Despite looming fears about the economy, online traffic to retail websites grew during the 2007 holiday season, with US visits to the Hitwise Retail Index in the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period increasing 17% compared with the year-earlier period, according to a Hitwise report.
The Hitwise Retail Index consists of the top 100 retail websites.
The “Hitwise US Holiday 2007 Retail Recap Report” examines the online activity on specific days. For example:
- On Thanksgiving, when the highest market share of US visits to the Hitwise Retail Index occurred, online traffic to retail websites increased 20% from 2006.
- On Black Friday, traffic was up 16% compared with 2006.
Among other findings of the Hitwise report:
- The top 10 sites in the Hitwise Retail Index by share of US visits in December were headed by Amazon and Wal-Mart.
- The highest growth in market share year over year was on Cyber Monday, with a 26% increase in traffic.
- Search engines and other retail websites topped the list of traffic sources to the Hitwise Retail Index, together contributing 57% of upstream traffic in December.
- Comparison-shopping engines’ market share of visits was 48% higher in Dec. ’07 than in Dec. ’06.
“Each year the holiday shopping season represents an important customer acquisition opportunity for the majority of retailers, both online and off,” said Heather Dougherty, research director, Hitwise.
“The double-digit growth rates in online traffic during the holidays have continued to garner significant attention from retailers, driving marketing dollars to the channel. Competitive intelligence becomes increasingly important during this critical period to understand what strategies have worked in the past.”
About the report: The Hitwise Retail Recap Report reveals 2007 highlights and tips for 2008, including trends in visits to the Hitwise Retail Index and categories like Black Friday websites; the most popular product and gift card searches; the top sources of traffic to retail sites, including social-networking sites; and tips for preparing for next season, including predictions for Cyber Monday and insights into Black Friday and comparison-shopping sites.