Gift recommendations dominate online holiday discussions on blogs and range from one-off reviews to comprehensive shopping guides, according to (pdf) a Nielsen Online analysis of 1,000 influential blogs* during November.
Moreover, a new type of holiday shopping resource is emerging as consumers turn to “social shopping” communities (e.g., ThisNext, Yahoo Shoposphere, Stylehive.com and Crowdstorm.com) that offer interactive, peer-driven product reviews.
Overall, the most frequently reviewed and recommended gift categories were consumer electronics and videogames, suggesting that bloggers may still skew toward the technologically savvy.
“Bloggers’ holiday gift recommendations have evolved from simple product reviews to be far more social in nature. Like media, retail seems to be moving from a broadcast model to one of consumer control,” said Kate Niederhoffer, director of research methodology, Nielsen Online.
“While some bloggers continue to post personal opinions on specific products, larger and more influential blogs provide holiday ‘gift guides,’ emulating brick-and-mortar retailers with comprehensive guides of ‘cool’ or ‘affordable’ gifts for various personality types.”
“The new face of online recommendations – an emergent trend this season – comes from several forward-thinking blogs which point consumers to social shopping sites,” she added.
Most-Buzzed-about Online Retailers
Overstock.com was the fastest-growing online retailer when ranked by online mentions and inbound links in the week ended Dec. 2, increasing 122% week over week.
Orbitz.com and JC Penney ranked No. 2 and 3, increasing 97% and 94%, respectively.
Holiday eShopping Index Highlights
- Total visits to the Index grew 10% year over year in the week ended Dec. 2
- Fastest-growing product categories for the week, ranked by increase in visits:
- Jewelry – 38%
- Beauty – 24%
- Shoes – 18%
Retail Goods & Services Advertising, Week Ended Dec. 2 (US)
- eBay was No. 1 advertiser in Retail Goods & Services industry with 1.6 billion image-based impressions
- Auctions was the largest Retail Goods & Services industry segment, driven primarily by eBay
* Influential blogs determined by the number of inbound links from other blogs.
About the Nielsen Online CGM Analysis: Nielsen Online analyzed online conversations in 1,000 influential blogs, as determined by volume of inbound links.
About the Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index: The index comprises over 120 representative online retailers across 12 categories and acts as a barometer to gauge the level of activity at online shopping destinations during the holiday season. The Index illustrates increased shopping activity through category growth.