Nielsen Looks at Online Retail Category Performance

    December 5, 2008
    Chris Crum

Nielsen is sharing some interesting data today regarding online retail web traffic during the holiday season. This data shows that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic were up by 10% each when compared to last year.

The data that Nielsen shares that is perhaps more interesting though is the amount of growth across a number of different categories of online retail. Beauty seems to be the most popular category for online retail this season, while on the opposite end of the spectrum, jewelry is doing the worst.

Average Daily Growth
I would normally think jewelry and beauty were two categories that would attract much of the same crowd, but perhaps that is the problem with the situation itself. Perhaps the economy has led to people not having enough money for jewelry and in turn spending more on beauty products to make up for their lack of "bling."

Of course this data is only a reflection for a little more than a week, and there is plenty of time left for holiday shopping. "The early prediction:  My instinct is that we will see online sales growth this holiday season, but it will be modest," says Ken Cassar at Nielsen.  "If I were forced to hazard a guess, it would probably be in the low single digits (2-4 percent) relative to last year.  I fear that because traffic is up on ‘promotional days,’ it might be an indication of a poor margin holiday season."

I say there’s plenty of time, but maybe plenty is a strong word. The days do go by fast, so any other holiday promotions you plan to offer should probably be pretty high on your list of priorities.