Yahoo Sites continued to reign among US web properties, followed closely by Google Sites, as traffic to retail, shipping and weather sites increased in December, at the height of the holiday season, according to a monthly analysis by comScore‘s Media Metrix service.
Among the December data released by comScore:
Top 50 Properties (Unique Visitors)
Among the highlights:
- Yahoo Sites had nearly 137 million visitors in Dec., with Google Sites right behind (133 million visitors) and Microsoft Sites (120 million) maintaining the third position achieved in Nov.
- Apple Inc., which benefited from interest in popular holiday gifts like the iPod and iPhone, moved up one spot to capture position 10 with 47.7 million visitors.
- Holiday shopping also lifted Sears Sites, which jumped 10 spots to number 21; Best Buy Sites, which rose 5 spots to 22; and JCPenney Sites, which gained 5 spots to reach position 40.
- NBC Universal, iVillage.com: The Womens Network, and Weatherbug Property all entered the rankings this month, capturing positions 48, 49, and 50, respectively.
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking (Advertising Reach)
Among the highlights:
- Advertising.com continued to lead the Ad Focus ranking of ad networks and sites accepting advertising, reaching 86% of the more than 183 million Americans online in December.
- Specific Media gained four spots to capture the fourth position reaching 77% of the online population.
- Collective Media gained seven spots to position 14, while Amazon.com climbed three spots to 34.
- YuMe Video Network, About, and Disney Online all entered the ranking this month capturing positions 37, 44, and 48, respectively.
High-Growth Sites & Categories
Retail Sites & Categories
Holiday shopping resulted in several retail categories’ undergoing significant growth during December:
- The fragrances/cosmetics category climbed 30% to 21.5 million visitors, making it the top-gaining category for December, led by BathandBodyWorks.com with 4.4 million visitors (up 27%) and Sephora.com with 4.1 million visitors (up 41%).
- The consumer goods category once again saw significant growth for the second consecutive month, gaining 23% to nearly 36 million visitors.
- OfficeMax led the category with 15.3 million visitors, up 170% from the previous month, with much of the growth generated by the popular Office Max branded viral holiday greeting siteElfYourSelf.com.
- OfficeMax also claimed the top-gaining property position for the month.
- Other consumer goods sites achieving growth included QVC Sites, up 3% to 6.1 million visitors, and retailer Hammacher Schlemmer’s site Hammacher.com, up 9% to 807,000 visitors.
- The retail – music category posted a 17% increase to nearly 28 million visitors, led by Barnes & Noble with 9.3 million visitors (up 20%), CDUniverse.com with 3.5 million visitors (up 4%) and eMusic with 3.4 million visitors (up 89%).
- Other retail categories undergoing strong growth for the month included jewelry/luxury goods/accessories (up 22% to 24 million visitors), retail-food (up 14% to 19 million visitors), retail-sports/outdoors (up 13% to 36.6 million visitors), and flowers/gifts/greetings (up 12% to 44.6 million visitors).
- Traffic to shipping sites jumped as consumers shipped and anxiously awaited their holiday deliveries. The category rose 21% to 37 million visitors for December.
- UPS Sites led the category with 18.3 million visitors (up 34%), followed by USPS.com with 16.8 million visitors (up 19%) and FedEx with 12.3 million visitors (up 28%).
- Holiday travel plans and winter storms sent Americans searching for weather forecasts, resulting in a 14% increase in visitors to weather sites.
- The Weather Channel topped the category with 40.7 million visitors, up 19% from November.
- Other sites experiencing significant growth included Yahoo Weather (up 23% to 12.5 million visitors), AOL Weather (up 52% to 6.3 million visitors) and MSN Weather (up 34% to 5.8 million visitors).