Holiday Shopping Traffic Up 50 Percent: Jupiter

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Shopping sites drew an average of 51.3 million visitors each week during the 2001 holiday shopping season, an increase of 50 percent over 2000 and 95 percent over 1999, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.

"[W]e're left with one inescapable truth: the Internet has become an integral part of holiday shopping," Charles Buchwalter, vice president, media research, said in a statement issued yesterday by Jupiter Media Metrix. "Unlike 2000, when online shopping started strong but then fell off, online shopping this year started strong and ended even stronger."

This is also the year that traditional retailers established dominance over so-called pure plays, according to Jupiter.

"With a few exceptions such as Amazon, the dominant retailers that sell merchandise directly from their sites tend to be affiliated with brick-and-mortar stores and catalogs," Jupiter senior analyst Ken Cassar said. Traffic among the seven traditional retailers who made Jupiter's list of the top 15 sites rose 73 percent over last year, he said.

The top three traditional retailers based on their average daily unique visitors each week during the 2001 holiday-shopping season were Columbia House's sites with 598,000 average daily unique visitors; with 515,000; and with 447,000.

Traffic to all shopping sites for the week after the holiday shopping season - the week ending Dec. 30 -- was down 9 percent compared with the season average, but was still up 61 percent compared with the same week last year, according to Jupiter.

The 15 most visited shopping sites for the 2001 holiday season, according to Jupiter, were: with an average of 4.5 million unique daily visitors, with 2.5 million, with 2 million; with 683,000, with 660,000; with 652,000, Columbia House sites with 598,000, with 588,000; with 563,000, with 515,000; with 447,000, with 434,000; with 416,000; with 408,000 and with 379,000.

To arrive at its figures, Jupiter Media Metrix monitors the Web surfing behavior of 60,000 volunteers at home and at work, and extrapolates.

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