Online Holiday Shoppers Bought Early, Studies Say

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Many online shoppers ordered well in advance of the holiday shopping season and stuck with large, proven e-commerce sites, according to two studies released Monday.


Internet research firm PC Data Online, Reston, VA, said that online shoppers spent $1.2 billion from Dec. 6-12, but spent only $495 million during the week of Christmas. PC Data said such Internet sales mirrored the holiday patterns of brick-and-mortar businesses.


Toys were bought online more than any other item during the first three weeks of the holiday season, but dropped to third, behind computer software and music during Christmas week. The only items that saw an actual increase in sales from Dec. 20-26 were food and groceries, PC Data said.


Online research firm Media Metrix Inc., New York, rated Amazon.com, Seattle, as the most visited e-commerce site for the period with more than 5.6 million unique visitors. Ebay.com, Etoys.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Toyrus.com rounded out the top five, according to Media Metrix.
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