RealTime IT News

Amazon Still King of the Hill

February bragging rights for most unique visitors to an e-commerce site again went to Amazon.com, but Kmart's Bluelight.com entry finally edged ahead of Walmart.com, according to figures from Web measurement firm Jupiter Media Metrix .

The report also shows that the total number of minutes spent online in the United States increased 51 percent, from 64.8 billion minutes in February 2000 to 97.7 billion last month. Home usage increased the most.

Perhaps not surprising, given the threat of its closure, Napster Digital, which includes use of the service's Web sites and controversial music file-swapping applications, became the 13th most visited property in February with 16.9 million unique visitors.

The American Greetings site jumped from 7.3 million unique visitors in January to 9.0 million in February, causing it to rise from 42 to 24 in the rankings. Bluemountainarts.com, part of the Excite Network, also increased significantly, from 12.3 million unique visitors in January 2001 to 16.3 million in February.

In overall terms, the top three on the most-visited list were the AOL Time Warner Network at 69.37 million unique visitors; the Microsoft family of sites at 59.85 million and Yahoo! at 57.52 million.

In the e-commerce wars, Amazon.com came in at 18.05 million unique users, followed by eBay at 16.95 million. BizRate.com had 6.37 million and Barnes & Noble had 6.19 million.

In the clicks and mortar arena, Sears.com led the pack at 2.67 million unique visitors. Bluelight.com with 2.58 million unique visitors crept ahead of Walmart.com with 2.34 million. Walmart.com had led all clicks and mortar retail shopping sites in unique visitor traffic since its relaunch in October of 2000.

JCPenney.com scored 2.28 million unique visitors while Target.com had 1.78 million and Costco.com had 879,000.

The overall figures clearly show that the Internet increasingly is becoming an essential part of daily life for millions of Americans.

"While Jupiter Media Metrix expects the number of people online in the U.S. to increase 13 percent to 138 million in 2001, usage-intensity will increase at a faster rate," said David Card, Jupiter senior analyst.

"Time spent online will continue to be driven by people's increasing familiarity with the Internet, the availability of more relevant content, and the adoption of Internet applications such as instant messengers, media players, file-swapping programs, and games among other services."