Online Holiday Shopping Season 2000 Comes to a Close

  • by December 21, 2000
Nielsen//NetRatings reveals that the online holiday shopping season has slowed down this past week ending December 17, marking the prior week of December 10 as the peak of the holiday season.

The Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday E-Commerce Index, which measures home and work shopping trips to representative e-commerce sites in eight product categories, spiked to the season's all-time high of 68.4 million shopping trips during the week ending December 10, while dropping seven percent to 63.3 million this past week.

"Online holiday shopping peaked a full 14 days before Christmas, mirroring the trend experienced in 1999," said Sean Kaldor, VP of eCommerce at NetRatings. "We had anticipated that e-tailer assurances of on-time delivery and ample product supply would encourage more shoppers to go online in this last week, but with Sunday's traffic down 23% from the prior week, the wind-down has definitely begun."

The top ten e-tailers for the week was mostly made up of traditional brick and mortar sites, with Amazon.com leading the way with more than 6.4 million home shoppers, a growth of 33% as compared to the same week in 1999. Traditional retailer Toys R Us took the No. 2 spot, with 1.8 million home unique visitors, an increase of 61% over 1999. Etoys.com attracted 13% more home visitors this year, totaling 1.7 million shoppers for the week.

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"Brick and mortar companies have shined throughout the holiday season. Many pure play sites have experienced strong growth, but brick and mortar companies now account for seven of the top ten e-tailers," said Kaldor.

The Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday E-Commerce Index saw shopping trips drop across the board, with the exception of the specialty gifts category. The index declined seven percent while specialty gifts rose nearly 25% for the week

"While holiday shopping is still up 65% from the start of the season, only a handful of e-tailers managed to grow in this most recent week. The biggest gainers in our 40 site index were RedEnvelope.com and Spiegel.com, which rose 62% and 41% over the prior week, respectively," said Kaldor.

Meanwhile, Preliminary results show that this holiday season, the number of online purchasers is up, with 49 million consumers spending, on average, 38% more on holiday gifts than last year's online purchasers, according to new research released today by The Boston Consulting Group and Harris Interactive. Online retailers are, however, failing to fully capitalize on growing consumer demand as many potential online holiday shoppers have opted not to purchase online.

As of December 11, the average online holiday shoppers have already bought six holiday gifts online totaling $234, up from $170 last year. In addition, the number of online holiday shoppers has already grown 23% compared to the 1999 holiday season, with 40% of the online population having bought a holiday gift online. Yet, a significant percentage of consumers who had earlier considered doing their ho

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