Social Networks Feed Holiday Shopping

    December 2, 2009

If online retailers have a profitable holiday season – or even if they don’t – they’ll owe a "thank you" to social networks for helping out.  New data from Hitwise indicates that retail sites are receiving a significant (and ever-increasing) amount of traffic from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Heather Dougherty started by taking a look at just a couple of specific points in time.  She wrote, "The share of downstream traffic to the Retail 500 coming from both Facebook and Twitter increased 36% and 15%, respectively, on Thanksgiving from the previous day."

Dougherty then presented some information covering a rather longer timespan, as you can see in the graph below.

Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Toys "R" Us are the five organizations that are benefiting the most from this trend.  These giants benefited more this year than last, too (with Walmart seeing the biggest year-over-year increase).

But this social-networker-turning-shopper phenomenon appears to be doing businesses of all sizes some good.  Dougherty stated, "For many of the websites the downstream traffic is up from zero and highlights the first holiday season to take advantage of Twitter to communicate with shoppers."

Related Articles:

> Walmart Wins Thanksgiving, Amazon Wins Black Friday

> New Hitwise Report Exposes Twitter Trouble

> Hitwise: Facebook Receives One-Seventh Of UK Page Views