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Online Shopping's Holiday Surge

  |  December 16, 2005   |  Comments

The nearer the holiday, the more shoppers go online.

As Christmas approaches, shoppers turn to the Internet for gifts. Both comScore Networks and Hitwise released data on traffic patterns and spending.

comScore reports a total of $14.41 billion in online retail spending over the first 43 days of the holiday season, ending December 13. That's a 23 percent increase over the same period in 2004. The forecast for the full holiday season is expected to hit $19.6 million, a 24 percent hike over last year's sales.

2005 Holiday Season Forecast
Year to date (through Dec. 13), actual 62.1 77.1 24
Holiday season (November-December), forecast 15.8 19.6 24
Q4, forecast 21.4 26.5 24
Full year, forecast 66.5 82.7 24
Note: Non-travel online consumer spending excludes auctions and large corporate purchases.
Source: comScore Networks, 2005

Online saw its top spending day on Monday, December 12; the day rung up $556 million in sales for online retailers. The second-busiest spending day of the holiday season happened on Tuesday December 13 with $554 million in sales. The data are consistent with recent reports finding Monday to be the busiest shopping day for online retailers.

Black Monday, Black Friday's November 28 online equivalent, ranks as the eighth busiest online shopping day of the season. This year, sales reached $484 million the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Top 10 Spending Days, November 1-December 13, 2005
Rank Date
1 Monday, December 12
2 Tuesday, December 13
3 Tuesday, December 6
4 Thursday, December 8
5 Monday, December 5
6 Wednesday, December 7
7 Friday, December 9
8 Monday, November 28
("Black Monday")
9 Wednesday, November 30
10 Tuesday, November 29
Source: comScore Networks, 2005

This holiday season retail Web sites accounted for 10.72 percent of traffic on the Internet, according to Hitwise. Auction sites rank as the top-growing site in the category with 9.5 percent growth. Apparel and accessories is up four percent; department stores rose 3.14 percent and books increased 3.11 percent the week ending December 10.

The top product-related search terms driving traffic to retail sites include "iPod," "lingerie," "toys," "Xbox 360," and "digital cameras."

Top 15 Shopping and Classifieds Web Sites, Week Ending December 19, 2005
Rank Name Domain Market Share (%) Weekly Growth (%)
1 eBay* www.ebay.com 19.63 2.49
2 Amazon.com www.amazon.com 3.48 6.69
3 Walmart.com www.walmart.com 2.03 1.76
4 Target.com www.target.com 1.37 0.80
5 Dell USA www.dell.com 1.31 3.46
6 Best Buy www.bestbuy.com 1.02 -4.59
7 craigslist www.craigslist.org 0.99 -4.97
8 JCPenney www.jcpenney.com 0.86 1.38
9 circuitcity.com www.circuitcity.com 0.76 -5.71
10 Overstock.com www.overstock.com 0.72 1.11
11 Sears.com www.sears.com 0.68 -3.38
12 Shopping.com** www.shopping.com 0.66 -2.52
13 BizRate.com** www.bizrate.com 0.63 -4.44
14 Netflix www.netflix.com 0.60 -0.35
15 Shopzilla www.shopzilla.com 0.59 -3.19
1. Sites ranked by percentage of total visits for the week ending December 10, 2005.
2. eBay doesn't include standalone visits to other eBay sites (eBay Motors, eBay Stores).
3. Shopping.com and BizRate.com only include visits to the standalone sites listed, not other Shopping.com or Shopzilla-owned properties.
Source: Hitwise USA Inc., 2005

comScore releases data collected from its panel of users who opt-in to the panel. Hitwise measures traffic of more than 25 million users by recording data at the IP level. It also has an additional data from an opt-in panel.


Enid Burns

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