Hitwise Australia has revealed the retail sectors that performed strongly during the 2007 Christmas period. Appliances and electronics, books, music and video and games experienced substantial increases – upwards of 30% – in website traffic in the last quarter of 2007.
Visits to online department stores were also solid, increasing by 42% between the weeks ending 6 October and 15 December.
Visits to shopping and classifieds websites peaked during the week ending 1 December.
Searches for Boxing Day sales spiked dramatically during the week ending 29 December, with the news and media industry capturing 19.6% of related search traffic compared to 8.03% for shopping and classifieds websites.
In the appliances and electronics industry, consumer searches were dominated by bricks and mortar brands, including Harvey Norman, which accounted for 5.36% of search volume, Good Guys (1.62%), JB Hi-Fi (1.55%) and Retravision (1.45%) for the four weeks ending 29 December.
Mobile phones and digital cameras remained top products while digital photo frames spiked during the week ending 15 December – almost triple the volume of searches compared to the same time last year.
The strong growth in visits to the music retail industry was due to the growth of Apple iTunes, which experienced a year-on-year increase of 15%, comparing weeks ending 30 December 2006 and 29 December 2007.
New users comprised 72% of visits to the Apple iTunes website for the week ending 29 December, suggesting that recipients of iPods on Christmas Day were eager to log on and download media for their new gifts.
Pure-play retail websites, DealsDirect.com.au, oo.com.au and Lasoo.com.au had a strong impact on driving growth to the online department stores industry during early to mid-December, as consumers made allowances for shipping times.
Kmart, Big W and Myer enjoyed significant gains, peaking the week ending 29 December.
Hitwise revealed there was an increase in visits by female internet users to the shopping and classifieds industry. This was a reflection of increasing visits to health and beauty shopping websites.