RealTime IT News

Report: Books/CDs Were Top Draw for Online Holiday Shoppers

Of the top 15 sites that pulled the majority of online shoppers for the week ending Dec. 24, 1998, five of them were in the book/CD category, according to NetRatings' CommerceTrack holiday report.

The leaders were: Amazon.com (6.4% reach), Music Boulevard (3.9), Barnes & Noble (3.7%), CDNow (2.5%) and Columbia House (2%). Books/CDs as a category were followed by specialty products, a close second at 15.8 percent and computer products at 13 percent.

Blue Mountain Arts, the site with the greatest traffic fluctuation, had a 107 percent increase in visitors between the first week of shopping (Nov. 27-Dec. 3) and the last week (Dec. 18-24), NetRatings said. The Web measurement firm said it expects the increase was due to the last-minute rush to send electronic greeting cards to friends and families.

This surge drove the reach of the specialty category (greeting cards, perfume, chocolate, flowers, wine) up by 80 percent. Computer products also saw an increase, by 8.4 percent during this time period, mostly driven by visitors to Egghead, Beyond.com and computer manufacturers Dell and Gateway.

Drops in reach occurred in toys and apparel. Apparel, with an already low reach for the entire holiday season (although much higher than its normal levels) dropped by about one-half in the last few remaining days before Christmas. Toys also dropped--by 41.2 percent during the same period.