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More women shopping online

A Media Metrix study concludes that the number of women shopping online has nearly doubled in the last week alone.

Women--who made up a small minority on the Net just a few years ago--have rushed online this season to hit the virtual malls, a new study shows.

In the last week, the number of women shopping on the Internet has increased by 90 percent over with the week before, according to the study by Web research firm Media Metrix.

Women during the week accounted for 55 percent of holiday online shopping traffic.

Online retail sites have seen an overall traffic spike in the last week, according to Media Metrix. Department-store and toy sites showed the biggest leaps in traffic, with department stores jumping 137 percent and toy store sites gaining 98 percent in their traffic. The study did not identify specific stores.

"I think what we've seen is this huge acceptance in going online," Media Metrix senior vice president Bob Ivins said. "I think we will continue to see significant increases."

A lot of the traffic may represent mere window shopping: The survey measured the number of unique visitors, not the number or amount of transactions.