The Valentine’s Day holiday sent many Americans online to order flowers and gifts for loved ones in February, according to [download page] new Media Metrix data from comScore. The flowers/gifts/greetings category rose 28% to 29.3 million visitors for the month, putting it second on the list of top-gaining categories. E-card sites also saw a boost in visitors, up 13% to 21.5 million, while jewelry, luxury goods, and accessories sites saw comparatively smaller 4% growth, still enough to land the category in the top 10 fastest-gaining list by percentage change.
ProFlowers.com saw a 394% spike to take the top position within the flowers, gifts, and greetings site category, with 5.4 million visitors, followed by AmericanGreetings property with 4.6 million, up 20%, Gifts.com with 3.6 million, and 1-800-Flowers.com, which rose 103% to 2.5 million.
Evite.com was the leader among e-card sites, with 6.9 million visitors, ahead of AG Interactive, with 3.4 million (up 37%), MyFunCards.com with 2.8 million (up 42%), 123Greetings.com with 2.4 million (up 32%), and SomeEcards.com with 2.4 million (up 85%).
Within the jewelry, luxury goods, and accessories category, 6PM.com was the leader with 2.9 million visitors, up 26%. Coach.com was second with 1.7 million, up 15%, followed closely by Zale Corporation with 1.6 million (up 10%). Kay Jewelers also had a strong showing with 1.2 million visitors, up 50%, while BradfordExchange.com had 1.1 million visitors, up a relatively small 5%.
Auto, Tax Categories Also See Impressive Rises
Traffic to tax sites continued their ascent in February, with more than 45 million visiting the category, up 48% from January to rank as the fastest-growing for the third consecutive month.
Auto manufacturers also benefited from their Super Bowl ads, with 27 million Americans visiting an auto manufacturer site in February, an increase of 17% from January. Toyota led the category at 6.4 million visitors, up 20%, ahead of Honda, with 5.1 million (up 42%), General Motors with 4.8 million (up 6%), Ford Motor Company, with 4.2 million, and Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, with 3 million (up 51%). Chrysler, whose Super Bowl ad generated its fair share of buzz, experienced a 17% increase to 2.7 million visitors.
Amazon Drops Out of Top 5, Pinterest Shows Growth
Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in December with 186.6 million visitors, down marginally from 187.4 million in January. Microsoft remained in the second spot with 174.4 million visitors, down 2.7% from 179.2 million, ahead of Yahoo, which dropped 2.1% to 173.5 million. Facebook remained in fourth spot with 158.7 million, while AOL took over the fifth spot from Amazon, which lost 3.7% to 105.9 million.
Meanwhile, Pinterest backed up its buzz by seeing a 52% increase in visitors from 11.7 million to 17.8 million, ranking it third on the list of fastest-gaining properties by percentage change. Compete’s top 10 brand movers in February 2012 by percentage change of unique visitors can be found here.
Top Ad Focus Rankings Unchanged
Google Ad Network led the February Ad Focus ranking with a reach of 92.6% of Americans online, down slightly from its leading 92.9% reach in January. AOL Advertising (84%) followed in second place again, but fell from 85% reach in January. Yahoo! Network Plus, which also ranked third in January, fell from 84.9% to 83.1% reach.
Rounding out the top 5 were AT&T AdWorks, with 82.1% reach, and Google, with 81.3% reach. Both actually dropped from January, but improved their positions one spot, with ShareThis dropping out of the top 5.