December 7, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online shopping surges 60% with start of holiday buying, NetRatings reports

Consumers conducted more than 117 million web shopping visits last week, compared to nearly 74 million visits a week at the start of the holiday shopping season, says the latest Nielsen/NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Consumers have jumped online to shop this holiday season, says the latest Nielsen/NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index. Online shopping surged 59% during the week ending December 2 compared to shopping at the start of the season, posting the biggest gain thus far for the holiday e-commerce season, NetRatings says.

Consumers conducted more than 117 million web shopping visits during the week, compared to nearly 74 million visits the week ending October 28, which Nielsen/NetRatings views as the start of the holiday shopping season. The growth in last year’s comparable week was 62%.

"After a solid Thanksgiving shopping week, consumers rushed back online the following week to make their holiday gift purchases, while taking advantage of the many promotions and sales," said Lisa Strand, director and chief analyst, NetRatings.

Toys and games continued to dominate the categories, skyrocketing 123% since the beginning of the holiday season. Consumer electronics spiked 97%. Home and garden grew 82%. Shopping aggregators, which include portal-affiliated sites, grew 81%, and apparel, 67%.

"In sheer size of shopping visits, shopping aggregators such as the Yahoo, AOL and MSN online malls are neck-and-neck with well-known virtual department stores such as Amazon.com in attracting consumers," said Strand.

 

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