 59% to 15.3 million and visitors on Sunday were up 55% to 16.1 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.com and 800.com are offering consumer incentives to push sales to the early portion of the holiday shopping season.``

Jupiter is predicting that online sales will top $11.9 billion this year, 11% growth from last year. Although growth this season will be slower than last, Jupiter analysts expect more people to shop online this year and to allocate a greater percentage of their holiday budget to online shopping.

For week one of online holiday shopping, Jupiter`s 2001 Online Holiday Shopping Index ranked the following Top 25, with average daily visitors (in thousands); percent change over week one of last year, and last year’s rank in week one (week ending Nov. 25):

1 EBAY.COM: 3,974, 57.3%, 1
2 AMAZON.COM: 2,268, 48.5%, 2
3 MYPOINTS.COM: 1,773, 30.8%, 3
4 AMERICANGREETINGS.COM 730, -2.0%, 5
5 TICKETMASTER* 713, 424.3%, n/a
6 BIZRATE.COM: 601, 19.5%, 6
7 MCAFEE.COM: 555, 163.0%, 20
8 HALF.COM: 530, 33.5%, 7
9 TOYSRUS* 527, 4.6%, 4
10 ESHOP.COM: 525, 143.1%, 19
11 COLUMBIA HOUSE SITES* 505, 250.7%, n/a
12 WALMART.COM: 450, 40.2%, 11
13 BESTBUY.COM: 393, 14.2%, 9
14 DRUGSTORE.COM: 373, 319.1%, n/a
15 DELL.COM: 361, 86.1%, 23
16 TARGET.COM: 356, 79.8%, 21
17 BARNESANDNOBLE.COM: 339, 43.6%, 17
18 DEALTIME.COM: 334, 85.6%, 27
19 HALLMARK.COM: 323, 17.0%, 15
20 CDNOW.COM: 319, 15.2%, 14
21 WEBSTAKES.COM: 317, -17.9%, 8
22 BMGMUSICSERVICE.COM 317, 75.1%, 26
23 SEARS.COM: 271, 49.7%, 25
24 BLUELIGHT.COM: 269, -1.5%, 16
25 DIRECTHIT.COM: 265, 79.1%, n/a

The leading categories in Jupiter’s rankings, by traffic to sites (in thousands) last year and this year and growth over last year:

1 AUCTIONS: 3,012, 4,341, 44%
2 BOOKS: 2,102, 3,108, 48%
3 COMPUTERS: 1,985, 3,104, 56%
4 ONLINE MALL: 1,629, 2,424, 49%
5 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS: 1,633, 2,223, 36%
6 FLOWERS/GIFTS/GREETINGS: 1,556, 1,865, 20%
7 MUSIC: 909, 1,615, 78%
8 DEPARTMENT STORES: 954, 1,503, 58%
9 APPAREL: 745, 1,250, 68%
10 TOYS: 730, 1,066, 46%
11 MOVIES: 323, 979, 203%
12 HEALTH CARE: 187, 787, 321%
13 CONSUMER GOODS: 473, 776, 64%
14 SPORTS/OUTDOOR: 209, 482, 131%
15 FOOD: 208, 390, 88%
16 GAMES: 42, 216, 414%
17 FRAGRANCES/COSMETICS: 79, 166, 110%
18 FURNITURE: 40, 136, 240%
19 FOOTWEAR: 41, 89, 117%

Jupiter reported the following traffic (in thousands) at major brick-and-mortar sites and percent increase from last year:

WALMART.COM: 450, 40.2%
TARGET.COM: 356, 79.8%
BARNESANDNOBLE.COM: 339, 43.6%
BESTBUY.COM: 393, 14.2%
TOYSRUS.COM: 527, 4.6%

And at major Internet pure-plays:

AMAZON.COM: 2,268, 48.5%
CDNOW.COM: 319 15.2%
800.COM: 110, -1.8%
BUY.COM: 259, -22.7%
OVERSTOCK.COM: 164, 8.6%

And at major catalogers:

LLBEAN.COM: 70, 14.8%
LANDSEND.COM: 84. -1.2%
EDDIEBAUER.COM: 111, 65.7%

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