*Study: Holiday Shoppers Slow to Buy Online

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Christmas shoppers may be shying away from the Web this year, according to the the Internet audience measurement firm Nielsen//NetRatings. A study released by the index firm concluded there was no increase in traffic to e-commerce sites in the week ending Nov. 5 from the prior week.


The Nielsen study measured unique Internet user visits to representative e-commerce sites in 10 categories, offering a stark comparison to the first week of November 1999, when online retailers saw traffic soar.


The Toys and Games category took the biggest slam. E-tailers in this area who saw a 46.9 percent increase last year have actually seen a 0.5 percent decrease. Computer hardware sites that saw an 18.5 percent increase last year saw a 6.5 percent decrease this year.


"This year we are not seeing the same trends, suggesting that other factors took the focus off the impending holidays, such as less dot com advertising or [more] interest in the Presidential election," Sean Kaldor, vice president of eCommerce at NetRatings said in a statement.
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