Retail Web Sites Received More Holiday Visitors in 2000

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Media Metrix, New York, announced yesterday that 31.8 million unique visitors went to online retail sites during the week ending Dec. 24, representing a decrease of 10.9 percent since the holiday season's peak of 35.6 million unique visitors during the week that ended Dec. 3.

However, compared with the same week last year the 31.8 million unique visitors represent an increase of 28.4 percent.

According to the Internet and digital media measurement firm, other highlights from week five of the holiday season include:

• Traffic to retail sites was down each day of the week before Christmas compared with the prior week.

• and remained the top two retail sites.

• Book sites and computer sites were the top two retail subcategories with an average of 2 million and 1.9 million daily unique visitors, respectively. Flowers/gifts/greetings sites followed with an average of 1.8 million daily unique visitors., Audubon, PA, said yesterday that many of the top e-commerce Web sites could not process orders for more than 30 minutes per day the week before Christmas.

During the last few days of the holiday shopping season, the national Web site monitoring company observed 20 popular e-commerce sites and found that Metricom had a downtime of 151 minutes per day. was down an average of 90 minutes per day and Ticketmaster Online was down for an average of 41 minutes per day.

"Our estimate is that lost more than $1 million of revenue during the last week of the peak holiday season because buyers couldn't access their Web site," said Markus Allen, president of WatchDog247. "Most Web site owners are unaware that their site is frequently down and as a result their customers can't place online orders ... costing companies a lot of money."

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