AS THE U.S. HOLIDAY RETAIL season shifts into fifth gear, the Nintendo Wii continues to be the top searched-for product this holiday season, Hitwise reported Thursday.
Searches for the Wii have increased a whopping 274% for the week ending Dec. 8 versus the previous week. That's based on the average percent of searches among a portfolio of terms for the Nintendo Wii that included "wii", "nintendo wii", "wii console", "nintendo wii console" and "wii game system," according to New York-based Hitwise.
Meanwhile, comScore, Inc. on Thursday released an update of holiday season e-commerce spending for the first 41 days (November 1-December 11) of the November-December 2007 holiday season. More than $20 billion has been spent online during the season-to-date, marking a 19% gain versus the corresponding days last year. "Green Monday"--a term recently coined by eBay to describe the second Monday in December as the heaviest online spending day of the season--may well live up to its lofty billing as U.S. online retail spending on Dec. 10 reached $881 million (up 33% versus last year), setting a record as the heaviest online spending day in history.
Amazon.com was the most-visited Web site within the Hitwise U.S. Retail 100 Index last week, receiving 12% of U.S. visits. Walmart.com received the second-most visits with 8%, and Amazon.com was the biggest gainer for the week, with Web site traffic increasing 11% compared to the previous week. But overall visits to the Web sites within the Index were down 2% for the week ending Dec. 8, 2007 versus the week ending Dec. 1. However, traffic was 10% compared to the same week in 2006.
Uggs and Apple's iPod products are among the top product searches this season, New York-based Hitwise reports. Other hot products searched for from the electronics category include digital picture frames, the Nintendo DS, Xbox 360 and Sony PSP. Within the toys and hobbies category, the hot products searched for this past week are traditional favorites like Barbie, Build a Bear, and Legos along with Transformers, Airsoft Guns and Hot Wheelz. The top searches from a custom category of 65 luxury retail Web sites included Uggs, Coach purses, Coach handbags and True Religion jeans.
"In addition to the Wii and other video game consoles, consumers are seeking out devices for displaying and listening to digital media formats--digital photo frames and iPods, and other mp3 players," said Heather Dougherty, director of research at the New York-based Hitwise, in a statement. "Special consoles designed for children are also popular this year, with increased searches for products like the Leapfrog Leapster TV system and the Radica IM Me Wireless Text Messaging device."
Search engines are responsible for 29% of retail Web site visits for the week ending Dec. 8. Google was the leading search engine sending visits to Retail Index Web sites, accounting for 17.49% of upstream visits for the week, followed by Yahoo Search at 6.25% and MSN Search at 1.78%.
Traffic to alternative payment Web sites such as Google Checkout and Bill Me Later is up 17% for the week ending Dec. 8 versus last year. Traffic to Coupon Web sites is up 36%, and searches for "gift cards" are up 29%. Traffic to social shopping Web sites such as Kaboodle, ThisNext, and StyleHive is up 683% for the week versus last year.