The State of Social Media
Traffic to Online Retail Sites Surges as Holiday Shopping Season Takes Off
Deal-Seeking Americans Flock to Coupon and Incentive Sites
RESTON, VA, December 28, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. Web activity at the top online properties for November 2009 based on data from the Comscore Media Metrix service. Retail sites experienced a surge in activity as Americans began their holiday shopping. Free shipping, price cuts, and discounts drove traffic to online Coupon and Incentive sites as shoppers scoured the Web for money-saving opportunities.
“November marks the official start of the holiday shopping season as millions of Americans search for gifts and deals both online and in stores,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of Comscore Media Metrix. “With nearly 4 out of 5 Americans online visiting a retail site during November, the Internet clearly represents an increasingly important channel for retailers during the holiday season and beyond.”
Consumers Look for Gifts and Deals as Retail Sites Swell
Retail sites experienced significant growth in November as the holiday shopping season officially kicked off. Among the top-gaining Retail sub-categories were Toys, Consumer Electronics, and Department Stores, each growing more than 30 percent versus October. Toys sites attracted 27.4 million Americans during the month, representing a 33-percent increase from the previous month. Toysrus Sites led the category with more than 14.8 million visitors (up 82 percent), ranking as the fourth top-gaining property in November. The LEGO Group grabbed the #2 position in the Toys category with 3.8 million visitors (up 12 percent), followed by Disney Shopping with 2.6 million (up 29 percent) and AmericanGirl.com with 1.9 million (up 44 percent).
Consumer Electronics sites grew to 52.8 million visitors during the month, a 32-percent increase versus October, led by BestBuy.com with nearly 25 million visitors and Walmart Electronics with 9.9 million visitors (up 139 percent). Radioshack Corporation grabbed the #3 position with 5.1 million visitors, followed closely by eBay Electronics U.S. with 4.8 million visitors (up 12 percent) and Buy.com with 4.4 million visitors (up 11 percent).
Online Department Stores saw a 30-percent gain, reaching nearly 81 million unique visitors in November. Walmart.com led the category with 46.2 million visitors (up 62 percent), followed by Target Corporation with 38.8 million (up 43 percent), Sears.com with more than 19 million (up 36 percent), JCPenney Sites with 15.4 million (up 34 percent), and Macy’s Inc. with 12.7 million (up 38 percent).
Incentives & Coupons & Savings, Oh My!
Online shoppers couldn’t resist a great deal this holiday season, causing traffic to spike at Incentives and Coupons sites. With many Americans cutting back on spending this year, these service sites experienced significant growth in November. Traffic to Incentive sites jumped 76 percent during the month, attracting 27.6 million unique visitors, making it the top-gaining category for the month.
Coupon sites ranked as the #3 top gaining category in November, growing 33 percent to 37.5 million visitors. Coupons, Inc. held the leading position with more than 8 million visitors (up 9 percent), followed by EverSave.com with 5.3 million visitors and RetailMeNot with 5.1 million (up 43 percent). BlackFriday.info experienced a massive surge in activity, increasing more than 1,000 percent to 5 million visitors, as shoppers prepared for Black Friday. GottaDeal.com saw traffic surge 955 percent to 1.8 million.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Help Drive Online Spending in November
The month of November saw online spending increase 10 percent versus year ago to reach nearly $12.3 billion in sales. Of course, we need to recognize that the comparison is against a very weak November 2008, which suffered from the economic crises of a year ago. The online shopping season kicked off early this year, with online retailers aggressively communicating their discounts and promotional offers well ahead of Thanksgiving. The result was that Black Friday (November 27 and the traditional kickoff day to the offline holiday shopping season) achieved $595 million in online sales, an 11-percent increase versus Black Friday 2008. Cyber Monday (November 30 and the traditional kickoff day for the online holiday shopping season) reached $887 million in online spending, up 5 percent versus year ago, as Americans returned to work and turned to the Internet for holiday purchases and exclusive online offers. Over 50 percent of all online purchases on Cyber Monday were made from work computers.
November U.S. Core Search Rankings
Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in November with 65.6 percent of the search queries conducted, up marginally from October. Google was followed by Yahoo! Sites with a 17.5 percent share (down 0.5 points from October) and Microsoft Sites at 10.3 percent (an increase of 0.4 points from October). Ask Network captured 3.8 percent of the search market, followed by AOL LLC with 2.8 percent.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in November 2009. Excludes entities whose growth was primarily due to implementation of Media Metrix 360 hybrid audience measurement.
*Growth rates are not adjusted for the holiday season, the calculation does not compare corresponding shopping days from 2008 to 2009.**Growth rates are adjusted for the holiday shopping season, the calculation does compare corresponding shopping days from 2008 to 2009.
Nov-09 vs. Oct-09
* Based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers.
Comscore will not publish the Top 50 Properties ranking and Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking until May 2010 after the hybrid transition period concludes.
About Comscore Media Metrix
Comscore Media Metrix provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. Comscore Media Metrix reports are used by financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers. Comscore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
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