A New Thanksgiving Tradition: Once Again, E-Commerce Visits Spike on Turkey Day

Online visits to shopping sites on Thanksgiving Day--up 27 percent from last year's Thanksgiving Day--exceeded online traffic to e-commerce sites on "Black Friday," according to figures released Monday by Hitwise in the second installment of its Holiday Shopping Data 2004 report. Shopping and classifieds sites drew 11.39 percent of all U.S. visits last Thursday--breaking the high of 8.96 percent set on last year's Thanksgiving Day, according to the report.

Visits from U.S. Web users to retail sites exceeded 10 percent of all Internet traffic, accounting for 11.39 percent on Thursday, 11.03 on Friday, and 10.74 on Saturday, according to Hitwise. Notably, on Thanksgiving Day, visits to appliances and electronics sites were up 20 percent--and visits to computer retailer sites up 18 percent--compared to the day after Thanksgiving.

A comScore Networks spokesman added that Thanksgiving was much stronger this year than in past years. Online shopping on "Black Friday," while still stronger this year than last year, did not show as much growth as Thanksgiving Day. "One hypothesis is that high traffic levels on Thanksgiving were the result of product and price research conducted in advance of planned offline shopping trips on 'Black Friday.'"

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comScore reported Monday that online sales were up 35 percent year-over-year on Wednesday, at $303 million; up 100 percent on Turkey Day, at $133 million; and up 41 percent on Friday at $250 million.

Online window shopping jumped 11 percent in unique potential buyers on Friday, according to data released by Nielsen//NetRatings yesterday. Nielsen found that on Friday, 26 percent more consumers--13.3 million--visited online stores than the previous Friday, Nov. 19. The three most visited sites on Nov. 26, according to Nielsen, were eBay, at 5.4 million; Amazon, at 2.6 million; and Wal-Mart, at 1.4 million.

The top growth category Friday-over-Friday was toys and video games, which grew by 152 percent. Consumer electronics grew by 95 percent, and shopping comparison sites and portals grew by 75 percent, according to Nielsen.

In November 2004, MSN Shopping saw a 30 percent increase in site traffic compared with the same period last year, according to an MSN spokeswoman.

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