E-tailers showed big gains in traffic over last year for the week before Christmas, but UPS and FedEx were the real winners, according to a new survey.
The survey conducted by Internet usage and market research group Media Metrix found the number of e-commerce visitors from home and work increased 37 percent since last year. The number of visitors also increased substantially, up 33 percent, since the Thanksgiving week.
And, while leading e-tailers Amazon.com, eBay, eToys, Toysrus.com and Barnesandnoble.com showed steady gains in Web traffic, the survey found that the ones who came out on top were mailing and shipping giants UPS and FedEx. The number of average daily unique visitors--meaning the average number of different individuals who accessed a Web site--to both UPS.com and FedEx.com this week soared 57 percent and 94 percent, respectively, over an average in the last three weeks. The period surveyed ended Dec. 12, amid crunch time as holiday shoppers were tracking their packages online.
UPS, which climbed 40 percent in its first day of trading in early November, has been gaining approval from industry observers as a serious e-commerce player. As reported, UPS delivers about 55 percent of all the goods purchased online, a figure analysts have said they expect will increase.
Other top traffic gainers were flowers, gifts and greeting sites, which were up nearly 10 percent from the previous week, led by AmericanGreetings.com and toy sites Familywonder.com and Smartkids.com. Daily visitor traffic for AmericanGreetings.com jumped 88 percent to 141,000 visitors this week compared to 75,000 visitors in the last 3 weeks. Familywonder showed an increase of 61,000 daily visitors, up 53 percent from 40,000, and Smartkids showed a 41 percent jump to 65,000 visitors from 46,000.
Enews.com, a magazine subscription Web site, was the leader in the group, reporting a 161 percent surge of daily visitor traffic, up from 54,000 visitors in the last three weeks to this week's 141,000, according to New York-based Media Metrix.
Leading e-commerce advertisers included Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and eBay for the week ended Dec. 12, according to the survey. Beyond.com was also a top advertiser, as well as new entrant Ubid.com.
The survey also highlighted an increase in visitor traffic by teen-agers, which had a greater percent increase than adult visitors on a yearly basis. Teen visitors from the ages of 12 to 17 increased 89 percent over the same week last year, compared to a 34 percent increase for adults 18 and older. Teen visitors now account for 5 percent of total e-commerce site usage, up from 3 percent last year, the survey found.