SOURCE: The Nielsen Company

November 26, 2007 10:00 ET

Black Friday Traffic to Online Shopping Sites Grows 10 Percent Year Over Year, According to Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index

Online Buzz Shows Consumers Discuss Shopping Incentives, Shopping Tactics and Specific Retailers in Relation to Black Friday

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 26, 2007) - 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.

Holiday eShopping Index Category Growth

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.

Table 1: Product Categories ranked by Week-Over-Week Growth (U.S., Home
                                                   Unique Audience Growth
Categories                                          from 11/16 to 11/23
Consumer Electronics                                                   235%
Computer Hardware/Software                                             121%
Shopping Comparison/Portals                                             95%
Apparel                                                                 83%
Toys/Videogames                                                         71%
Shoes                                                                   67%
Home and Garden                                                         65%
Flowers and Gifts                                                       53%
Retail                                                                  47%
Beauty                                                                  36%
Books/Music/Video                                                        1%
Jewelry                                                                N/A
TOTAL                                                                   42%
Source: Nielsen Online, Holiday eShopping Index

Black Friday Online Conversations and Consumer Perceptions

To gauge and define consumer perceptions about Black Friday, Nielsen Online created a Brand Association Map™ (BAM), based on online discussions in blogs and online forums between October 1st and November 20, 2007. With the keyword "Black Friday" at the center, the BAM analyzed the most uniquely associated words and phrases used when consumers discussed Black Friday. The closer the words were to the central topic, the greater the association.

Key findings:

--  Shopping incentives were a key part of Black Friday discussion:
    consumers avidly discussed advertisements, specials, and discounts as they
    anticipated deals and hoped to benefit from early holiday shopping.
--  Consumers discussed tactical issues (what to buy and where) as well as
    the overall shopping experience (crowds). Some anticipated fighting crowds
    at 5am.
--  Specific retailers, such as Macy's, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, and
    Sears, as well as products such as consumer electronics, were discussed.
    Plasma TVs and to a lesser extent Nintendo Wiis were associated with Black
    Friday, as consumers hoped to benefit from sales and promotions. Elmo was
    the only specific toy to emerge with any frequency in Black Friday

"Consumers were clearly inspired by this year's shopping incentives, particularly in relation to consumer electronics. Naturally, discounts, deals, and specials characterize Black Friday discussion, but one of the more interesting aspects of the overall discussion was a detailed conversation on plans to purchase specific electronic products and brands, such as plasma TVs and Nintendo Wiis," said Kate Niederhoffer, director of research methodology, Nielsen Online.

Black Friday Top Online Retail Destinations

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.

Table 2: Top 10 Online Retail Destinations* on Black Friday 2007 (U.S.,
Home only)
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
                                           11/16/07   11/23/07    Percent
Site                                       UA (000)   UA (000)     Growth
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
InterActiveCorp                                 5,191      5,316         2%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Amazon                                          3,317      5,100        54%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Wal-Mart Stores                                 1,391      3,599       159%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Target Corp.                                    1,168      2,766       137%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Best Buy                                          479      1,877       292%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Circuit City Stores                               462      1,649       257%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Sears Holdings Corporation                        502      1,562       211%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Apple Computer                                    643      1,359       111%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Dell Inc.                                         978      1,263        29%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
JCPenney                                          507      1,137       124%
                                           ---------- ---------- ---------
Source: Nielsen Online, NetView
*Sites in Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide ranked by Unique Audience

About the Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index

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.

About Nielsen Online

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit,

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Suzy Bausch
    (408) 941-2965

    Nielsen Online
    The Nielsen Company
    770 Broadway
    New York, NY 10003