US online sales rose 40 per cent in the last part of 2002 as holiday shoppers boosted orders at internet retailers, according to BizRate.com.
The online price comparison shopping website calculated that overall online sales were up by more than 34 per cent on the same period last year.
The figures show that sales jumped to $7.92bn (£4.94bn) in the period from 25 November to 25 December, and reached $17.44bn (£10.89bn) for last three months of 2002. Sales for the year totalled $48bn (£30bn).
Computer hardware were the most popular products bought online, with around $2.57bn (£1.6bn) in sales.
The gains seem to have been made at the expense of traditional retailers, which are expected to post their smallest holiday sales gains since 1970.
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