RealTime IT News

Holiday Shopper Traffic Rose 30 Percent

It may be tough to make money doing e-commerce at retail in these troubled times, but it's not for lack of traffic. In fact, an estimated 34 million unique visitors on average went to retail sites each week during the 2000 holiday shopping season, according to newly released figures.

Web measurement firm Media Metrix said those figures were up 30.3 percent compared to the 1999 holiday-shopping season and surpassed the Web's overall growth of 18.6 percent during the same period.

Amazon.com remained the No. 1 retail site over the five-week holiday season for the second year in a row, with a year-over-year increase in holiday-season traffic of 47.8 percent, the company said. But brick and mortar retailers venturing online were the stars of the season.

"While retail sites drew an unprecedented number of online shoppers this holiday season and even had an aggregate growth rate surpassing that of the overall Web, this year will be better remembered by the strong performance of many traditional off-line brands like Walmart, Bestbuy, American Greetings and Staples," said Anne Rickert, measurement analyst at Media Metrix. "At the same time, this season was marked by the continued dominance of a few existing e-tailers, mainly Amazon."

Traffic to retail sites for the week following the holiday-shopping season (the week ending Dec. 31, 2000) was down 15.2 percent compared to the holiday season average, but the Media Metrix Online Shopping Index - which aggregates Web visitors from both home and work to nearly 400 retail sites and 18 retail subcategories -- was still up 27 percent compared to the same week last year.

Walmart.com was the top gaining retail site for the holiday shopping season, with a year-over-year visitor increase of 640 percent compared to the 1999 holiday season. The five-week traffic average to Walmart.com grew from 50,000 average daily unique visitors over the 1999 holiday shopping season to 370,000 over the 2000 holiday shopping season.

Amazon.com, however, was attracting more than 1.5 million visitors a day during the same period, Media Metrix said.

Six of the top 10 gaining retail sites for the 2000 holiday shopping season were traditional off-line brands -- Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com, AmericanGreetings.com, Staples.com, Hallmark.com and Sears.com. Books sites were the top retail subcategory.