February 1, 2005, 12:00 AM

The final word on holiday 2004 shopping

When all the wrapping paper was cleared away and many of the online gift cards spent, online sales in 2004’s holiday shopping period were up nearly 29% from the year before.

Internet Retailer

When all the wrapping paper was cleared away and many of the online gift cards spent, online sales in 2004`s holiday shopping period were up nearly 29% from the year before, comScore Networks Inc. reports. ComScore says online shopping in November and December reached $15.8 billion from $12.3 billion in the year before.

It was a good year for retailing all around, with the U.S. Department of Commerce reporting that total general merchandise sales rose 5.7% in the last two months of the year, the best since 1999.

Full-year 2004 online spending rose 26% to $66.5 billion from $52.9 billion in 2003, comScore reported. That figure does not include auctions or sales at eBay and other auction sites that could be counted as retail sales.

In terms of growth of web traffic among the 25 largest retailing sites, Blockbuster Inc., which launched an online DVD rental service last July, set the pace in November and December. Blockbuster`s average weekly traffic for that period reached 2.89 million unique visitors from 593,000 in 2003, up 387%.

Online travel spending for the combined November-December 2004 period rose 28% year-over-year, to $7.8 billion, comScore reports. Full-year 2004 online travel spending rose 26% year-over-year to $50.9 billion.

 

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