In the first three days of December, visits to 100 top online retail sites decrease versus the comparable period last year, while Amazon increases its share of total traffic.

Visits to top online retail sites have leveled off slightly in the first few days of December compared with the same time last year, as online retailers continue their push for online holiday spending dollars.

That’s according to an Internet Retailer analysis of SimilarWeb Ltd. traffic data, which shows that for the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December (Dec. 1-3), total global visits to 100 holiday-focused shopping sites reached 611.6 million, a 2.6% decline versus 627.8 million for the comparable weekend period in December last year (Dec. 2-4).

While consumers have visited top online retail sites fewer times overall compared to last year, that does not mean that online sales are declining. In fact, data from retail analytics firm Jumpshot, as well as an Internet Retailer survey on conversion rate trends among online retailers, suggests that merchants’ conversion rates are increasing year over year—some by as much as 25% or more.

This suggests that consumers may be shopping around multiple sites less frequently, completing a purchase more often or spending more at checkout.

Still, not surprisingly, traffic to top 100 holiday shopping sites has fallen off from peak levels during the Cyber 5 weekend.

Plus, the data shows that’s share of retail traffic is growing compared with last year, as the web leader was responsible for nearly half of all visits to top shopping sites on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of December.

Looking at the traffic levels from the 28-day period from November 6 through December 3 shows that Amazon’s share peaked in early November—at 52.4%. Its lowest share of holiday visits was on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, when it was responsible for 38.3% of total visits.

That’s in line with data from retail analytics firm Slice Intelligence, which shows that Amazon’s share of daily holiday online spending peaks later in the season when most other retailers have lightened up on their promotions and delivery times shorten. In 2016, Amazon’s share of daily holiday online sales reached 50% on Dec. 19, or the last Monday before Christmas. It was at its lowest level—21%—on Thanksgiving.

It also suggests that online retailers combated Amazon by driving consumers to shop on their sites for early deals on Thanksgiving Day.


Amazon is ranked No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000.

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