January 4, 2006, 12:00 AM

The big guys rake ‘em in during the holidays

Based on tracking a cross-section of shoppers, comScore Networks Inc. reports that chains and established brands were among the leading sites in this year’s holiday shopping season.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Based on tracking a cross-section of shoppers, comScore Networks Inc. reports that chains and established brands were among the leading sites in this year’s holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest retailer, ranked No. 3 in site visits, several notches up from its No. 12 ranking based on sales in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

ComScore’s top 10 most visited sites during the holiday shopping season and their ranks in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, in parentheses, are:
1. eBay (portals unranked in the Top 400)
2. Amazon (1)
3. Wal-Mart (12)
4. Apple Computer (17)
5. Target (13)
6. Dell (2)
7. Toys R Us (26)
8. Overstock (19)
9. Best Buy (10)
10. Circuit City (16)

The standouts are Wal-Mart, which has been investing a lot in its web site and moved up sharply from its No. 12 rankings based on sales. Apple’s strong showing is undoubtedly tied to the huge success of the new iPod, which plays music and videos and the continued strong traffic to its iTunes site. Target and Circuit City benefited from strong brand names. Pure-play Overstock clearly benefited from the success of catchy holiday TV advertising featuring model Sabine Ehrenfeld, who is closely identified with Overstock.

The comScore numbers are not reflective of sales but are indicative of possible changes in rankings as the industry matures. ComScore has not yet reported the actual visitor numbers or their change from the year before.

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