RealTime IT News

BlueLight, Yahoo! See Holiday Cheer

Kmart's e-commerce arm, BlueLight.com, said that its holiday shopping season saw the company post a 1,000 percent gain in overall sales and an 823 percent jump in traffic, when compared to the same period last year, when Kmart ran the site as kmart.com.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! Inc. said that holiday order volume at its Yahoo! Shopping site in the United States nearly doubled from the same period in 1999.

And outside the United States, Yahoo! Shopping's global properties saw holiday season 2000 transaction volume increasing more than six times from the previous year, the company said.

And pure play Amazon.com said it shipped its last holiday order that would arrive at its destination by Christmas at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Overall online holiday spending more than doubled this year from 1999 levels, according to a study by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and Web research firm PC Data.

Total Internet holiday spending reached an estimated $8.7 billion, up 108 percent from the $4.2 billion shoppers spent on the Web in 1999, said the study, which tracked spending from the first week of November to Dec. 17.

At Amazon.com, thousands of items were ordered by shoppers as late as Saturday for expedited delivery on Christmas Day, the company said, adding that it shipped more than 99 percent of items to arrive in time for the holidays.

"With more than 31 million items ordered, I'm incredibly proud of the thousands of people at Amazon.com who worked so hard to get these results for customers," Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

BlueLight's official holiday shopping season ran from Oct. 30 to Dec. 21 -- the last day the site was able to ship items and still guarantee delivery by Christmas. BlueLight executed several promotions during the holiday season, including offering free shipping and free shipping upgrades to consumers.

BlueLight said it bucked industry trends by attracting more married females with children to its site, as opposed to the typical young male shopper. Peak sales days included Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Dec. 10.

"We couldn't be more satisfied with how we wrapped up 2000," said Mark H. Goldstein, CEO of BlueLight.com. "We exceeded our own expectations in light of a very sobering retail climate, and have now set the stage to succeed in the New Year."

Yahoo! said that order volume nearly tripled to U.S. based brand-name retailers who also have a physical retail store.

In the United States, the peak day on Yahoo! Shopping for the 2000 holiday shopping season was Monday, Dec. 11. Worldwide, Sony PlayStation products and Harry Potter books were the most popular gift items.

"Outside the United States, we have established a solid platform in 14 countries, while domestically we saw continued strong growth and reinforced our position as a leading online shopping destination," said Rob Solomon, vice president and general manager, Yahoo! Shopping.