Traffic to Retail Sites Grows Despite Disappointing Holiday Sales
Google Sites Reach Nearly 80 Percent of Americans Online
RESTON, VA, January 15, 2008 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at the top online properties for December 2008 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix service. The holiday shopping season drove increased traffic to retail sites as consumers browsed merchandise and sought deals online. Shipping and Weather sites also saw gains as Americans eagerly anticipated the arrival of their packages and holiday guests.
“The holiday shopping season continued to be the main driver of online activity in December, with retail sites being the primary beneficiaries,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “While enticing discounts and incentives were enough to attract holiday shoppers to browse online, consumers did not open their wallets as they have in past years as online sales declined 3 percent versus last year amid the tougher economic climate.”
Retail Sites Realize Seasonal Traffic Gains Despite Soft Online Holiday Sales
Traffic to retail sites grew in December as consumers searched for holiday gifts and discounts. Retail – Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories surged 30 percent to 25 million visitors to rank as the top-gaining category for the month.
Retail – Sports/Outdoor sites also posted strong growth for the month increasing 24 percent to more than 38 million visitors. The top ten sites in the category all witnessed double-digit increases, including DicksSportingGoods.com (up 57 percent to 4.8 million visitors) and SportsAuthority.com (up 61 percent to 3.3 million visitors).
Other retail categories among the top-ten included Retail – Music (up 24 percent to 26 million visitors), Retail – Flowers/Gifts/Greeting (up 17 percent to 45.7 million visitors) and Retail – Computer Software (up 14 percent to 30.2 million visitors).
Shipping Category Surges as Consumers Rush to Send Holiday Gifts
Traffic to shipping sites climbed 27 percent to nearly 40 million visitors in December as Americans raced to ensure delivery of their packages in time for the holidays. The category was led by UPS Sites with 21.6 million visitors (up 47 percent from the previous month), which also ranked as one of the top-gaining properties in December. USPS.com captured the second position with 16.6 million visitors (up 28 percent), followed by FedEx with 13.4 million visitors (up 38 percent).
Severe Winter Conditions Drive Visitors to Weather Sites
Wintry weather blasted much of the country during December, resulting in holiday travel delays and cancellations. The Weather category grew 17 percent to 76.8 million visitors as Americans sought weather updates. The Weather Channel led the category with 41.5 million visitors (up 28 percent), followed by Weatherbug Property with 27.1 million visitors (up 10 percent), and Yahoo! Weather with 14.3 million visitors (up 36 percent).
Top 50 Properties
Google Sites continued to lead as the most visited property in December with 149 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 145.7 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 125.4 million visitors. Facebook and Apple Inc. both climbed two spots to #11 and #12, respectively. The holiday shopping season caused sharp increases at several retail-related properties including Shopzilla.com Sites (up six spots to #27), Best Buy Sites (up 10 spots to #30), and JCPenney Sites (up eight spots to #42).
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking
Platform-A led the December Ad Focus ranking, reaching 91 percent of the 190.7 million Americans online. Yahoo! Network ranked second, reaching 87 percent, while ValueClick Networks captured the third position with an 84-percent reach. Adconion Media Group moved up three spots in the ranking to #9, Amazon.com moved up three spots to #37, and ITN Digital Networks – Potential Reach moved up five spots to #40.
[ for full ranking tables, please see http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=2685 ]
Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in December. For instance, Yahoo! Sites were seen by 76 percent of the nearly 191 million Internet users in December.
* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.
** Denotes an advertising network.
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.