November 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Online traffic increase bodes well for retail sites, Compete says

Traffic to major online retail sites in September was up 10% year over year, Compete says. In several categories, the traffic increase was above 30%, including online photo.

Traffic to 200 leading online retail sites was up 10% in September year over year, a possible sign of a strong holiday season for e-retailers, says web measurement firm Compete Inc.

There was considerable variation by product category, however. Jewelry and watches and auction sites registered single-digit increases in unique visitors for the month. On the other hand, several categories grew by 30% over September 2008, notes Matt Pace, managing director for retail and consumer products. Those include books, department stores, health and beauty, office supplies, toy, and online photo.

Among individual e-commerce sites, the CVS.com site of the drugstore chain more than doubled its traffic in September to 5.9 million, and ranked 20th on the list of most-visited sites. Amazon.com was the top site in traffic, with 68.7 million unique visitors, more than double the 30.8 million of No. 2 Walmart.com. Amazon’s traffic increased 23.3% year over year and Walmart.com’s traffic was up 23.0%, says Compete, a unit of TNS Media.

Here are the 15 retail categories tracked by Compete with total shoppers in September, and month over month and year over year change in traffic:

  • Apparel 48,179,589, 3.1%, 19.5%
  • Auction 73,396,498, -4.5%, 7.4%
  • Books & Media 42,301,864, 17.6%, 30.4%
  • Consumer Electronics 51,170,492, -2.7%, 12.8%
  • Department Stores 39,353,159, 2.7%, 33.0%
  • Health & Beauty 28,446,355, 4.7%, 36.4%
  • Home Décor 28,375,004, 15.4%, 29.6%
  • Home Improvement 23,625,133, -1.2%, 13.3%
  • Jewelry & Watches 3,516,739, 6.0%, 9.3%
  • Mass Merchants & Wholesale Clubs 97,971,772, -1.1%, 16.2%
  • Office Supplies 20,171,189, 0.2%, 43.5%
  • Online Photo & Personalization 20,381,165, 46.1%, 32.3%
  • Pets 5,283,925, 4.0%, 11.1%
  • Sporting Goods 18,486,565, -4.4%, 11.3%
  • Toys 14,088,922, 9.2%, 30.5%

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