An eleventh hour rush for Olympic tickets pushed the London 2012 website to new heights on the latest IMRG Experian Hot Shops List.
The quarterly list maps the most-visited UK sites during the previous three months. It found that the London 2012 site was the fastest-rising on the August 2012 list, coming in at 15th place, with interest picking up between June and July.
“In particular,” said James Murray, digital insight manager for Experian Marketing Services, “we saw increased demand for football, athletics and volleyball tickets in the run up to the opening ceremony.
“With so much attention focused on the Olympics maintaining a business as usual attitude can be a challenge for some companies, but big events like the Olympics should be seen as an opportunity not an obstacle for brands. Netflix is a good example of a company that has nothing to do with the Olympics but is still rising up the Hot Shops List positioning itself as a welcome relief for people who do not want to watch the sport on TV.”
The Olympics also helped to push up visits to sports sites. Halfords benefited from a boost to bike and cycling websites, with the visits increasing by 13%. Away from the Olympics, the fastest movers included Thomas Cook up by 12 places, and Travel Republic, up by 11 places, demonstrating a summer boost to travel sites.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “Not surprisingly, the Olympics have had a strong impact on traffic patterns over the previous period. There was a surge in visits to the London 2012 Tickets website as sports fans looked to pick up re-released tickets not taken up by the VIPs. The Wiggins effect no doubt boosted visits to Halfords, with his dual Tour de France and Olympic Gold success prompting a huge interest in road cycling. Not everyone enjoyed the blanket coverage however, which led to a boost for the online travel retailers. This sector also witnessed an increase in sales to match the traffic levels, with the IMRG Capgemini Index recording double-digit growth in July, in contrast to a disappointing performance in the same month last year."
Within the top ten, Apple overtook Argos to second place after long-term leader Amazon.co.uk. Next jumped two places past Tesco and Amazon.com and department stores John Lewis and Debenhams both rose ahead of Play.com which fell two places but still remains in the top 10.