TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Holidays Looking Merry for Web Retailers

Holidays Looking Merry for Web Retailers

Lisa Minter (
Fri, 26 Nov 2004 18:59:10 EST

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - It's shaping up to be a very merry holiday
season for online retailers.

Web shopping got off and running for the busiest season of the year
with traffic up 60 percent for the week ended Nov. 14 from the prior
seven-day period, Nielsen//NetRatings said on Tuesday.

The share of Internet traffic going to shopping sites already has
surpassed last year's high, set on Thanksgiving Day, Internet traffic
monitoring company Hitwise said.

"As Black Friday approaches, shoppers are flocking online to research
holiday gifts, comparison shop, and look at the vast array of products
available," said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst at

Black Friday, the day after the Thursday's U.S. Thanksgiving holiday,
is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.

U.S. consumers are expected to spend $16.7 billion online during
the holiday months of November and December, an increase of 29 percent
from the year-earlier period, according to research firm eMarketer.

Meanwhile, total U.S. holiday retail sales are seen rising 4.5 percent
to $219.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

"Online shopping appears to be occurring earlier and in greater force
than last year," said Bill Tancer, vice president of research at

"If last year is any indication, we're likely to see weekly shopping
levels increase with a peak roughly a week before Christmas," Tancer

Nielsen//NetRatings, an Internet audience research firm, which
unveiled its sixth annual Holiday eShopping Index on Tuesday, said
home and garden, books/music/video, and toys and video games led Web
shopping traffic growth.

The home and garden category saw weekly traffic soar 88 percent, as
sites run by Home Depot Inc. and Pottery Barn saw traffic increases of
159 percent and 97 percent, respectively.

Visits to books/music/video sites were up 87 percent, fueled in part
by a 233 percent increase in visits to No. 2 online bookseller

The toys and video games category was up 85 percent as traffic to skyrocketed 276 percent and soared 210 percent.

Apparel, another key category for holiday sales where retailers garner
a bulk of annual sales, saw a 75 percent increase as the Gap Inc.'s
online traffic rose 245 percent and Lands' End increased 68 percent.

Shopping comparison/portals rounded out the five fastest growing
categories in the index with a 73 percent increase. Within the
category, Yahoo Shopping's traffic grew 174 percent while MySimon's
jumped 133 percent.

Hitwise said that the 13 leading comparison-shopping sites claimed 5
percent of all shopping visits last week. Half of that traffic come
directly from major search engines and directories like Google and
Yahoo Search.

Tancer said that marked "a new era in online shopping."

"Users are becoming more sophisticated in their online purchase
behaviors, clearly demonstrating the willingness to use
comparison-shopping sites to find the best product at the best price,"
he said.

The most-visited comparison-shopping sites last week were Yahoo
Shopping, Shopzilla's and newly public,
according to Hitwise.

*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner, in this instance, Reuters News Service.

For more information go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Lisa Minter: "Kazaa Offers Unlimited Free Internet Phone Calls"
Go to Previous message: Tony P.: "Re: How Do I Learn an Unknown Number?"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page