48 mln Americans visited e-card sites in December 2004

More than 132 mln people, or 80% of online consumers in the United States, visited retail sites in December according to comScore. Five of the top 10 gaining categories in December were retail-oriented and the fastest growing retail subcategory, jewelry/luxury goods and accessories, increased 30% from November to December and 15% over the same period in 2003.

Coach.com, BlueNile.com, and Zales.com each grew 70% or more over November visitor levels. The department stores category increased 20% in December versus November. Walmart.com had an increase of 37%, almost twice that of the category. With 32 mln visitors in December, Walmart.com was the third-largest retail property online, behind eBay and Amazon. While every major site in the department stores category increased, leaders included Kmart (up 49%), May Department Stores (42%), and Federated Department Stores (35%).

E-card sites also experienced traffic gains spurred by visitors to sites in the e-Cards and flowers, gifts, and greetings categories. Nearly 48 mln consumers visited e-Card sites to send or view virtual holiday cards in December. The flowers, gifts, and greetings category grew 20% with RedEnvelope.com, Proflowers.com, and HarryandDavid.com experiencing substantial growth in December. 1-800-Flowers jumped 44% between November and December.