Toys Category Soars 47%, Apparel - 43%
"The 12% rise in user visits is nearly identical to the leap in the first week of holiday traffic for 1999, so it's clear the holiday season has firmly begun, albeit one week delayed," said Sean Kaldor, VP of eCommerce at NetRatings.
Leading the growth were toys, games and apparel sites. The toys and games category soared 47% in total user visits this past week, after seeing a 12% decline in visits the previous week. The apparel category jumped 43%, adding to its five percent rise the previous week. Consumer electronics rose 17%, and virtual department stores, which include sites such as Amazon, Target and Walmart, increased 12%.
"We forecasted a 270% increase in unique visitors to online toy and game sites between August and December 2000. This week's numbers confirm a solid holiday start for this sector, which depends most heavily upon a strong fourth quarter," said Kaldor. "Toys and game sites are on the rise, with many toy companies having started their initial holiday gift marketing campaigns, including promotional inserts, catalog mailings, banner campaigns, and TV advertisements."
"Apparel sites have been a sleeper hit thus far in 2000, since many industry watchers questioned whether clothing could be sold effectively online. Every apparel e-tailer in our index showed significant growth over the prior week, with Spiegel.com and VictoriasSecret.com racing neck and neck for the 'fastest growing apparel site' title within our index," he added.