December 14, 2004, 12:00 AM

Google helps drive up share of Internet traffic to shopping sites

The share of Internet visitors landing on shopping and classified sites reached a record 9.73% for the week ended Dec. 11, a year-to-year rise of 24%, as Google led search engines in directing traffic to shopping sites, Hitwise reports.

 

The share of Internet visitors landing on shopping and classified sites reached a record 9.73% for the week ended Dec. 11, a year-to-year rise of 24%, as Google led search engines in contributing traffic to shopping sites, Hitwise reports.

Hitwise also reports that the 9.73% of Internet users who visited shopping or classified sites broke the prior record set in Thanksgiving week, when 9.72% of Internet visitors landed on shopping sites.

Google accounted for the largest share of traffic, 4.26%, directed by search engines to shopping sites for the week ended Dec. 11, compared to Yahoo Search, with 2.24%, and MSN Search, with 0.54%, Hitwise says.

But while Google dominates overall search referrals to shopping sites, it doesn’t lead in every product category, Hitwise says. Google sends a higher share of traffic to books, sports, fitness and music sites than does Yahoo or MSN, but Yahoo is stronger in referrals to video, game, automotive and classified sites, and MSN sends a higher share of referrals to sites offering apparel and accessories, house and garden products and appliances and electronics, Hitwise says.

Of the top 500 unique search terms used in visits to shopping and classified sites, 86.7% were related to corporate brands, 10.8% were related to generic product names, and 2.5% were related to product brands, Hitwise reports.

The fastest growing shopping categories were grocery & alcohol, books, computers, sports & fitness, and flowers & gifts, Hitwise says.

In another search-related study, comScore Networks Inc. found that of the 25% of consumers who purchased a consumer electronics or computer product after searching online in the first quarter, 92% made their purchase offline. Of the 8% that bought online, the “vast majority” made their purchase in subsequent online sessions.

ComScore also found that generic product terms accounted for 70% of search volume for consumer electronics and computer products and for 60% of search-to-purchase conversions. In contrast, it found that branded terms accounted for 30% of search volume but 40% of search-to-purchase conversions.

 

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