A new ComScore study has analyzed the total number of visits to online retail sites during November against a pre-season base period average to understand how the onset of the Christmas shopping season has affected online consumer habits when measured against a typical shopping week.
The European online Christmas shopping season got off to a solid start this year in the UK, France and Germany, says ComScore, with UK visits to retail sites up 18% during the first week of November compared to a typical week during the prior two months, and increased even further throughout the month to enjoy a 41% growth rate during the week ending November 29.
France also showed solid gains, culminating in the same 41% growth rate during the last week of November, while Germany showed slightly slower visitation growth of 17% across the month.
“That we’re seeing such strong growth in visitation to retail sites in three of Europe’s leading countries prior to the December pre-Christmas rush is, hopefully, a positive sign for the overall European economy,” says ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Right now the UK and France appear to be demonstrating the highest rate of traffic growth to retail sites, outperforming the US by a considerable margin."
Across the month of November, average weekly visits to online retail sites grew 35% in the UK compared to the typical shopping week from the prior two months. Of the top five online retailers as ranked by average weekly visits across the month of November, Play.com sites experienced the largest growth with a 62% gain, closely followed by the Home Retail Group, owner of Argos and Homebase (up 61%) and Tesco Stores (up 50%).
Visits to online retail sites in France were up 36% during the first week of the month and remained steady throughout November. Of the top five online retailers, Groupe PriceMinister experienced the fastest rate of growth at 188%, followed by Amazon's sites and Cdiscount.com, both with 40% gains.
In Germany, visits to online retail sites got off to a slightly slower start than in France and the UK, but still showed a healthy 17% average weekly growth versus the typical shopping week. Amazon's sites were the fastest growing retail property during November – up 46% on the base period average – followed by Neckermann Gruppe (up 18%).