E-commerce Grows for Holiday Season

NEW YORK–Online shopping surged 59 percent last week compared to the first week of the holiday season, as shoppers made more than 117 million e-commerce visits, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

While that growth represents the biggest gain thus far this season (which Nielsen says started the week ending Oct. 28), the growth is slightly off from last year’s 62 percent increase for the same week.

The toys and games category dominated, with people making 6.2 million shopping visits last week, a 123 percent jump from the first week of the holiday season, according to Nielsen. The consumer electronics category grew 97 percent from the beginning of the season, tallying 5.8 million visits. And the home and garden category increased 82 percent to 1.6 million visits.

Online shopping malls for portals like Yahoo, AOL and MSN continue to put up a good showing against virtual department stores, such as Amazon.

“Shopping aggregators offer consumers the power to browse through a myriad of online storefronts, drawing a steady stream of visitors with one-stop shopping combined with the ability to comparison shop,” said Lisa Strand, director and chief analyst, NetRatings.