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Netflix fastest riser in hot shops list, while travel companies dominate

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Netflix was the fastest riser in the latest IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot Shops list.

The quarterly index maps the 50 most-visited UK websites. And while Amazon UK, Apple and Argos (in that order) retained their top three rankings from last year, overtook Next (5) to take fourth place, while M&S and Asos both moved up the rankings to sixth and seventh place respectively. The top ten is completed by Tesco (8, down from 5 last year), Debenhams (9, as last year) and John Lewis (10, down from 8).

The fastest rising site was that of NetFlix, in eleventh place from 27 at the same time last year. Rival site is in 14th place. Asda Direct was the second-fastest rising site, up by 13 places at 18.

Travel sites dominated the listings, with 13 sites included, led by Thomson (13), The Train Line (16) and Thomas Cook (19). While this is typical for the time of year, the recent heatwave seemed, said the IMRG to have reduced the traffic such sites received.

“The August Hot Shops List is usually dominated by travel retailers and this year it was no exception but the demand for foreign holidays was less due to the UK’s prolonged heatwave in July,” said Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG .

“Although many people thought the weather was very welcome following the freezing start to the year, online retail overall suffered.

“As consumers were driven outside, high street retail performed strongly while online sales recorded the first ever negative growth between June and July (-2%) in 13 years of tracking. In terms of sales growth the online travel sector was up by just 3%, the lowest growth for that sector in two years.”

James Murray, digital insight manager, Experian Marketing Services, said: “The unseasonably hot weather we experienced in July had a major effect on people’s online shopping behaviour and in turn may be responsible for some of the trends we have witnessed in this quarter’s HotShops list.”

Those trends included searches for air conditioning and fans, barbecues, and fashion items, benefiting the sellers of electronics, DIY and clothing. Clothing and accessories traders accounted for seven of the 50 places in the index, led by Next in fifth place.

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