Retail Sites Up 40% Over Last Year

Media Metrix today released the first installment of its Holiday 2000 E-commerce Series, revealing the first comprehensive retail Web-site measurement results for the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday among users at home and work combined. The number of different people visiting retail sites during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday increased by 40.3% compared to the same week last year, with the Media Metrix Online Shopping Index climbing from 25.1 million to 35.2 million unique visitors.

Jupiter Research, in a separate announcement today, revealed that over 50% of online retailers say they are confident they will be able to handle high volumes of orders this holiday season versus last year, when only 10% were confident of their sites' infrastructures. Jupiter cautions, however, that online retailers could leave shoppers hanging in the event of a site crash, due to their lack of customer-service contingency plans.

Amazon.com and Mypoints.com were the number-one and number-two retail sites overall for the week of Thanksgiving for the second year in a row. Amazon.com had 960,000 and 1.5 million average daily unique visitors in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and Mypoints.com had 897,000 and 1.4 million average daily unique visitors in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

Peoplepc.com and Radioshack.com were the top gaining retail sites during Thanksgiving week in 2000, with 87.3 and 82.7% increases in their average daily unique visitors over the prior week, respectively.

Books and Computers were the top retail subcategories during Thanksgiving week, with 2.1 million and 2.0 million average daily unique visitors, respectively. Footwear and Games were the top gaining retail subcategories, with 64.0 and 40.0% increases in their average daily unique visitors over the prior week, respectively.

Because Media Metrix is able to report Internet usage at home and work combined, it observed a decline in visitors to retail sites on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, when most Americans were away from their workplace and home computers. Daily traffic to retail sites declined by 23.5% and 16.3% for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, respectively, compared to the Thursday and Friday the prior week. However, traffic increased 6.9% and 8.0% the Saturday and Sunday of Black Friday weekend, respectively, compared to the Saturday and Sunday the prior week.

"Despite the widely publicized snags consumers experienced while shopping online last holiday season, consumer confidence online remains strong as indicated by the year-over-year increase in the Media Metrix Online Shopping Index," said Anne Rickert, measurement analyst, Media Metrix.