Hitwise: E-Commerce Traffic Spikes Thanksgiving Day
But traffic only rose by about 3% on the day after Thanksgiving, according to Hitwise. That figure, however, was lower than the 12% increase reported by rival research company Nielsen//NetRatings.
Hitwise, which also examined specific retail sites, found that Walmart.com drew a larger market share of Thanksgiving Day visits (18.26%) than other retailers in its index, which excludes classifieds and online auction sites like eBay. Other sites to garner large Thanksgiving traffic include BestBuy.com (8.75%), Amazon.com (8.36%), Circuitcity.com (6.98%) and Target.com (6.06%).
"The dominance of big box retailers as top sites visited for November 23rd indicates that the Thanksgiving Day phenomenon is attributable to consumers researching sale offerings in advance of Black Friday," Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, said in a statement.
Despite the predictable influx of traffic post-Thanksgiving, at least one large site--Wal-Mart--was apparently unprepared. The site was only sporadically available on Friday. A company representative told CNNMoney.com that the outage was caused by a "higher than anticipated traffic surge."