November 19, 2003, 12:00 AM

Retail sites start to see the holiday rush in October, comScore reports

The fastest growing categories month-to-month for online visitors in October were all retail-related, reflecting the early start of the online holiday shopping season, reports comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division.

The fastest growing categories month-to-month for online visitors in October were all retail-related, reflecting the early start of the online holiday shopping season, reports comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division.

“This increase, which mirrors trends comScore has observed in past years, is likely the result of several factors, including the first signs of early holiday shopping,” comScore said in its October report on top Internet sites. “The increase also parallels an uptick in the Consumer Confidence Index from September to October.”

While total U.S. Internet users remained virtually unchanged at 150 million, comScore reported growth in users in the following categories, with unique visitors in millions in September and October and month-to-month growth:
Department Stores: 24.448; 30.571; 25%
Health Care: 17.229; 20.217; 17.3%
Fragrances/Cosmetics: 8.574; 9.671; 12.8%
Toys: 12.715; 14.309; 12.5%
Apparel: 33.732; 37.810; 12.1%
E-Cards: 34.532; 38.022; 10.1%
Food: 9.732; 10.671; 9.6%
Home Furnishings: 15.684; 17.154; 9.4%
Flowers/Gifts/Greetings: 25.373; 27.730; 9.3%
Comparison Shopping: 30.337; 33.149; 9.3%

Several retail sites were among the greatest growth among individual properties month-to-month, with comparison shopping site Nextag growing 40.3% to 6.923 million unique visitors, department store chain Kohls.com up 39.8% to 2.785 million, pure-play online retailers Overstock.com up 28.4% to 6.719 million; and comparison site PriceGrabber.com up 22.2% to 3.865 million. Leading them all was the seasonal BuyCostumes.com, up 167% to 3.549 million unique visitors.

"ComScore has traditionally found that the holiday preparation and shopping season starts early online and this year is no exception," says Peter Daboll, president of comScore Media Metrix. "Bolstered by an increase in consumer confidence and continued reliance on the web as a shopping and planning resource, we`ll clearly see continued momentum in shopping and related categories as the holidays approach."

 

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