Jupiter: E-Commerce Sites Speed Ahead

E-tailers took the first three spots on the latest list of the top 10fastest-growing sites, according to a new report released Friday by Jupiter Media Metrix. The research firm also reported that Internet malls widened their audience reach inDecember more than any other type of site.

The surge in the popularity of e-commercesites was largely due to the holiday shopping season,when even traditional retailers managed to boost sales.

But IDC e-commerce analyst Jonathan Gaw predicted that online shopping will continue to be strong wellpast the holiday season. “The notion that e-commercedied sometime last year is really way off,” Gaw told the E-Commerce Times. “We’rebuying more online than we ever did before.”

Bookspan Property, a partnership between Doubleday Direct and the holding company for Book-of-the-Month Club, saw the biggest increase in the number of unique visitors over November, up 164 percent to 6.5 million unique visitors.

Greeting card site Hallmark shot up 68 percent to 9 millionunique visitors, and Verisign-owned Netsol.com took thirdplace with visits up 53 percent to 8 million.

Amazon-backed e-tailer Drugstore.com came in seventh with a 32 percentincrease in visitors and BestBuy.com was ninth with a31 percent increase in visitors.

E-Tailers Reach Bigger Crowds

Of the top 10 Web site categories withthe strongest growth in audience reach, for both home andwork use combined, five were in the retail category.

Internet retail malls saw the strongest growth, withan increase in December of 13 points, or 60 percent, over November.Sites selling jewelry and luxury goods saw audiencereach increase 60 percent, while online ticket-sellers saw a42 percent increase. Food e-tailers extended their audience by 26 percent, and online consumer electronicsstores increased their reach by 6 percent.

Twelve retailers made Jupiter’s list of the top 50most-visited sites for December, including Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), atNo. 7, and EBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), at No. 8. Also making thelist were Ticketmaster (Nasdaq: TMCS), Sony Online and BestBuy.com (NYSE: BBY).AOL took top honors, followed by the MSN and Yahoo!.

Flood of Newcomers

An unusually high 34 sites appeared in the ratingsfor the first time, and holiday and gift sites were among the strongest of those newcomers.Gourmetgiftmail.com entered the ratings with 2 millionvisitors, Jewelry.com saw 990,000 visitors, andTV-products.net had 521,000 visitors.

Newcomers also included sites with spiritual themes,which have seen a burst of popularity in the wake ofSeptember 11th, as well as promotional sites andsearch engines.

The preponderance of new sites to make the list”signals continuing and growing demand for onlineservices,” said Buchwalter.

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