February 28th, 2011 | Published in Google DoubleClick
A new year often means new resolutions, a time to recover from the excesses of the holiday season and plan for the new year. As reflected in January’s Ad Planner 1000, anyway, it seems that less shopping, tax season and travel are particularly top of mind with people navigating the web.
With the holiday season over retail sites took a hit in January as it appears consumers have scaled back on purchases - at least in the online world. Popular sites in the AP 1000 such as target.com (-40%), shoplocal.com (-38%), kohls.com (-38%), bestbuy.com (-35%), walmart.com (-35%) and sears.com (-32%) all saw significant declines in the number of unique visitors to their site from the month before. But special deals to counteract the expected drop in retail sales can work magic - as it did in for the deal site, livingsocial.com. Its Amazon.com $20-for-$10 offer resulted in over 1.3 million vouchers sold and a 47% increase in the number of visitors to its site for that month.
And while people are spending less, they might be hoping to see tax refunds, and thus the appearances of two tax-related sites in the January list: the irs.gov entered the list at #449 and intuit.com, makers of the popular TurboTax software, entered at #321.
It’s possible that finding new jobs and new destinations are popular resolutions this year if the surge in traffic to career and travel sites are any indication. Job search site indeed.com (+26%) saw more than a quarter of their unique visitors increase in January and sites careerbuilder.com (+21%) and monster.com (+20%) also fared well with increases in traffic from the month before.
The increase in visitors to travel-related sites was particularly notable in January’s AP 1000 list. Tripadvisor.com (+33%), booking.com (+33%), orbitz.com (+31%), travelocity.com (+31%) -- all saw more than a third more unique visitors to their site than in December. While sites hotels.com (+29%), expedia.com (+21%), easyjet.com (+20%) and priceline.com (+16%) also saw notable boosts in traffic.
Check back with us next month to see when we publish the data for February’s AP 1000. We’re looking forward to seeing how cupid’s arrow will work his magic on sites in the AP 1000 list.