Europe's Online Xmas Sales Predicted Up 71%: Jupiter

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It was a holly jolly Christmas for European e-commerce companies, based on research firm Jupiter MMXI's findings.

European online sales are projected to be worth 2.9 billion euros ($2.59 billion), an increase of 71 percent, the firm said. The figures are based on a study of usage numbers for December.

"Online retailers experienced a real growth in the usage of the sites in the run-up to Christmas, which shows just how Europeans have come to accept the Internet as part of their lives," analyst Patricia Laueer said. "The challenge for retailers is to keep customers loyal by staying in touch with them and convincing them to keep using their sites. Retailers cannot afford to rest on the success of Christmas."

The number of unique visitors to retail sites grew more than 40 percent in Europe in December compared with December 2000, the study said. Almost 33 million Europeans visited online retail sites that month. Germans and Britons led the pack with 10 million and 9 million unique visitors, respectively, Jupiter said., and reached more than 10 percent of the Internet population in Germany, the United Kingdom and France. France is the only country where three sites (, and have more than 10 percent reach. Other countries generally have one clear leader. In the UK,, and were popular for Christmas shopping. In December 2001,, and reached the top 10 retail sites.

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