Hitwise and IMRG Hotshops List November 2011

Hot Shops List November 2011


Apple  becomes UK’s second most popular online retailer for first time ever

Market leaders Amazon and Apple go head-to-head in the Christmas gadget wars



·         Apple jumps six places in the Hot Shops list to snare the number two position from Argos for the first time ever - beaten only by Amazon

·         Poor quarter for Home & Garden websites with Homebase dropping three places to 42nd place and IKEA dropping one place to 32, while B&Q failed to regain momentum from earlier this year, remaining in 18th place

·         The fastest movers this quarter were ASDA Direct (up 23 places), Very.co.uk (+19), Ticketmaster (+16), H&M (+15) and Toys R Us (+15). Having moved up two places last quarter, Next fell back down to fifth place

·         Travel websites fell in the rankings this quarter: easyJet, Expedia, Ryanair, Lastminute.com, British Airways and Thomas Cook all dropped down the rankings, though this was expected after the summer peak




Since the Hot Shops listing began in 2006, Amazon UK has reigned supreme as the UK’s number one online shop.  But the launch of the iPhone 4S twinned with the sad passing of Steve Jobs saw Apple’s web traffic increase five-fold this quarter and for the first time ever, Argos dipped from second to third position, while Apple has leapt into second place. In October 2011, Apple accounted for one in every 250 visits from UK internet users. 


Despite reports of the mild Autumn weather affecting sales of seasonal product ranges, the fashion sector has seen increasing online traffic. Fashion retailers Very.co.uk (+19) and H&M (+15) both saw significant rises in the rankings to 22nd and 43rd place respectively.  ASOS (+7) at 12th, New Look (+3) at 13th, Topshop (+5) at 15th and River Island (+4) at 19th also improved this quarter. Next was the only notable fashion brand to drop in the rankings, although this was more a testament to the growth of other websites.


Ticketmaster was one of the fastest moving websites of the quarter, up 16 places in the Hot Shops list to 20th position. The ticketing website saw traffic increase by 37 per cent over the course of the quarter, thanks to announced comeback tours for Steps and the Stone Roses.  Toys R Us (+15) at 48th place was also among the fast movers, receiving a high share of traffic for top toy search items including Lego and Peppa Pig.


James Murray, Marketing Research Analyst at Experian Hitwise commented:

“The tech world mourned the death of Steve Jobs this quarter but Apple goes on, and the launch of the iPhone 4S has helped push Apple to its highest ever ranking in the Hot Shops list. Amazon UK and Apple are now the two biggest brands in online retail, and this Christmas they will go head-to-head in the gadget wars as the Amazon Kindle contends with the Apple iPad.  Our data shows that iPad is the more popular gadget online but the Kindle’s lower price point may entice shoppers this Christmas.


“Online shopping is stronger than ever and year-on-year we’ve seen UK Internet visits to the online retail category grow by three per cent, a trend we fully expect to continue throughout Christmas and the January sales period. We predict that Christmas 2011 will be another record-breaking year for the online retail sector. The UK spent 322 million hours shopping online in October 2011 and this is likely to increase to 350 million hours in December as people shop for their Christmas gifts.”


Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, commented:

“While the passing of Steve Jobs will undoubtedly have increased traffic levels to the Apple site, the sheer popularity of tablet devices such as the iPad is also a key factor. Amazon is expecting their Kindle to be one of their biggest sellers this Christmas, and it will be fascinating to see just how influential tablets become for consumers. IMRG are estimating that £3.72bn will be spent online during the peak activity weeks of w/c 28th November and 5th December and, judging by the high risers in the Hot Shops list, fashion retailers could be the big performers this Christmas.”




Alexandra Banks

Digital PR Manager, Experian Marketing Services

+44 (0) 7966102823



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