September 30, 2002, 12:00 AM

The only dip in online buying this year: 9/11

On Sept. 11, online buying was 25% lower than on the average six preceding Wednesdays, comScore Networks reported.

Online shopping didn’t come to a halt on Sept. 11, but it took a breather, comScore Networks Inc. reports. On the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, total online dollar sales were 25% lower than the average of the prior six Wednesdays, reports comScore’s Media Metrix division.

Before the anniversary, consumers kept up their torrid pace of online spending. ComScore reports that retail sales online reached $845 million for the week that ended Sept. 1, 49% over the level of the same week a year earlier.

Consumers who weren’t shopping were looking for news. Traffic to CNN.com was 49% higher than the average Wednesday in the preceding six weeks. MSNBC.com’s traffic was up 43%, Time.com’s traffic was up 148%, NYTimes.com, 54%, and USAToday.com, 37%.

In addition, Nielsen/NetRatings reports that greeting card sites experienced big boosts in traffic the week of Sept. 11. BlueMountain.com’s traffic was up 130% over the prior week, AmericanGreetings.com was up 56% and Hallmark.com was up 36%.

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