January 17, 2006, 12:00 AM

Holiday-related sites see biggest traffic gains in December, comScore says

Shipping sites, jewelry, luxury goods and accessories sites and retail music outlets experienced the greatest increase in visitors. December also saw a rise in visits to sites with multi-media content.

Holiday-related sites received the strongest traffic during the months of December according to data from comScore Networks Inc., with shipping sites, jewelry/luxury goods sites and retail music outlets experiencing the biggest gains. December also saw a big increase in visits to sites with multi-media content.

Traffic to shipping sites was up 31% over a year ago, representing the largest growth in any category in December. UPS sites lead with 18.6 million visitors in December, up 42% from last year; followed by USPS.com with 15.2 million visitors, up 45%; and FedEx.com with 11.4 million visitors, up 35%.Stamps.com, which allows consumers to print out their own stamps from a home printer, saw a 35% increase in visitors over last December.

The jewelry, luxury goods and accessories category continued its November momentum, showing a 22% gain in visitors through December over the previous month. Leaders were RedEnvelope.com, up 62% over November with 2.4 million visitors during the month; and Tiffany & Co, up 47% over November with 2 million visitors.

Online music retail finished the year with a 22% increase in December over November. Barnes and Noble lead the category with 9.5 million visitors, up 33% from one month earlier. iTunes, a close second in the category, drew 9.3 million visitors, a gain of 33% from November.

Sites that normally draw modest traffic saw big gains in December, particularly those devoted to multi-media content. Animated holiday greeting drove 6.4 million visitors to PowerPress.com, a whopping increase from the 31,000 visitors to the site in November, which comScore attributes to the viral nature of the online greeting cards. Similarly, ToonedIn.com attracted 6.6 million visitors in December, driven by humorous “shorts” and trailers including holiday offerings.

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