Hitwise has, since 1997, pioneered a unique, network-based approach to Internet measurement.

Through relationships with Internet service providers around the world, Hitwise uses its patented methodology to anonymously capture the online usage, search and conversion behavior of 25 million Internet users. This unprecedented volume of Internet usage data is seamlessly integrated into an easy-to-use, Web-based service designed to support marketers in better planning, implementing and reporting on a range of online marketing programs.

According to one of their recent studies, electronic products were the most popular retail category visited by Hong Kong Internet users in June 2010. Electronics websites accounted for 36.9 percent of visits to all product retail categories, with the Apple Store ranking as the most popular electronic website, with 14.8 percent share of visits.

While electronics was the most popular retail category visited in June 2010, increasing its share of visits year over year from 34.5 percent to 36.9 percent (See Figure 1); the House and Garden category was the fastest growing, with its share of visits increasing by 103.6 percent in June 2010 when compared to June 2009.

“Retailers can use online intelligence such as visits to popular retail categories to keep track of what products are top-of-mind amongst consumers when developing website content and forecasting product demand leading up to peak shopping periods,” said Graeme Beardsell, Vice President, Experian Asia Pacific.

Figure 1: Top Shopping Product categories visited in June 2010 vs. June 2009 by Hong Kong Internet users 

  • The Shopping - Electronics Industry is a custom category built on websites that offer retail in appliances and consumer electronics products, such as whitegoods, audio appliances, TV and video, communication products, as well as computer retail specialists.

Apple Store climbs to the top spot of most visited Electronic websites

Hong Kong Internet traffic to the Apple Store website increased 15.2 percent year over year, to take the number one spot as the most popular website in the Shopping – Electronics category in June 2010. Apple Taiwan was the fastest-moving website year over year, increasing its share of visits by 424 percent in June 2010 when compared to June 2009.

The recent launches of the iPad and iPhone 4 in overseas markets are likely to be key drivers of the increase in traffic to these websites, as Hong Kong consumers continue to be intrigued and want to find out more about these products prior to their launch in the Hong Kong market.

Other websites that made it into the top five most visited Electronic websites in June 2010 included HP, Price.com.hk, HKGolden.com and Lenovo, with 12.03 percent, 11.97 percent, 9.4 percent and 8.37 percent share of visits, respectively.

Experian Hitwise also identified that overseas Electronics websites accounted for 39.8 percent of traffic to electronics websites, which represents an enormous opportunity for local Hong Kong retailers to grab further market share.

“Hong Kong retailers should keep in mind both the local and overseas competitive pressures that the Internet magnifies. The findings clearly show that online is a great channel for businesses to increase sales and market themselves. Investing in a strong presence online is vital, including for bricks and mortar retailers,” advises Beardsell.

Figure 2: Top 10 most popular Electronics websites ranked by Visits - Month of June 2010

Social networking and forums top drivers of traffic to Electronic websites

Social networking and forums were the predominant channels for Hong Kong Internet users to reach Electronics websites in June 2010, accounting for 22.8 percent of referral traffic.  Search Engine traffic is growing strongly as a channel to retail websites, with upstream visits increasing 68.6 percent in June 2010, compared to June 2009. Portal frontpages are another significant source of traffic to Electronics websites, as the third most popular referring industry (See Figure 3).

“The popularity of social networking as a channel to websites should be a key focus for retailers online, as word-of-mouth and peer recommendations are key for consumers researching products,” said Beardsell. “Despite the popularity of social networking sites, retailers online should not completely forget about search engines. As we can see from the findings search engines continue to grow as an important navigation channel to retail websites. Website owners need to ensure that their content can be found through search engine optimisation. Retailers should also take advantage of brand building opportunities by ensuring they are visible on the leading Portals.”

Figure 3: Top Five Industries Visited before Shopping – Electronics websites, June 2010 compared with June 2009

Facebook was the major Social Network referring traffic to Electronics websites, representing 8.7 percent of upstream clicks. Yahoo! Hong Kong portal closely followed, accounting for 7.5 percent of upstream clicks, while Yahoo! Hong Kong Search was the major search engine referring traffic representing 5.9% of upstream clicks ranking ahead of both Google Hong Kong and Google (See Figure 4).

Figure 4: Top Five Upstream Industries Visited before Shopping – Electronics websites, June 2010 compared to June 2009

Hitwise, an Experian company, is a leading online competitive intelligence service, providing its 1,500 clients around the world with daily insights on how their customers interact with a broad range of competitive Web sites and how their competitors use different tactics to attract online customers.

For more information on Experian Asia Pacific, visit http://www.experian.com.hk
For up-to-date analysis of online trends, visit the Hitwise Intelligence – Analyst Weblogs at http://weblogs.hitwise.com