Online Holiday Shopping Up 29%

Online retail sales surged 29% over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey released Monday by Nielsen/NetRatings.
In-store shoppers have been flocking to malls and retail outlets at a blistering rate 22 percent higher than last year, and online shoppers are using the web in even larger expanding percentages as the start of the holiday shopping gets underway, according to surveys released Monday.

While the National Retail Foundation said Thanksgiving weekend store sales jumped 22 percent over last year’s figures, Nielsen/NetRatings said online retailing surged 29 percent. “While many shoppers headed out to the stores over the weekend,” said Nielsen senior retail analyst Heather Dougherty in a statement, “the majority first turned to the Internet to check prices and product availability.”

Akamai Technologies, which tracks online retailing through its Akamai Net Usage Index for Retail, said online retail shopping traffic has been building in recent weeks. The Akamai service recorded some interesting trends among online shoppers: it has found that online shopping tends to peak on Monday afternoons while it dips on Saturdays.

Nielsen said eBay logged the most online shopping activity last Friday, which is called Black Friday because retailers traditionally often go into the “black” recording profits for the first time of the year on that day.

Nielsen said eBay recorded 9.5 million unique online visitors on Black Friday. Amazon had 4.6 million and Wal-Mart 3.4 million visitors.

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