Online Post-Thanksgiving Traffic Matches Offline Rush

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Traffic to e-commerce sites surged the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year for bricks-and-mortar stores, according to a survey yesterday by online audience measurement service Nielsen//NetRatings.


Web surfing rose 27 percent at home Friday versus the rest of the week -- a trend that mirrors the offline world, according to the Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday E-Commerce Index, which measured five representative sites in eight product categories.


Categories measured included apparel, consumer electronics, books, music and video, Internet-only department stores, value-oriented sites, toys and games, specialty gifts and computer hardware.


The survey by the New York market researcher found that the apparel and consumer electronics categories were up 68 percent and 46 percent, respectively, in traffic Friday versus the rest of the week.


For instance, among apparel retailers, Landsend.com traffic jumped 93 percent, Gap.com 86 percent and Spiegel.com 85 percent.


Among consumer electronics sites, Circuitcity.com traffic was up 126 percent in unique audience at home Friday. Competitors Outpost.com saw traffic rise 48 percent and 800.com 40 percent.


Online department stores, however, were the leading contributors to this surge in traffic. Amazon.com attracted more than 1.3 million people online Friday, up 36 percent compared with the rest of the week, according to the survey.


Multichannel retailers' online stores reported a 49 percent increase in the number of shoppers Friday versus the rest of the week. Internet-only retailers recorded only a 26 percent jump.
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