December 20, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online holiday shopping continues to steam along, says new Jupiter report

The number of web shoppers increased 55% vs. the same week last year, from 33.8 million to 52.3 million, says the Jupiter Media Metrix Online Shopping Index, far outstripping last year’s 25% annual growth rate for the same week.

Traffic to online retail sites stayed strong through last Sunday, Jupiter Media Metrix, a provider of Internet and new technology analysis and measurement, reported today. The number of web shoppers increased 55% compared to the same week last year, from 33.8 million to 52.3 million unique visitors. Year-over-year growth far outstrips last year’s 25% annual growth rate for the same week.

"The growth trajectory increased each week during the first four weeks of this year`s holiday shopping period, which is in marked contrast to last year when year-over-year growth rates declined each week," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president, media research, Jupiter Media Metrix. "That translates into a holiday season where the majority of online shopping activity occurs closer to Christmas versus earlier in the shopping season."

The Jupiter Media Metrix Online Shopping Index tracks the shopping activities of 60,000 individuals at home and work to nearly 500 shopping sites.

Among the Jupiter Media Metrix 2001 Holiday E-Commerce Series highlights:
-- Top gaining shopping sites, ranked according to their percent growth in average daily visitors versus the previous week, include: Netflix.com, which increased 117% to 586,000 average daily visitors; Hallmark.com, which increased 71% to 415,000 average daily visitors; and Egreetings.com, which increased 63% to 287,000. This week`s top gaining shopping sites, ranked according to their total increase in average daily visitors versus the previous week, are: Mypoints.com, which increased by 519,000 average daily visitors to 2.5 million; Netflix.com, which increased by 316,000 average daily visitors to 586,000; and Half.com, which increased by 266,000 average daily visitors to 886,000.

-- Top category gainers, ranked according to their percent-change in average daily visitors versus the previous week, include: furniture sites, which increased 59% to 252,000; food, which increased 18% to 564,000; flowers-gifts-greetings, which increased 165 to 2 million average daily visitors; and movies sites, which increased 10% to 1.5 million average daily visitors. Top gaining categories, ranked according to their change in total visitors versus the previous week, include: flowers-gifts-greetings, which increased by 272,000 average daily visitors to 2 million; movies sites, which increased by 136,000 average daily visitors to 1.5 million; and food, which increased by 86,000 average daily visitors to 564,000.

"Many consumers waited until late in the holiday season to make their gift purchases, and many were searching for late-season discounts," said Jared Blank, Jupiter research analyst. "The late-season momentum of this year`s online holiday traffic suggests that this year`s sales expectations are likely to be exceeded. Moreover, steady traffic to many bricks-and-mortar sites indicates that consumers are researching online with the intent of buying in the actual stores, highlighting the need for retailers to integrate their online and offline operations."

 

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