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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Online Holiday Shopping Up 24% Over 2003

According to a report from Hitwise, US visits to shopping-related websites accounted for nearly 10% of all Internet traffic for the week ending Dec. 11 -- a 24% increase over the level of traffic during the same period last year.

Interest in classified-advertising sites surged a whopping 134% in the past year, followed by automotive and auction sites. Specific sites, such as Shopping.com, Dell.com and Walmart.com, have received substantially more traffic this year than at this time last season.

Click for larger image

The chart above shows a remarkably consistent traffic pattern between mid-November and mid-December for both 2003 and 2004, though the rate is consistently higher for 2004. Note the spike in traffic over Thanksgiving (which was later in the month in 2003 than in 2004).

One thing the Hitwise survey doesn't discuss, however, are sales figures. If they are consistent with web traffic and are significantly higher than last year, it will simply reinforce the impact that online retailing is having on holiday shopping, and on the economy at large.

Source: ClickZ