Toy, Apparel Sites Big Winners During Holidays

Today brings more happy holiday news for e-commerce sites. According to part four of a Media Metrix study, toy and apparel sites experienced the most growth in unique visitors during the four-week holiday shopping period from November 27 to December 24, up 86% and 73% respectively. Overall, the number of unique visitors to shopping sites rose 25 percent during the same time period.

“The seasonal affect of Internet commerce cannot be overstated or ignored, said Bob Ivins, Sr. Vice President of Media Metrix.

Ted Hawthorne, Vice President of Research and Client Information for Media Metrix, said the study found that the books/music/movies category experienced the smallest percentage increase in holiday traffic, but posted the largest actual gain in audience. This indicates that one of the more established segments of the online shopping environment hasn’t yet peaked in popularity or use,” stated Hawthorne.

The books/music/movies category also experienced the greatest cross visitation during the four weeks before Christmas. Nearly half of its visitors also went to department store sites, toy sites and apparel sites. Approximately one million unique visitors went to five or more shopping sites during this period.

While overall visitation to online shopping sites dropped 22 percent during the week before Christmas, traffic was still above the weekly average in November.

This week, Amazon.com and AOL both announced wildly successful holiday sales, with AOL topping $1 billion. Reports indicate that the online shopping craze is not a seasonal phenomenon, however. A survey of AOL shoppers indicated that 98% expect to shop online again within the next six months.

Stated AOL’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Bob Pittman, “It’s clear that this past holiday shopping season marks a turning point — when shopping online really became a key part of consumers’ shopping patterns.

Media Metrix, with offices in New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco and Port Washington, New York, provides Internet audience usage data for advertising agencies, new and traditional media companies, e-commerce marketers, financial institutions and technology companies.

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