The impact of back-to-school shopping affected US web traffic patterns in August 2010, according to [pdf] MediaMetrix data from comScore.
Back-to-School Categories, Sites Get Visitors
Back-to-school season accelerated the growth of several online categories during the month, from Books and Apparel to Educational Resources and Consumer Goods. For example, more than 27.5 million people visited a Book site in August 2010, an 11% increase from July 2010, making it the highest growing site category for the month.
Barnes & Noble captured the top spot with 8.3 million visitors (up 13%), followed by Borders Group, Inc. with 3 million visitors, BookSpan Property with 2.3 million visitors and AbeBooks with 1.6 million visitors (up 45%). Textbook rental site Chegg.com experienced significant growth during the month, surging 290% to 1.4 million visitors.
In addition, the Consumer Goods category grew 5% to 26.2 million visitors in August 2010. Staples.com Sites ranked first in the category with 8 million visitors during the month (up 16%), followed by Office Depot with 5.1 million (up 20%), QVC Sites with 4.3 million and OfficeMax with 2.9 million (up 32%).
Apparel sites also ranked among the top-gaining categories, growing to 65.4 million visitors during the month (up 5%). Zappos Sites ranked number one in the category with 6.4 million visitors, followed by Limitedbrands with 6.3 million visitors and Nike with 5.1 million (up 9%). OldNavy.com grew 15 percent to 4.9 million visitors, followed by Nordstrom.com with 3.7 million and Gap Online with 3.4 million (up 32%)
Sports Sites Hike as NFL Season Begins
With the start of the NFL season, traffic to Sports sites picked up during August 2010, reaching 123.5 million visitors, a 5% gain from the prior month. Yahoo Sports, earned top ranking in the category with 48.2 million visitors, representing a 23% increase from July 2010.
FOXSports.com on MSN ranked second with 26.2 million visitors, followed by ESPN with 25.4 million visitors. NFL Internet Group doubled its audience from July, taking the fourth spot with 19.5 million visitors, ranking as the top-gaining property for the month.
Sports Traffic Helps Yahoo Displace Google
Presumably aided by heavy traffic to Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Sites ranked as the top web property in August 2010 with 179 million visitors. Falling to number two was longtime top web property Google Sites with 178.8 million, and Microsoft Sites with 165.3 million.
TubeMogul, Firefly Debut Near Top
BrightRoll Video Network led the August 2010 Ad Focus ranking with a potential reach of 99% of Americans online, followed by TubeMogul Video Ad Platform with a 97% potential reach. SpotXchange Video Ad Network ranked third, also capturing 97% reach, while Firefly Video came in fourth with a potential reach of 93%. Both TubeMogul and Firefly appeared on the top 50 ad focus ranking for the first time in August 2010.
Back-to-School Spending Looks Solid
The average American family will spend $550 on back-to-school items this year, according to the August 2010 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. A majority (80%) of consumers with children in preschool through high school expect to spend more (39%) or the same (41%) per child on back to school shopping this year compared to last year.