Survey Says Late Shopping Rush Jumpstarts 2002 Online Holiday Shopping Season

Nielsen//NetRatings, the global standard in Internet audience
measurement and analysis, has launched the early results of its fourth annual Holiday
eCommerce Index. The index suggests that shoppers taking advantage of late autumn deals are helping
jumpstart the upcoming holiday season, as early shopping activity increased 12 percent during the
week ending November 3, with online shopping rising around Halloween.
The weekly Nielsen//NetRatings
Holiday eCommerce Index is based on total shopping trips at work
and at home, measuring the amount of Web surfing activity at ecommerce sites during the course
of the holiday season. The index is comprised of five representative sites in each category, and is
meant to act as a barometer to gauge the level of interest to online shopping destinations during the
holidays. A shopping trip is a single visit to an ecommerce site.

Toys and games led all categories, posting a 34 percent growth during the week ending November
3. Consumer electronics followed, rising 26 percent, while shopping visits to the
books, music and video category jumped 25 percent. Overall, more than 109.7 million shopping
trips were conducted during the week.

Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance data shows that holiday-specific advertising surged during the
end of October, with the number of unique holiday ads soaring 53 percent, while overall advertising
only grew 13 percent.
“In the past, online holiday shopping kicked off much later, but we’re seeing indications that
seasonal sales and autumn clearance promotions are helping boost an early start,” said Lisa Strand,
director and chief analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. “We expect the next couple of weeks to be critical,
as the holiday advertising push from online stores heat up.”

Additionally, Nielsen//NetRatings Plan data reveals that nearly 87 percent or 117.3 million surfers
ages 18+ shopped online during the last six months, with 96 million of the total active population
actually making a purchase during that same time.

Dot Com Players Top List of Shopping Destinations
Well-known dot com brands led the list of Nielsen//NetRatings’ top shopping destinations for
September 2002. Amazon reported more than 30.5 million unique visitors for the month, reaching
more than a quarter of the entire active online population at home and at work. eBay
followed closely at second with nearly 30.2 million visitors, while Yahoo! Shopping posted more
than 28.9 million visitors for the month. Rounding out the top five, MSN Eshop drew 10.2 million
visitors, while Barnes & Noble attracted nearly 7.3 million surfers.
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