Online Christmas Shopping Begins Early

    November 18, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

According to Hitwise, online shoppers begin their Christmas season even before little Johnny can recover from his Halloween stomachache. For the week ending November 5th, US Internet searches on the term [Christmas] were up 41% over the previous week.

Queries for [Christmas gift ideas], [Christmas gifts], and [Christmas decorations] were up 185%, 92%, and 75% respectively.

Hitwise says Christmas-related search queries began ramping up in September, an indication of the length of the online researching and buying process.

“A similar pattern was noted when Halloween-related queries began increasing in mid August. Clearly online shoppers have become accustomed to longer lead times and use the Internet to plan out their holiday activities,” said Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise.

The most popular search terms for the time period included variations of Apple iPod, including [ipod], [ipod nano], [ipods], [ipod mini], and [dell computers], [Barbie], [xbox 360], [airsoft guns], and [build a bear].

Online retailer eBay dominates the percentage of total visits, commanding 21.43% of online shopping and classified Web site visits. The closest competitor is with 2.84%, according to Hitwise.

Overall, visits to retail websites during this time period accounted for 8.52% of all Web traffic. The top growing retail categories are Ticketing, Department Stores, and Flowers and Gifts. Retail was the third most popular online category after Adult (17.3%) and Email sites (8.9%).