The online holiday shopping season has officially started and we're all surfing for great deals on toys, according to the latest research.
Market researcher Nielsen//NetRatings said that traffic surged during the second week in November, with home and work shopping visits increasing by 13 per cent.
Growth was calculated using the last full week in October as a baseline. Traffic growth rates during the same weeks in 2002, 2001 and 2000 were 11, 20 and 29 per cent, respectively.
Nielsen//NetRatings' fifth annual Holiday eCommerce Index found that the hottest goods were toys and video games (up 99 per cent), followed by home and garden products (27 per cent) and consumer electronics (25 per cent).
"Toys and games got the holiday season started this year, with big spikes in many of the firms' online sessions," said Robert Leathern, director and senior analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings.
"Other categories, like consumer electronics and home and garden, have shown strong consistent growth throughout this year, and continue to grow traffic strongly as the holiday season is kicking off."
Amazon and eBay increased user sessions by 16 and two per cent respectively over the period, the firm said.
Nielsen//NetRatings also noted that consumers appear to spend more time researching online and offline purchases after upgrading their internet access to broadband.
"The always-on nature of broadband means that more consumers are conducting searches, doing comparison shopping and discovering more product and merchant related information," said Leathern.
"This also results in the noticeable offline impact of more informed buyers."
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