While the 1999 season peaked with a 40 percent growth in the number of home
shoppers, this year the number of online shoppers has already risen 53
percent, setting a new record for the holiday season, according to the latest
figures from Nielsen//NetRatings.
The online measurement firm said that for the second week in December, its
Holiday E-Commerce Index, which measures home and work Web shopping in eight
product categories, jumped 10 percent over the prior week and 78 percent
since the beginning of this year’s holiday shopping season.
Meanwhile, comparison-shopping and evaluation company BizRate said that
online shopping is at its peak right now, and that Monday, Dec. 11, “marked
an Internet milestone as the first day in online shopping history where sales
exceeded the $200 million barrier.” Dec. 13, 1999, marked last year’s peak
online holiday shopping day with $177.87 million in sales, according to
BizRate.com’s online retail figures.
BizRate.com forecasts the combined total of the first three days of this week
— Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday — will amount to nearly $600 million in
“Online holiday shopping got off to a late start this year, but has recovered
with strong and consistent growth,” said Sean Kaldor, vice president of
e-commerce at NetRatings. “In the last five weeks, holiday shopping growth
has consistently exceeded last year’s results and the trend indicates that
there is at least one more week of favorable growth ahead.”
BizRate predicted holiday shoppers will spend as much as $1.21 billion for
the week of Dec. 11, 2000.
“Shoppers are more savvy this year, and many are ordering earlier to ensure
their packages arrive on time,” said Chuck Davis, president and CEO of
BizRate.com. “It’s now up to e-tailers to meet and exceed consumer
expectations by successfully handling this week’s online order onslaught.”
A key attraction to shoppers this holiday season is established brick and
mortar retailers that have moved online, NetRatings said. Brick and mortar
sites have grown 103 percent since the beginning of the season, gaining
ground on pure-play e-tailers, which are up 77 percent.
“Brick and mortar sites are tapping into their large, established customer
bases and leveraging their enormous promotional budgets to drive millions of
shoppers online,” said Kaldor. “While late to e-commerce, these sites are
winning their fair share of visitors and dollars.”