ONLINE HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPENDING UP 15%

Web Showed Better Gains Than Overall Retail

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- The final tallies are in for the online holiday season, with sales up 15% to $13.8 billion, according to the eSpending report from Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings.

At the same time, Jupiter Media Metrix reported that on average 51.3 million unique visitors went to Web shopping sites each week of the 2001 holiday shopping season, up 50% from the previous year.

Modest gains
The gains are

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modest by traditional Internet growth standards, but stand up well vs. overall retail spending at all venues, which is anticipated to be flat or up or down a couple of percentage points.

Ken Cassar, senior Jupiter Media Metrix analyst, called 2001 the year when traditional retailers began to dominate the Web, overtaking pure-play counterparts. The dominant online retailers were those that also have a brick-and-mortar presence.

Traditional retailers do well
Among the top 15 sites, traffic to the Web sites of the seven traditional retailers jumped 73%. Those sites include Walmart.com, bartnesandnoble.com, bestbuy.com and toysrus.com.

Jupiter Media Metrix, meanwhile, said digital photo manipulation handling has become one of the hottest applications for computer technology, and users are increasingly using photo sharing sites on the Web.

Jupiter Media Metrix reported 12.0 million computer users at work used a photo-editing application in October 2001, up 37% from 8.7 million. Photo-editing software usage at home was up 27% to 21.5 million wired computer users from January to October 2001.

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