Hitwise Weighs In With Holiday 2008 Data

    December 29, 2008

While the news may not be enough to cause encore performances of "Joy to the World," a new report from Hitwise on Christmas and Boxing Day search and traffic stats isn’t all bad.  Interpreted in a certain way, it even provides signs that the UK’s economy is doing all right.

Between December 2006 and December 2007, searches for the terms "sale" and "sales" increased by 200 and 249 percent, respectively.  This holiday season, the year-over-year growth number looks more like 3.2 percent.  So even if people aren’t shopping too enthusiastically, maybe they’re not obsessed with temporary price cuts.

Hitwise Online Retailers
 UK Internet Traffic To Online Retailers
(Credit: Hitwise)

Then, Robin Goad writes, "Boxing Day was the busiest day for online retailers during 2008, but traffic was down 4.9% on last year."  And since the recession’s existence is common knowledge, perhaps the "down" part can be discounted and the "busiest day" detail seen as a sign that things are picking up speed.

Or not.  After all, the holidays have been known to inspire a little more activity and optimism than is usually warranted.

Anyway, Hitwise identified the top sectors to benefit from whatever sort of bump took place as Apparel & Accessories and Grocery & Alcohol.  Department Stores did all right, as well, which may have impacted online growth in a negative manner.