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Holiday eShopping for Consumer Electronics

Nielsen//NetRatings announced that its Holiday eShopping Index increased 12 percent from home on the day after Thanksgiving, garnering a unique audience of 19.2 million across more than 120 representative online retailers, compared with 17.2 million on Black Friday last year.

Online shopping has become a U.S. Thanksgiving weekend tradition for many families who want to avoid crowded parking lots and shopping malls, yet still get a head start on holiday shopping.

The fastest growing product category week over week was Consumer Electronics, with a 211 percent increase in unique audience from November 17th to November 24th. Apparel took the No. 2 spot with 117 percent Web traffic growth, followed by Home & Garden with 87 percent growth.

"Black Friday officially kicks off the holiday shopping season," said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "This year, shoppers went online to check out the latest in consumer electronics, including flat screen TVs and new game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and the highly coveted Sony PlayStation 3. Apparel continues to be one of the most popular holiday gifts, as evidenced by that category's growth on Black Friday as well. What is somewhat surprising is the strong showing of the Home & Garden category, as consumers invest in their homes despite the slowdown in the real estate market," she continued.

eBay led the top online shopping destinations on Black Friday with 7.5 million unique visitors, followed by Amazon and Wal-Mart Stores with 3.4 million and 3.2 million unique visitors, respectively.

When the top 10 online shopping destinations are re-ranked by week-over-week growth, BestBuy.com takes the lead with an impressive 316 percent increase in unique audience from one Friday to the next. CircuitCity.com ranks No. 2 with a 211 percent increase in Web traffic and Wal-Mart Stores rounds out the top three, growing 191 percent week over week.

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