SOURCE: The Nielsen Company

December 05, 2007 10:00 ET

Parents Discussing Holiday Shopping Plans Online Primarily Motivated by Cost and Safety, According to Nielsen Online

Consumer Electronics Is Fastest Growing Product Category in Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index for Week Ending November 25th

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 5, 2007) - Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, reported today that an analysis of online conversations among parents about their kids' holiday wish lists reveals that cost and safety are top priorities. Cost consciousness emerged in nearly 20 percent of discussions, with parents expressing budget concerns and vowing to avoid excessive spending on gifts. Ten percent of discussions mentioned toy recalls, pushing many readers to seek out domestic products to "play it safe." Toys "R" Us was cited as a helpful resource in determining safe toys.

Parents expressed their intentions to buy specific products in approximately 60 percent of discussions. Nintendo's Wii and DS stand out as this year's "it" gifts; the Wii is especially popular because it provides entertainment for the whole family. Some parents are hoping to buck this trend and have a "green" Christmas with no plastic or electronic toys; others discussed intentions to buy educational toys like books and art supplies rather than the latest gadgets.

"In 2007 parents are operating within tight boundaries -- as always, they want to adhere to their children's wish lists, but they're sensitive to toy recalls and hoping to curb spending," said Kate Niederhoffer, director of research methodology, Nielsen Online. "Heading to the stores with a plan to buy specific products appears to be their solution to prevent excess shopping and impulse purchases."

Most Buzzed About Online Retailers

Overstock.com was the fastest growing online retailer when ranked by online mentions and inbound links in November 2007 versus a year ago, increasing 112 percent. Dell and Macy's ranked No. 2 and 3, with 84 and 83 percent growth, respectively.

Table 1: Top Online Retailers ranked by Buzz Growth in November 2007

Online Retailer   YOY Buzz Growth
---------------   ---------------
Overstock.com          112%
Dell                    84%
Macy's                  83%
Barnes & Noble          63%
Ticketmaster            51%
Kohl's                  50%
Circuit City            49%
Lowes                   41%
Toys "R" Us             39%
Wal-Mart Stores         39%

Source: Nielsen Online

Holiday eShopping Index Highlights

-- Total visits to the Index grew 14 percent year over year in the week
   ending November 25th
-- Fastest growing product categories for the week ranked by increase in
   visits:
   -- Consumer Electronics - 129 percent
   -- Jewelry - 60 percent
   -- Toys/Videogames - 54 percent

"The fact that traffic to retailers has grown by 14 percent over last year is an indicator that the online channel is poised for a reasonably good holiday season, despite fears that a credit crunch, high gas and oil prices, and a long holiday season might lead to flat growth," said Ken Cassar, vice president, industry solutions analytics, Nielsen Online.

Table 2: Top Online Retailers for Week Ending Nov. 25th (U.S., Home and Work)

                          UA (000)        UA (000)
Online Retailer         W.E. 11/18/07   W.E. 11/25/07   Weekly Growth
---------------         -------------   -------------   -------------
eBay                          31,523          32,381          3%
Amazon                        23,157          25,547         10%
Wal-Mart Stores               11,003          18,055         64%
Target                        11,250          17,046         52%
AT&T                          13,099          12,754         -3%
Best Buy                       6,174          12,703        106%
Circuit City                   5,186          10,096         95%
Dell                           7,728           8,162          6%
Overstock.com                  5,245           7,872         50%
Sears                          4,940           7,336         49%

Source: Nielsen Online

*Based on Nielsen Online, MegaView Online Retail list

Retail Goods & Services Advertising in Week Ending November 25th (U.S.)

--  Target Corporation was No. 1 advertiser in Retail Goods & Services
    industry with 639.1 million image-based impressions
--  Books, Music and Movies was the largest Retail Goods & Services
    industry segment with 712.8 million image-based impressions
--  Office Supplies was the fastest growing Retail Goods & Services
    industry segment, increasing 285 percent in image-based impressions week
    over week
    

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 www.nielsen-online.com.

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, www.nielsen.com.

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