Nielsen: Traffic to up 111-percent on Black Friday

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, reported today that at home Web traffic to the Holiday eShopping Index grew 10 percent year over year on Black Friday, garnering 21.2 million unique visitors across more than 120 representative online retailers, compared with 19.2 million unique visitors last year. This growth is similar to last year’s, when the Index saw 12 percent year-over-year growth on the day after Thanksgiving.

Consumer Electronics was the fastest growing product category week over week on Friday, increasing 235 percent from November 16th to November 23rd (see Table 1). Computer Hardware/Software took the No. 2 spot with 121 percent Web traffic growth, followed by Shopping Comparison/Portals with 95 percent growth.

InterActiveCorp led the top online retail destinations on Black Friday with 5.3 million unique visitors, followed by Amazon and with 5.1 million and 3.6 million unique visitors, respectively (see Table 2). When the top 10 online retail destinations are re-ranked by week-over-week growth, the consumer electronics retailers take the lead with Best Buy and Circuit City increasing 292 percent and 257 percent, respectively. Sears rounds out the top three, increasing 211 percent from one Friday to the next.

The Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index is comprised of over 120 representative online retailers across twelve categories, and acts as a barometer to gauge the level of activity at online shopping destinations during the holiday season. The Index illustrates increased shopping activity through category growth.

Source: Nielsen Online


  1. “Apple’s traffic 111% increase looks a bit pale compared to the 121% and 235% increase in the relevant categories.”

    makes you wonder how much of the electronics increase was to other (non-Apple) stores looking for iPods and iPhones though doesn’t it? best buy, circuit city…. hrmm.

    on the other hand that 121% makes Dells 29% look just great!

    “sell the parts off and give the money back to the share holders.”

  2. @Shen

    Interactivecorp is comprised of many, many, many websites. Is this really accurate? Are they combining website traffic from all of their sites? Just curious.

    Just to mention a few:,,,, etc.

    For a complete list go to their website (of course you would be giving them more web traffic to claim).

  3. Apple’s 111% is certainly behind the “sector’s” 121%, but I don’t recognize any other “Computer Hardware/Software” sellers in the Top 10. Sure, there are a couple stores – Best Buy, Circuit City, etc – there, but they don’t make so much as sell. Dell is there, having dropped from above Apple to below Apple – despite a reasonable gain in hits. And their sales have historically been Net-only while Apple’s have been … maybe this is more significant than it looks! It will be interesting to read the numbers for the quarter in six-or-so weeks.

  4. DLMeyer notes an important aspect of the data – of the top 10 online retail destinations, only two are actual product developers/vendors. The rest are much broader retail destinations which will capture a share of a much wider range of buyers.

    The fact that Apple trumped Dell on Black Friday is likely due in large part to the fact that Apple seldom has “sales” whereas Dell and company issue rebates and discounts quite frequently. I find the fact that Apple draws approximately 2/3 of the visitors that Dell does outside of Black Friday to be of significance relative to the current Mac marketshare. I would suggest that this is a leading indicator for the future growth of Mac as well as its consumer electronics.

  5. Dell also gets a huge portion of its unit sales from bulk corporate purchases. Apple doesn’t even compete in this sector outside of the niche area of Education (niche in terms of overall corporate sales).

    The issue is that while Apple sells fewer boxes, they sell to a more profitable sector, the consumer who has finer tastes and is willing to buy more expensive hardware that does more and is more pleasant to use. Corporations rarely factor in “user experience” into their purchases, they’ll happily buy up the ugliest barely usable junk if they can save a few pennies per unit, ignoring the many hours that someone will have to use the machine.

    MDN, can you please uncheck “notify me of follow-up” by default? That is a really obnoxious, dare I say Vista-like, default. Reminiscent of UAC.

  6. I just went to Apple’s website.

    First, its Tuesday, not Friday. What’s up with that, Apple?

    Second, there isn’t any new Beatles stuff. I’m so confused by this whole Apple Corps thing. Isn’t everybody?

    Third, if Windows Vista can’t run natively on the iPod Shuffle, Apple is doomed.

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