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Amazon tops list of November e-commerce gainers

Toy, pharmacy and clothing e-tailers are the big winners in last month's holiday-fueled boost in online shopping, but giant Amazon beats them all.

Toy, pharmacy and clothing e-tailers were the big winners in last month's holiday-fueled boost in online shopping, but giant Amazon topped them all.

In a study of the most visited e-tail sites on the Internet, research group PC Data Online found Amazon gained more consumers than any other Web site. Buy.com and etoys followed in second and third, respectively.

About 1.8 million customers shopped at Amazon in November, a 50-percent increase from the prior month, according to the Reston, Virginia-based researcher. Online retail store Buy.com and toy site etoys saw traffic more than double from October.

As research groups tabulate the heaps of Thanksgiving shopping statistics, the results continue to be encouraging for e-tailers heading into the heart of the holiday season. Multitudes of new customers shopped online across several different markets, though whether they were satisfied with their experience remains to be seen.

Many analysts have long predicted online shopping this holiday season would be unprecedented, but some also have warned that new e-commerce companies, inexperienced at handling hordes of shoppers, could fumble such things as customer service and shipping. Failing those crucial tasks could chase shoppers back into brick-and-mortar stores, they cautioned.

Elsewhere, online pharmacies Drugstore.com registered 316,000 unique buyers and Planetrx.com logged 286,000, according to PC Data's survey of 85,000 Internet users. Both druggists were among the top ten retail sites.

"Drugstore site's staying power amidst this holiday season is a positive indicator as to how successful these sites are becoming," said PC Data Internet analyst Cameron Meierhoefer. "

Landsend.com jumped the most places in the list of traffic rankings. In October, the Dodgeville, Wisconsin-based e-tailer held the No. 24 spot, but leapfrogged to No. 8. Rival Gap.com fell one spot from October to No. 11.

Newcomers to the Top 20 were office-supplies seller Officemax.com, which came in at No. 16, and online pet store Petopia.com, which broke in at No. 18.

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