Study: Online shopping on upswing

Holiday shopping on Internet up more than 30 percent this year over last, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

The total number of trips made by online shoppers during the week ending Dec. 4 was up by 33 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Nielsen/NetRatings data released on Monday.

During the week, the number of shopping sessions rose to 462.5 million, compared to 348.3 million trips for the week in 2004. The data is based on the Holiday eShopping Index, whose sources include 100 e-tailers across 10 categories.

The fastest growing category was "books, music and video," which saw a 238 percent increase in shopping visits for that week over the same period last year. Apparel products saw year-over-year growth of 38 percent, while toys, video games and consumer electronics rose 28 percent each.

"Online shopping has increased over last year because both new and experienced Internet buyers are not only researching products and comparing prices online before making a purchase, but they are also finding good holiday discounts online," Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, said in a statement. "Retail sites across all product categories have experienced growth over last year and traffic continues to escalate as the holidays get closer."

Recent reports have all pointed to a rise in e-commerce this holiday season, with categories such as computers seeing good sales during Thanksgiving weekend.