Congratulations, Fingerhut Cos. The general merchandise cataloger was the second fastest-growing i.merchant during the 2001 holiday season, according to the Nielsen/NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index. Fingerhut.com received nearly 8.1 million visits during November and December, up 144% from 3.3 million during November and December 2000.
The fastest-growing e-commerce site was that of music marketer Columbia House; it received 25.4 visits during the holiday season just ended, up 219% from the previous year. Rounding out the top five were Overstock.com (107% growth), OfficeDepot.com (92% growth), and Apple.com (71% growth).
Meanwhile, a study by Jupiter Media Metrix found that only 30% of marketers responded to online customer service queries within six hours. A full one-third—including 40% of online-only i.merchants and 28% of those with offline stores—took more than three days to respond, if they responded at all.