Microsoft's Zune Web site increased its traffic by 299% on Christmas Day compared with Christmas Day last year, as new owners signed up for accounts and downloaded software, according to Hitwise.
Traffic to the site increased 392% on Christmas Day compared with Christmas Eve, according to the online intelligence firm.
Apple iPod owners also flocked to iTunes to give Apple's music Web site six times the traffic Zune received. Traffic for iTunes soared 339% from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, and the Web site's market share reached 0.68%, Hitwise reported. Zune's market share reached 0.009%.
The Nintendo Wii and the Australian women's shoe called Ugg topped the list of popular product search terms to send traffic to shopping and classifieds sites the week ending Dec. 22.
"Although the Nintendo Wii was the most-talked-about product during the holiday season, MP3 players were also very popular as Christmas gifts," Heather Dougherty, director of research at Hitwise, said in a prepared statement. "This year the Zune has captured interest from music listeners with a new line of redesigned players and discounted older models, while the popularity of iPods continued to drive traffic to the Apple Store and iTunes Web site."
The Apple Store also fared well, ranking ninth on Hitwise's list of most-visited retail sites on Christmas Day. The week before Christmas, Amazon.com was the most-visited Web site in the retail index, drawing 12% of U.S. online retail traffic. Wal-Mart's Web site ranked second with 8%. Shopping.com, Dell.com, and Macys.com saw the largest increases in Web site traffic last week compared with the week before, with jumps of 34%, 18%, and 18%, respectively.
Overall, U.S. retail traffic rose 16% last week compared with the week ending Dec. 23, 2006.
Although retailers expected a surge of online shopping on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Christmas, Hitwise found that traffic to retail Web sites dropped during the week ending Dec. 22, compared with the previous week.