Cyber Monday Exceeds Expectations

E-commerce Web sites Monday drew 15 percent more Web traffic than did Black Friday, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. A unique audience of 27.7 million, representing combined home and work, cyber-shopped on Monday, Nielsen found.

The fastest-growing product categories were toys, video games, consumer electronics, and computer hardware and software.

Nielsen//NetRatings, which based its findings on an index of some 100 online retailers across 10 categories, said that traffic to online shopping sites also grew 29 percent year-over-year on Black Friday.

Last year, consumers spent more than $380 million on the Monday after Thanksgiving--a 29 percent increase over the same day in 2003, according to comScore Networks.

Black Friday traffic to online shopping sites grew 39 percent week-over-week from home, while Cyber Monday retail traffic grew 18 percent week-over-week from work, Nielsen found.

Top shopping sites for Black Friday and Cyber Monday were comparable--and eBay led the way with 9.48 million hits on Friday and 11.67 million on Monday. Amazon came in second with 4.64 million hits on Friday and 5.58 million on Monday, followed by Wal-Mart Stores with 3.40 million Friday and 3.10 million on Monday. NetFlix was a standout--as it did not even make the top ten on Friday, but ranked number nine on Monday with 1.39 million hits, according to Nielsen.

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Nielsen considers its holiday e-shopping index a barometer to gauge the level of activity at online shopping destinations during the season, made up as it is of 100 representative online retailers across ten categories.

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