Online holiday spending in U.S. doubles 1999 volume

Consumer online buying during the December 2000 holiday season topped $10 billion in 2000, up 100% from $5.2 billion in 1999, according to a Goldman Sachs/ PC Data study.

“Even though sales recovered from an earlier slowdown, the results were not evenly distributed across categories or companies,” reports Anthony Noto, Goldman Sachs Internet analyst. “Categories such as consumer electronics grew at 118 percent and books/music/video grew at 68 percent, while toys were not as strong online this year with only 37 percent year-over-year growth.”

Customer satisfaction was strong, with more than 80 percent of online consumers reporting they would be likely or extremely to shop online again, and about 58 per cent of consumers stating that the online shopping experience was better than last year during the holidays.



This past holiday’s on-line shopping season will be remembered for the strong performance of the old-fashioned “brick and mortar” based on-line sites, reported Jupiter Media Metrix, an Internet and digital media measurer based in New York city.

While retail sites drew an unprecedented number of on-line shoppers this past holiday season and even had a total growth rate surpassing that of the overall Web, this year will be better remembered by the strong performance of many traditional offline brands like Walmart, Bestbuy, American Greetings and Staples, said Anne Rickert, measurement analyst with Media Metrix.

Media Metrix, announced that 34.3 million unique visitors on average went to retail sites each week during the 2000 holiday shopping season (ending November 26, 2000 through week ending December 24, 2000), up 30.3 per cent compared to the 1999 holiday shopping season and surpassing the Web’s overall growth of 18.6 per cent during the same period. continued its commanding dominance over online holiday spending with three times as many buyers and over twice as many shoppers as its closest competitors, PC Data Online also disclosed. The Reston, VA., Internet watcher also reported that catalog and brick-and-mortar sites demonstrated a growing presence among the Top 20 December e-tailers, claiming over half of the top online slots among American retailers.

PC Data Online reported that with 3.9 million projected buyers and 28 million shoppers in December, easily led at No. 2 with 951,000 projected buyers and 8.3 million shoppers and at No. 3 with 942,000 projected buyers and 8.6 million shoppers. was No. 4 with 885,000 buyers, at No. 5 with 739,000 buyers and at No. 6 with 658,000 buyers. Other traditional offline e-tail sites in the Top 20 were at No. 8, at No. 12, at No. 13, at No. 15, at No. 17, at No.18, at No. 19 and at No. 20.

“The distinction between pure-play Internet retailers and the so-called ‘click-and-mortar’ challengers is quickly becoming obsolete,” said Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet analyst for PC Data. “In 1999, only four offline sites were among the Top 20. This year there are 12. Big, experienced retailers are now a serious presence on the web. Only one question remains: Can anyone challenge Amazon?”

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