Last week saw online transactions leap 59% above their levels in the first seven days of the holiday season, reports Nielsen/NetRatings, though the growth is marginally behind the 62% recorded in the same period last year.

Consumers made over 117 million shopping visits last week – 6.2m on toys and games sites (up 123% since the start of the holiday season), 5.8m on consumer electronics e-tailers (+97%) and 1.6m on home and garden destinations (+82%). Nielsen regards the week ending October 28 as the start of the season.

The report also concludes that virtual malls run by the likes of Yahoo!, MSN and AOL are holding their ground against big e-tailers such as Amazon. Commented Lisa Strand, director and chief analyst at NetRatings: “Shopping aggregators offer consumers the power to browse through a myriad of online storefronts, drawing a steady stream of visitors with one-stop shopping combined with the ability to comparison shop.”

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