SOURCE: The Nielsen Company

December 11, 2007 10:00 ET

Gift Recommendations Dominate Online Holiday Discussions; Web Allows Retail to Become Increasingly Consumer-Centric, According to Nielsen Online

eBay, Amazon and Target Are Top Online Retailers for Week Ending December 2nd

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, reported today that an analysis of 1,000 influential blogs* during the month of November revealed that gift recommendations dominate online holiday discussions. These recommendations range from one-off reviews to comprehensive shopping guides. Moreover, a new type of holiday shopping resource is emerging as consumers turn to "social shopping" communities (e.g. ThisNext, Yahoo! Shoposphere, and, sites that allow for interactive, peer-driven product reviews. Overall, the most frequently reviewed and recommended gift categories were consumer electronics and video games, suggesting that bloggers may still skew towards the technologically savvy.

"Bloggers' holiday gift recommendations have evolved from simple product reviews to be far more social in nature. Like media, retail seems to be moving from a broadcast model to one of consumer-control," said Kate Niederhoffer, director of research methodology, Nielsen Online.

"While some bloggers continue to post personal opinions on specific products, larger and more influential blogs provide holiday 'gift guides,' emulating brick-and-mortar retailers with comprehensive guides of 'cool' or 'affordable' gifts for various personality types. The new face of online recommendations -- an emergent trend this season -- comes from several forward-thinking blogs which point consumers to social shopping sites."

* Influential blogs are determined by the number of inbound links from other blogs.

Most Buzzed About Online Retailers was the fastest growing online retailer when ranked by online mentions and inbound links in the week ending December 2nd, increasing 122 percent week over week. and JC Penney ranked No. 2 and 3, increasing 97 and 94 percent, respectively.

Table 1: Top Online Retailers ranked by Buzz Growth for Week Ending December 2nd

Online Retailer         Week Over Week Buzz Growth
---------------         --------------------------                                 122%                                     97%
JC Penney                                      94%
Dell                                           52%                                49%                                    40%
MSN Shopping                                   30%
Hallmark                                       22%
Lowes                                          22%

Source: Nielsen Online

Holiday eShopping Index Highlights

-- Total visits to the Index grew 10 percent year over year in the week
   ending December 2nd
-- Fastest growing product categories for the week ranked by increase in
   -- Jewelry - 38 percent
   -- Beauty - 24 percent
   -- Shoes - 18 percent

Table 2: Top Online Retailers for Week Ending Dec. 2nd (U.S., Home and Work)

                       UA (000)        UA (000)
Online Retailer     W.E. 11/25/07    W.E. 12/02/07    Weekly Growth
---------------     -------------    -------------    -------------

eBay                       32,381           32,350               0%
Amazon                     25,547           28,268              11%
Target                     17,046           16,033              -6%
Wal-Mart Stores            18,055           15,739             -13%
AT&T                       12,754           13,288               4%
Dell                        8,162            8,863               9%               7,872            8,726              11%
Best Buy                   12,703            8,595             -32%
Circuit City               10,096            8,564             -15%
Sears                       7,336            7,902               8%

Source: Nielsen Online
*Based on Nielsen Online, MegaView Online Retail list

Retail Goods & Services Advertising in Week Ending December 2nd (U.S.)

--  eBay was No. 1 advertiser in Retail Goods & Services industry with 1.6
    billion image-based impressions
--  Auctions was the largest Retail Goods & Services industry segment,
    driven primarily by eBay

About the Nielsen Online CGM Analysis

Nielsen Online analyzed online conversations in 1,000 influential blogs, as determined by volume of inbound links. Using a proprietary tool to incorporate key correlations in consumers' language, we created topic-specific classifiers to establish the total population of messages about holiday shopping from November 1 through November 30, 2007. We then drew a random sample of 100 messages and coded each message for the topics that are driving conversation.

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), mobile measurement, 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,

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