It was another strong holiday season for online retailers. Traffic watcher comScore Networks issued its look at Internet shopping trends yesterday, and the prognosis is pretty sweet. From November through Dec. 26, online spending at non-travel-related sites, excluding auction sites, soared 26% higher to hit $23.1 billion. Hitting a major milestone, online sales for all of 2006 lapped the $100 billion mark for the first time this past Saturday.

Kudos to you and your trusting "click here to place your order" clicking finger. Sales growth accelerated in the week leading up to the holiday, further indicating that we're also learning to rely on the Internet as a source for last-minute gift card and overnight shipping deliveries.

So, where was everyone shopping this season? Let's take a look at how the retailers stacked up from Nov. 1 through Dec. 26.











Source: comScore Networks

Starting at the top
Yes, (NASDAQ:AMZN) is once again on top. The data excludes large corporate purchases, which makes it pretty darn encouraging for Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) investors to see the PC and laptop giant fare so well outside of its core business market.

The third name on the list may throw you for a loop, but Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is a major player. Through Yahoo! Shopping, merchants of all sizes set up virtual storefronts for as little as $39.95 a month (along with paying Yahoo! a 1.5% transaction fee for eventual sales). Giving third-party retailers a platform to sell through a heavily trafficked site has been part of the secret sauce at both Yahoo! and Amazon for a few years now.

Even this morning, with the holiday shopping season now fading away in the rearview mirror, Yahoo! still isn't giving up. Its Shopping tab still stands out among its 21 main categories on the site's landing page as the one with the larger font and the only one beaming in a bright shade of holiday red.

Some surprises in the middle
Did anyone think that JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) would outmuscle the consumer electronics superstores, the iPod maker, and the top dog in lingerie? Then again, if you go to the JC Penney website, the department store means it with its "it's all inside" slogan. Sure, apparel is the chain's strong suit, but it's also loaded up with consumer electronics, home furnishings, and a wide selection of toys.

We also have IAC/InterActiveCorp.'s (NASDAQ:IACI) Ticketmaster hogging up the fifth spot on the list. Another surprise? Yes, concert tickets make great gifts, and when old-timer acts go on their zillionth "farewell" tour, even the cheap seats can run you into three figures. However, like all of the retail categories, a lot of these sales would have happened anyway. November? December? That's prime selling season for football tickets, Nutcracker ballets, and the laundry list of bands pulling into town. So I wouldn't be jumping to any conclusions in crowning Ticketmaster as a holiday magnate, though it's probably a comforting sign of our economic state if we're collectively springing for pricey tickets.

More magic in the numbers
The comScore release doesn't end there, of course. The study also broke down sales in various categories and found the greatest percentage growth this holiday season taking place in jewelry and accessories (up 67%), video games (up 64%), and video-game consoles (up 63%).

The video-game strength isn't much of a shocker. Folks were scrambling to find PS3 and Wii systems online, and those who came up empty still found solace in the Xbox 360 and the portable players. However, the strength in jewelry is interesting. This would seem to shine kindly on an online high-end specialist like Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE), though it's probably more indicative of consumers trusting the Web when it comes to the usually finicky jewelry shoppers who sometimes feel that even a display case's glass is too obstructive while deciding on a purchase.

So, keep shopping, America, but rest those index fingers. The 2007 holiday shopping season is now a little more than 10 months away.

For more on these e-Tailing giants, check out:, Dell, and Yahoo! have been recommended to Stock Advisor subscribers. Blue Nile is both a Rule Breakers and a Hidden Gems pick. Dell has also been singled out to Inside Value readers.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been shopping online for ages, but he just keeps clicking along. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.