2014

Experian Marketing Services reveals top four holiday shopping trends from Thanksgiving weekend Analysis finds 46 percent increase in social networking referrals to top 500 retail Websites during the most critical week of the year

NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian Marketing Services, a global provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing, recently issued its 2013 holiday marketing analysis from the holiday shopping season's peak week, the period beginning Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday.

"Retailers are facing a much shorter holiday season and, therefore, every day matters," said Heather Dougherty, research director, Experian Marketing Services. "A key takeaway from this peak week analysis is that holiday promotions in and of themselves are not enough to win the informed and always-on holiday shopper during key milestone days. Retailers need to be creative and relevant with their online strategies to win the milestone days still ahead of us."

Experian Marketing Services' peak week analysis revealed four key trends:

1.    Social gains share
Comparing sources of upstream search traffic with Experian Marketing Services' Hitwise Retail 500 for the week ending Nov. 30, search accounted for more than 40 percent of that upstream traffic. Social networking sites increased their share of traffic to these Websites by a relative 46 percent year over year. Social networking Websites with highly visual content, such as Instagram and YouTube, saw dramatic year-over-year increases.

Upstream social networking Websites visited before Hitwise Retail 500

Rank

Websites

Week ending Nov. 30, 2013

Week ending Nov. 24, 2012

Year-over-year change

1

Facebook

5.07%

3.68%

38%

2

YouTube

1.89%

1.04%

82%

3

Pinterest

0.13%

0.11%

15%

4

Twitter

0.10%

0.08%

21%

5

Reddit

0.05%

0.01%

703%

6

Yahoo!Answers

0.05%

0.04%

7%

7

Linkedin

0.04%

0.03%

21%

8

Google+

0.04%

0.02%

124%

9

Instagram

0.03%

0.01%

311%

10

Tumblr

0.02%

0.01%

103%

"The data shows that social media is a key research tool for holiday shoppers and a key driver of traffic to retailer Websites," said Dougherty. "There is a significant opportunity for retailers to customize their discount and promotion strategies for individual channels in a way that encourages a more personal and visual experience. Those retailers that are winning online this holiday season have found their social stride and are using that cross-channel or cross-screen engagement to their advantage."

For example, Experian Marketing Services found that apparel retailer Hollister was among the top 20 visited retail Websites on Thanksgiving largely due to its video promotion on YouTube of an in-store Black Friday event. On both the day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving, Hollister was the most-visited retail Website in the Apparel category. YouTube represented 45 percent of the upstream traffic to Hollister.com the day before Thanksgiving and 39 percent of traffic on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, downstream traffic from YouTube to Hollister increased more than 2000 percent on Thanksgiving Day.

2.    Different verticals win different days
Experian Marketing Services' analysis shows that different retail categories and Websites peaked on different days during peak week this holiday season. Department store Websites were the clear winners across the entire weekend, but Website traffic for that category peaked on Thanksgiving, as did electronics/appliance and video game retailers. Meanwhile, Apparel & Accessories, House & Garden and Sports & Fitness saw their Website traffic peak on Cyber Monday. Overall, Cyber Monday remained the peak day for online traffic, although Thanksgiving and Black Friday followed closely behind with significant activity across all three days.

3.    Unique offers and dramatic discounts work
Retailers that offered consumers unique sales promotions and dramatic discounts were most effective in driving traffic to their sites. One such example includes Walmart, which offered consumers a one-hour in-stock guarantee. "Walmart 1 hour guarantee" was the number 10 search term driving traffic to Walmart.com on Black Friday. Additionally, Old Navy, which typically ranks as the third or fourth most-visited apparel retailer online, leapt to the top spot on Black Friday by offering "50% off everything."  

4.    Tech tops wish lists
While no single product was the most popular branded item to drive traffic to the Hitwise Retail 500 Websites on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, gadgets and game consoles comprised a large portion of the top 10 products on all three days. Experian Marketing Services' hot products list for peak week showed that the Xbox One was the most-searched product on Thanksgiving Day, while Black Friday saw the new Playstation 4 take the top spot. Uggs, the only nonelectronic product among the top seven branded items searched for during peak week, was the most popular item on Cyber Monday. The tablets Kindle Fire HD, iPad Air and Microsoft Surface were also among the most frequently searched for products.

Learn more about Experian Marketing Services' peak week recap analysis here.

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services is a global provider of integrated consumer insights and targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing. We help organizations from around the world intelligently interact with today's dynamic, empowered and hyperconnected customers. By coordinating seamless interactions across all marketing channels, marketers are able to plan and execute superior brand experiences that deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximize profits.

For more information, please visit http://www.experian.com/marketingservices.

About Experian
Experian® is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2013, was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contact:
Suzanne Blackburn
Experian Marketing Services
1 212 863 4648
suzanne.blackburn@experian.com

SOURCE Experian Marketing Services



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