As Christmas drew nearer, shoppers still flocked to the Internet, albeit in smaller numbers than earlier in the gift-buying season, but traffic managed to increase significantly from the same period last year, according to research firm
Online retailers saw 31.8 million unique visitors in the week ended Dec. 24, a 28.4% increase in traffic over last year's week leading up to Christmas, but that figure couldn't match the 35.6 million unique visitors e-tailers had in the week ending Dec. 3.
"The drop in visitors to retail sites during the final days of the shopping season comes as no surprise in light of last year's pattern as well as this season's early peak in retail traffic," Anne Rickert, an analyst for Media Metrix, said in a statement.
Media Metrix tracked Web visitors from almost 400 retail sites and 18 retail subcategories for the study and found that book sites and computer sites were the most popular categories. This year's top retail sites were
, with 1.3 million average daily visitors, and
, which had 1.2 million average daily visitors.
Mypoints gained 13 cents, or 10.5%, to $1.31, and Amazon traded up 56 cents, or 3.4%, to $17.44 in recent
Media Metrix is a division of
Jupiter Media Metrix
, a market research and analysis company.