RealTime IT News

Where Have All the Shoppers Gone?

Amazon.com was the No. 1 shopping destination on the Internet in November, hands down. No. 2 was Internet portal Yahoo!, followed closely by eBay, according to Nielsen//NetRatings figures.

The Web measurement firm says that Amazon scored a unique-visitor audience of 31.4 million people for the month, while Yahoo! Shopping and eBay scored 27 million and 25.7 million respectively in November.

Meanwhile, Reston, Va.-based Web research firm comScore Networks Inc. (they use a panel) said that 2001 holiday Internet sales (excluding travel) are on track to grow nearly 15 percent from last year to around $10.5 billion.

comScore Vice President Dan Hess said Web users had spent an estimated $9.6 billion as of Dec. 23.

Rounding out the Nielsen//NetRatings top five were travel operation Expedia.com with 9.8 million unique visitors and music sales site Columbia House with 8.7 million.

Yahoo! lost no time in putting out a congratulatory press release, saying that the data "reflects the success of the new Yahoo! Shopping network since integrating Yahoo! Auctions, Shopping, Classifieds and Warehouse in October 2001."

Other shopping arenas in the top ten were, in order, AOL Shopping, with about 8 million unique visitors; MSN shopping with 7.9 million visitors; Travelocity with 7.8 million; Toys'R' Us (hosted by Amazon and included in the e-tail giant's figures) with 7.5 million; and Barnes and Noble with 6.2 million.

"As we head into 2002, we will continue to strengthen our commerce integration and add more innovative tools and features to help consumers find, research and buy anything on the Web," said Rob Solomon, vice president and general manager of Yahoo!'s commerce business unit.

Meanwhile, America Online said its members spent more than $33 billion on retail purchases in 2001, up 67 percent from the previous year. The company said fourth-quarter member spending climbed to a record $11 billion, a 72 percent jump from the prior year quarter.

The year was capped by $7.2 billion in online spending during the 2001 holiday season, AOL said, as shoppers set new spending records in a variety of categories. The top retail categories for the season at AOL remained women's and teen's apparel.

Elsewhere, auction and retail operation uBid.com, in which CMGI Inc. has a majority stake, said its holiday season saw a 30 percent jump in user registrations, a 45 percent increase in credit card registrations, a 68 percent increase in page views and a 34 percent increase in bids received - all compared to the same period last year. No hard numbers on sales were disclosed, however.