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Turkey Day Smoke Clears, Winners Emerge

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After all is clicked and bought, Thanksgiving weekend numbers are in with clear retail sector winners. While Best Buy, eBay, Wal-Mart, and Amazon (the four horsemen?) are directing all the Web traffic, it is still unclear which day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, pulls in the most shoppers.

Hitwise reports that Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for retail traffic as holiday shoppers prepare for the rise-and-shop ritual to take place on Black Friday. Cyber Monday was almost 34 percent less, in terms of overall traffic, than Thanksgiving, and over 26 percent less than Black Friday.

According to Hitwise’s numbers, Walmart.com and BestBuy.com unseated Amazon.com as the most visited site during this time. But by Cyber Monday, Amazon regained the top spot.

But Nielsen//NetRatings, comparing Black Friday and Cyber Monday only, says it may be just how you look at it. Measuring the audience (perhaps number of people in the car rather than the car itself?), Nielsen says home-shoppers on Black Friday outnumbered work-shoppers on Cyber Monday by nearly three million visitors.

A little over 19 million at-home visitors piled into eBay, Amazon, and Wal-Mart on Black Friday, compared to just over 16 million surfing into those same stores on Cyber Monday from work.

But there’s a big HOWEVER. Nielsen also says that, when home and work traffic are combined, Cyber Monday is still the reigning champion. Cyber Monday drew in a combined unique audience of 29.5 million.

The National Retail Foundation’s Ellen Davis confirms that Cyber Monday was a big day for CyberMonday.com. Drawing about 500,000 page views per hour, Shop.org had to add a server to handle all the traffic. She says Best Buy was the recipient of most downstream traffic from the site, followed Target, and Circuit City.

Of course, it doesn’t necessarily matter to the online retailer which day is busiest. All days, all the way up until the last shipping day before Christmas, are nothing but busy. With all the Cyber Monday hoopla, though, they are definitely preparing earlier.

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Turkey Day Smoke Clears, Winners Emerge
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