Study: online shopping going strong this holiday season

For the week ended Dec. 2, 51.7 million American visited the Web, up 45% from 35.6 million a year ago, according to a recent report from Jupiter Media Metrix. The Jupiter Media Metrix Online Shopping Index, which aggregates Web visitors from both home and work to about 500 shopping sites, found other indicators that online shopping is going strong this holiday season.

Among the study’s findings, an average of 1.5 million people visited shopping bots such as and each day during the week ended Dec. 2, up 19% from the previous week. Shopping categories with notable gains in traffic from the previous week include apparel sites, which increased 30% to 1.6 million visitors, and which was driven by gains at mass-market retailers. For example, site traffic was up 74% for the week, while traffic at increased 66% and traffic at increased 25%.

The report also found that men and women shop differently online. Men were more likely to shop from online computer and electronic products catalogers. Women, however, were more likely to visit apparel sites. What’s more, the study concluded that apparel sites attract more affluent customers. To that end, among the 75 most highly trafficked e-commerce sites, has the highest percentage of visitors–36%–with household incomes greater than $100,000. In addition, 33% of visitors to, 29% of visitors to, and 24% of visitors to have household incomes greater than $100,000.