It’s well known by now that the coronavirus pandemic pushed more consumers to shop online—and that was especially true during the holidays.

During November and December, traffic to the top 2000 North American retail websites jumped 35.7% compared with the same period in 2019, according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis of SimilarWeb data. Statewide lockdowns and fear of contracting the virus in public places led consumers to shop holiday sales and buy gifts online instead of venturing out to stores last November and December.

Even in a typical year, more online retail traffic—and sales—take place during November and December compared with the rest of the year because of heavy retailer promotions and the various holidays that prompt gift and décor purchases. In 2019 for example, site traffic to the top 2000 retailers was up 14.5% compared with a control month in the same year. It was no different in 2020, even with the COVID-19-related ecommerce boost throughout the year. Traffic was up 12.1% in November and December 2020 compared with a control period. The 2019 and 2020 control periods were average monthly site visits for each year during non-holiday months.

When looking at the five-day period beginning Thanksgiving Day through the following Monday (also known as Cyber Monday), traffic jumped 26.4% to the top 2000 sites compared with Cyber 5 2019. On Cyber Monday, traffic was up 25.5% year over year.

Amazon Inc. captured the most traffic out of all 2000 retailers analyzed during the holidays, which is unsurprising for the No. 1 online retailer and marketplace in North America. To get immediate access to the rest of this article, sign up for a free Strategy Membership using the Join for Free button below. If you’re already a member, please sign in.

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