Hitwise: Holiday Ecommerce Traffic Up 6%

Average daily traffic to ecommerce sites from Thanksgiving Day through the Thursday before Christmas was up 5.9% compared to last year, according to new Hitwise research.

This holiday season, the days with the largest individual increases year-over-year were the first Monday after Thanksgiving--also known as "Cyber Monday"--and Thanksgiving Day. Visits to Hitwise's Retail 100 Index were up 13.2% on Monday, November 27, 2006 versus Monday, November 28, 2005, and up 11.8% on Thursday, November 23, 2006 versus Thursday November 24, 2005.

Amazon.com remained the most visited Web site within Hitwise's Index last week, receiving 13.18% of visits among the Retail 100 Index, while Wal-mart received the second-most visits with 9.13%.

This week, visits to the Web sites within the Retail 100 Index were up 6.2% for the week ending December 23, 2006 versus the same week last year--December 24, 2005.

CircuitCity.com and BestBuy.com received the biggest increases in visits from week to week, with respective increases of 20.7% and 17.1%. Hallmark.com, meanwhile, was the fastest-moving Web site within the Index, jumping 14 spots from 31 to 17--an increase in visits of 97% for the week ending December 23, 2006.

Notably, the market share of visits to Apple's iTunes Web site, www.apple.com/itunes, was up 413% on this year's Christmas Day compared to last year's, as new iPod owners flocked to the Web to purchase downloads on iTunes. In addition, the market share of visits to the Apple Store, store.apple.com showed an increase of 110% when comparing Christmas Day 2006 to 2005.

The Apple Store was the fourth-most-visited Web site in the Hitwise Retail Index on Christmas Day 2006.

The market share of visits to Zune.net, the site for downloading the music software for Microsoft's MP3 player, showed an increase of 1,030% on Dec. 25, 2006 versus the previous Monday.

Nintendo DS was the top product search term sending visits to shopping and classifieds sites for last week. The product term 'ipod' moved back into the second spot, followed by 'nintendo wii' and 'wii' among the most popular product searches for the one-week period ending Dec. 23, 2006, according to Hitwise.

Hitwise's estimates are more modest than those of rival research company Nielsen//NetRatings, which recently reported that visits to the sites in its holiday index increased 20% year-over-year from the first week in November through Dec. 17.