Hitwise finds iPod was a must-have Christmas gift

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Online competitive intelligence service Hitwise said the market share of visits to the iTunes Web site at www.apple.com/itunes was up 413 percent on Christmas Day 2006 as opposed to Christmas Day 2005.

The growth from last year has been attributed to new iPod owners, who used the Web to download iTunes.

The Apple Store market share increased 110 percent when comparing Christmas Day 2006 to 2005. The Apple Store was the fourth most visited Web site in the Hitwise Retail Index on Christmas Day 2006.

The market share of visits to Zune.net, the site for downloading the music software for Microsoft's MP3 player, showed an increase of 1,030 percent on Dec. 25, 2006, versus the previous Monday.

The average daily increase in visits to the Hitwise Retail Index for the 2006 online holiday shopping season versus the same period in 2005 was 5.9 percent.

The days with the largest individual increases over the same day in 2005 were Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day.

Other Hitwise online shopping findings:

  • Amazon.com remained the most visited site within the index last week, receiving 13.18 percent of visits among the Retail 100 Index. Walmart.com received the next-most visits with 9.13 percent. 
  • CircuitCity.com and BestBuy.com received the biggest increases in visits from week to week with respective increases of 20.7 percent and 17.1 percent. Hallmark.com was the fastest moving site within the index, jumping 14 spots from 31 to 17 - an increase in visits of 97 percent for the week ending December 23, 2006. 
  • Nintendo DS was the top product search term sending visits to shopping and classifieds sites for last week. The product term 'ipod' moved back into the second spot, followed by 'nintendo wii' and 'wii,' which among the most popular product searches for the one-week ending Dec. 23, 2006.

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