Report: Books/CDs Were Top Draw for Online Holiday Shoppers

Of the top 15 sites that pulled the majority of online shoppers for the week
ending Dec. 24, 1998, five of them were in the book/CD category, according to
NetRatings’ CommerceTrack holiday report.

The leaders were: (6.4% reach), Music Boulevard (3.9), Barnes &
(3.7%), CDNow (2.5%) and Columbia House (2%). Books/CDs as a category
were followed by specialty products, a close second at 15.8 percent and computer
products at 13 percent.

Blue Mountain Arts, the site with the greatest traffic fluctuation, had a 107
percent increase in visitors between the first week of shopping (Nov. 27-Dec.
3) and the last week (Dec. 18-24), NetRatings said. The Web measurement firm
said it expects the increase was due to the last-minute rush to send
electronic greeting cards to friends and families.

This surge drove the reach of the specialty category (greeting cards, perfume,
chocolate, flowers, wine) up by 80 percent. Computer products also saw an increase,
by 8.4 percent during this time period, mostly driven by visitors to Egghead, and computer manufacturers Dell and Gateway.

Drops in reach occurred in toys and apparel. Apparel, with an already low
reach for the entire holiday season (although much higher than its normal
levels) dropped by about one-half in the last few remaining days before
Christmas. Toys also dropped–by 41.2 percent during the same period.

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