Nielsen today reported that Web traffic grew 10 percent year over year on Black Friday, garnering 21.2 million unique visitors across more than 120 representative online retailers, compared with 19.2 million unique visitors last year.
This growth is similar to last year's, when the Index saw 12 percent year-over-year growth on the day after Thanksgiving.
Holiday eShopping Index Category Growth Consumer Electronics was the fastest growing product category week over week on Friday, increasing 235 percent from November 16th to November 23rd.
Computer Hardware/Software took the No. 2 spot with 121 percent Web traffic growth, followed by Shopping Comparison/Portals with 95 percent growth.
Product Categories ranked by Week-Over-Week Growth
Consumer Electronics 235%
Computer Hardware & Software 121%
Shopping Comparison / Portals 95%
Toys / Videogames 71%
Home and Garden 65%
Flowers and Gifts 53%
Books or Music or Video 1%
^^ Source: Nielsen Online, Holiday eShopping Index
Black Friday Online Conversations
To gauge and define consumer perceptions about Black Friday, Nielsen Online created a Brand Association Map (BAM), based on online discussions in blogs and online forums between October 1st and November 20, 2007.
With the keyword "Black Friday" at the center, the BAM analyzed the most uniquely associated words and phrases used when consumers discussed Black Friday. The closer the words were to the central topic, the greater the association.
** Shopping incentives were a key part of Black Friday discussion: consumers avidly discussed advertisements, specials, and discounts as they anticipated deals and hoped to benefit from early holiday shopping.
** Consumers discussed tactical issues (what to buy and where) as well as the overall shopping experience (crowds). Some anticipated fighting crowds at 5am.
** Specific retailers, such as Macy's, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, and Sears, as well as products such as consumer electronics, were discussed. Plasma TV's and to a lesser extent Nintendo Wii's were associated with Black Friday, as consumers hoped to benefit from sales and promotions.
"Consumers were clearly inspired by this year's shopping incentives, particularly in relation to consumer electronics.
Naturally, discounts, deals, and specials characterize Black Friday discussion, but one of the more interesting aspects of the overall discussion was a detailed conversation on plans to purchase specific electronic products and brands, such as plasma TV's and Nintendo Wii's," said Kate Niederhoffer, director of research methodology, Nielsen Online.