Report: Online Holiday Sales Starting Early

Holiday buyers rushed to the Internet for the second month in a row in
October, says a new study, and holiday gift staples, such as clothing, toys
and sporting goods, moved up sharply in the Top 20 Retail Sites for the month.

The study by PC Data Online is based on a
proprietary sample that tracks visitors and buyers on various e-commerce
sites.

“Our October numbers confirm the jump in both shopping and buying in
September was no fluke, ” said Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet research analyst
for PC Data Online.

“Whether it’s a response to the increase of dot com
advertising on television and radio or a growing comfort with shopping
online, Internet users in October spent more money and bought more diverse
items on the Internet in greater numbers.”

Sites at the top of the Top 20 list remained relatively stable with
Amazon.com (No. 1), Buy.com, Ticketmaster.com, barnesandnoble.com and
mothercare.com pushing Drugstore.com down the list, closer in standing to its
competitor PlanetRx.com.

“The big gains this month can be attributed to early holiday shoppers,”
Meierhoefer said. “Jumps by Smartkids.com (to No. 7 from 26), etoys.com to 9
from 19) and fogdog.com (to 15 from 24) clearly reflect that people have
begun their holiday shopping.”

Gap.com cracked the No. 10 spot after a No. 14 showing in September. Though
not in the Top 20, jcrew.com and landsend.com are poised to enter the Top 20
at No. 22 and No. 23 respectively.

PC Data Online defines Internet retail sites as Web sites where visitors can
actually purchase products.


They include neither shopping domains that
provide free downloads, product reviews, or purchasing incentives such as
coupons, nor other types of e-commerce sites such as auction, travel
reservation, or financial service sites.

The sample includes 80,000 home Internet users.PC Data Online also publishes a daily online buying meter based on more than 600 online retail sites as well as a weekly survey of consumer buying
behavior and sentiment.

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