Online Shopping Looks Merry and Bright

As the shaky U.S. economy heads into the all-important holiday shopping season, Jupiter Media Metrix is the latest Web measurement firm to find encouraging news at the online mall.

According to Jupiter’s assessment of e-commerce Web sites during Thanksgiving week, the number of different people visiting shopping sites from home or work increased 43 percent compared to the same week last year. The Jupiter Media Metrix Online Shopping Index, which tracks home and work visitors to nearly 500 Web sites in 18 subcategories, climbed to 50.2 million unique visitors the week of Thanksgiving, up from 35.2 million during the same week in 2000.

“Usage of the Internet continues to grow significantly on a year-over-year basis, but the strong year-over-year growth in online shopping during Thanksgiving week demonstrates that e-commerce activity is alive and well in the midst of an otherwise difficult economic environment,” said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research for Jupiter Media Metrix.

Compared to the start of the holiday shopping season in 2000, traffic to retail sites on the day after Thanksgiving was up 68 percent to 16.1 million unique visitors, while visitors on Saturday were up 59 percent to 15.3 million and visitors on Sunday were up 55 percent to 16.1 million. The peak shopping days the week of Thanksgiving were Monday (21.2 million), Tuesday (20.2 million) and Wednesday (18.9 million). Data from comScore Networks found that the Monday after Thanksgiving was the best day of 2001 in terms of e-commerce sales.

Other findings from the Jupiter research include:

  • The top three sites of the 2001 Online Shopping Index are eBay, with 4.0 million average daily unique visitors (up 57 percent from 2000);, with 2.3 million unique visitors (up 49 percent); and, with 1.8 million visitors (up 31 percent).

  • The top three sites ranked according to their percent gain in traffic compared to 2000 are Ticketmaster (up 424 percent to 713,000 average daily unique visitors); (up 400 percent to 120,000 daily unique visitors); and, up 319 percent to 373,000 average daily unique visitors.

  • The top three product categories ranked according to the number of average daily unique visitors are: auctions (4.3 million); books (3.1 million); and computers (3.1 million).

  • Brick-and-mortar retailers are also off to a good start this season. Jupiter found that, and all grew by at least 40 percent in average daily unique visitors compared to last year.

Top Shopping Sites, Week Ending 11/25/01
Rank Site Avg. Daily
Unique Visitors
Week Ending

1. 3,974
2. 2,268
3. 1,773
4. 730
5. Ticketmaster 713
6. 601
7. 555
8. 530
9. ToysRUs 527
10. 525
11. Columbia House Sites 505
12. 450
13. 393
14. 373
15. 361
16. 356
17. 339
18. 334
19. 323
20. 319
21. 317
22. 317
23. 271
24. 269
25. 265
Source: Jupiter Media Metrix

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