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LAST MINUTE SHOPPING GOES ONLINE

Source: CyberAtlas

Posted on December 21, 2001

      The Jupiter Media Metrix Online Shopping Index, which aggregates Web visitors from both home and work to nearly 500 shopping sites and 19 subcategories, increased 55 percent during the week ending December 16 compared to the same week last year, climbing from 33.8 million to 52.3 million unique visitors. While the Index is down 0.1 percent compared to the week ending December 9., the year-over-year growth of 55 percent compares strongly to the 25 percent annual growth rate of the same week last year.

      "The growth trajectory increased each week during the first four weeks of this year's holiday shopping period, which is in marked contrast to last year when year-over-year growth rates declined each week," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research at Jupiter Media Metrix. "That translates into a holiday season where the majority of online shopping activity occurs closer to Christmas versus earlier in the shopping season."

      Online shopping at work accounts for nearly half of all Internet shopping activity, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, even though Internet users are more likely to have Internet access at home.

      At-work Internet users are more likely to have a high-speed Internet connection that makes shopping faster, as well as privacy away from children and family members that might be on the receiving end of their online purchases. The percentage of people shopping online from home spiked during the week ending Nov. 25, as most Internet users were home for the Thanksgiving holiday and traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

      "Despite the fact that there are three times more Internet users who have access to the Web at home, the percent of shopping activity at work matches home activity," said Lisa Strand, director and chief analyst at NetRatings.

      Nielsen//NetRatings has also released its data ranking the top e-tailers of November 2001, and Amazon.com stands heads and shoulders above the rest. Amazon logged 31.5 million unique visitors in November, a 32 percent jump from last year.

      Columbia House drew 8.7 million visitors, while ToysRUs attracted nearly 7.6 million. Traffic to Barnes and Noble totaled 6.2 million unique visitors.

      "The fastest growing sites among the top e-tailers include Columbia House and BestBuy.com, as value-oriented sites continue to appeal to the growing number of price-conscious shoppers," Strand said.




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