Google was the most-visited property in the UK in October, with 29.1 million unique visitors age 15 or older, and reaching 90% of the total UK internet audience, according to a comScore World Metrix report on the most-visited and fastest-growing properties.
Google was followed by Microsoft Sites, which attracted 27.4 million UK unique visitors, an 85% reach.
Wikipedia remained the fastest-growing property in the top 10 most-visited properties in October, increasing by 7% to attract its highest-ever UK audience of 14.2 million unique visitors.
Both of the UK’s two largest online retail properties, eBay and Amazon Sites, increased traffic: eBay’s grew 4%, to 22.2 million unique visitors; Amazon’s increased 5%, to 14.3 million.
Six of the ten fastest-growing properties were online retail sites – five of them multichannel retailers.
Growth among multichannel retail sites was led by Woolworths Group plc, which was also the fastest-growing property in the UK in October, increasing 54% to 2.9 million unique visitors.
Next was another big-name high street store, Boots plc, which grew 44% to 2.6 million unique visitors.
There were also gains for Sony Online, which grew 22% to 3.4 million unique visitors; Dixons Stores Group, up 19% to 5.3 million; and HMV, up 15% to nearly 4 million unique visitors.
The lone pure-play online retailer in the fastest-growing list was Play.com sites, which was also the largest of the UK’s top 10 fastest-growing properties. The property enjoyed 34% growth to reach 6.7 million unique visitors in October
“We would expect to see an upward trend in traffic to online retail sites in the UK in October,” said Bob Ivins, EVP of European markets for comScore. “In a survey conducted by comScore in the last week of October, 48% of UK respondents said they had already begun shopping for Christmas. What is perhaps more notable is the rate of this growth. Multichannel high-street stores like Woolworths and Boots experienced significant increases and if this trend continues we should see very strong online sales for high-street stores this Christmas.”
Outside of the retail category, there was notable growth for Royal Mail Group. Traffic to the site grew 23% to 4.4 million unique visitors, driven in large part by the nationwide mail worker strikes that took place at the beginning of the month.
Reed Elsevier Group was the fourth fastest-growing property in the UK, increasing total traffic 25% to 2.6 million unique visitors. Much of this growth can be attributed to the seasonal trend of increased traffic to career services and job search sites in October, when a Reed Elsevier Group site, Totaljobs.com, increase 28% over the course of the month.