Despite our best hopes, this past year had some high-highs and some low-lows. From the optimism brought about by the continued easing of Covid restrictions, to the turmoil surrounding rising inflation and fears of a global recession, we’ve all felt the ups and downs. And so have the businesses we know and love.
Across the globe, the impact of the challenges and bright spots we’ve faced have shaped growth trends for every industry and will continue to have an impact as we look toward the future.
With so much of our modern lives playing out in digital spaces, the patterns revealed across global traffic trends can tell us a lot about where we’ve been and where we’re going in 2023. Some industries have thrived, while others have struggled, but taken together the data tells a story about the coming year.
To get a better understanding of how we've been impacted as a global community, we’ve been digging into global traffic data to uncover the traffic trends playing out over 17 major categories. Let’s dig in!
Most interesting to see shifts in Tourism after COVID time
Travel and tourism saw strong gains over the last 12 months with an overall industry traffic increase of 81.5%. The two winners were European based domains ryanair.com (200%) and bahn.de (275%). The massive increase seen by bahn.de was likely spurred by the “Deutschlandticket” which offers affordable and environmentally sustainable rail transport across Germany.
Wetteronline.com (74%) and wetter.com (68.5%), two German-based weather websites, also saw massive gains. These increases seem to be aligned with increased travel by individuals throughout Germany.
Domains at the top of the list, which showed high traffic numbers, saw mixed results in terms of traffic growth year over year. Booking.com witnessed a strong 43% increase, while tripadvisor.com dropped by nearly 10% and airbnb.com only grew by 5%. Traffic to expedia.com, which ended up in position #5, only increased by 1%.
Overall, the industry fared quite well despite some economic and political turmoil, though it seems the European market (and especially the German market) came through with most impressive wins.
The Airlines category saw a strong year over year increase with an average increase of 85%. Interestingly, flight tracker softwares had the strongest showing of the top 10 domains. Skyscanner.net led the pack with a huge 207% increase, while flightradar24.com and flightware.com showed gains on either side of 100%.
The airlines on the list were all in the positive, though a few stood out from the pack. Ryanair.com grew by 200%, while united.com saw an 80% rise. The remaining airlines on the list–aa.com (47%), southwest.com (45%) and delta.com (38%)–each saw double-digit gains for 2022.
Interestingly, the top player on the list in terms of traffic, expedia.com, saw monthly traffic numbers around 55M, though growth year over year was only just above 1%. A rather small outcome compared to some of the other players in the industry who captured major wins.
The Real Estate category saw mixed results over the past year, with some big winners on the list, alongside a few sites that took heavier than average losses. Overall, the category saw a -3% growth rate. But considering some turmoil, especially in the U.S. housing market, results could’ve been worse.
The biggest winners were European based websites. Idealista.com (118%), leboncoin.fr (44%), and immobilienscout24.de (54%) all had strong showings. Likewise, rightmove.co.uk was in the positive traffic territory with a growth rate of 8%. These strong gains could be linked to an increase in immigration across Europe.
The biggest losers were US-based real estate sites. Cragislist.org (-50%), zillow.com (-31%), and realtor.com (-34%) all saw steep double-digit losses. Redfin.com and apartments.com didn’t see declines as steep, but traffic to both domains still dropped by nearly 20%.
Mail and Package Delivery showed outstanding results across the last year, with only 1 of the top 10 sites showing a downturn in traffic. Overall, the category saw traffic increases near 92%.
The biggest winner was parcelsapp.com (308%) which saw traffic soar. The success of the parcel tracking app makes sense in light of the overall growth in mail and package delivery trends. The more people ship, the more interest there is in tracking.
Other big winners included dhl.de (156%), dhl.com (126%), and poste.it (110%). Japanpost.jp also saw a strong 51% growth last year. This array of companies suggests the growth in the mail and package delivery category is global as opposed to region specific.
The outlier for the last 12 months was canadapost-postescanada.ca which saw a year-over-year growth around -83%. The downward trend seems to be linked to flagging consumer demand in Canada due to economic concerns.
While the Banking category saw an overall yearly growth of 29%, this number was heavily influenced by a few big winners. Overall, the top 10 sites were evenly split among winners and losers.
The clear winner last year was Brazil’s caixa.gov.br which saw a 280% boost in traffic. Currency exchange site xe.com also saw strong growth with traffic increases nearing 70%. Credit cards also fared well, which makes sense in light of falling savings rates and rising inflation. Capitalone.com (37%) and americanexpress.com (19%) both saw double-digit gains.
On the flip-side, US banks took the largest hits year over year. While India-based ddfcbank.com (7%) remained in the positive, US based citi.com (-4%), wellsfargo.com (-28%), bankofamerica.com (-36%), and chase.com (-22%), all saw traffic declines.
Finance based sites were a mixed-bag last year, with 60% in the negative. The remaining 40% in the positive, however, saw strong gains which evened out the overall industry traffic growth to -0.22%.
Interestingly, some of the biggest winners and biggest losers fell into the investing niche. On the downside, etoro.com (-60%), investopedia.com (-36%), and marketwatch.com (-28%) lead the losers. On the upside, investing.com (44%) and yahoo.com (27%) saw strong gains.
The biggest winner overall was paypal.com with a big 67% traffic increase for the year. The chaotic blend of winners and losers across the category seems to speak to the unpredictable state of the economy across the globe as we look toward 2023.
The Investment category showed mixed results across the last 12 months. Overall, the category grew by an average of 8%, though the winners and losers tended toward larger gains and steeper losses.
Sites with the strongest gains and losses came from India and Turkey. India’s upstox.com saw an enormous increase of 90%, while Turkey’s bloomburght.com rose by 79%. Two India-based sites also led the losers with icicidirect.com and bseindia.com each dropping by 50%.
US based vanguard.com didn’t fare much better seeing growth drop by 65%. Likewise, stockcharts.com, which focuses on US based investors, sank by 39%. Overall, the high-highs and low-lows of the investment industry are reflective of global economic concerns as investors weigh looming risks in 2023.
The Insurance category had a strong showing across this last year with an overall average increase of 14% year over year. Of the top 10, the winners and losers were evenly split, though the winners saw slightly more of an upward trend than the downward trend seen by the losers.
U.S. based car insurance companies progressive.com and statefarm.com saw the largest increases with gains at 52% and 79%, respectively. Other auto insurers saw gains, including aaa.com (28%) and allstate.com (1%). The only loser in the auto category was geico.com with a drop of 5% year over year.
On the European front, Netherlands-based rabobank.nl (-20%) and anwv.nl (-23%) saw steep losses, though traffic to the French insurer ameli.fr climbed 46%. Health and life insurance companies also trended downward with usaa.com declined by 16% and uhc.com falling by 1% year over year.
Despite economic concerns across the globe, the Retail category has had a tremendous year. Overall, the top 10 sites saw average traffic increases close to 50%.
Aliexpress.com saw outstanding growth with an 88% increase in traffic, though Amazon took the prize across the board. While amazon.ft took the gold with a 93% increase, amazon.de (77%), amazon co.uk (75%), and amazon.in (63%) also saw significant growth.
Among the winners, etsy.com (52%), walmart.com, (44%) and samsung.com (24%) also had a strong year.
Closer to the losing end of the spectrum, ikea.com saw less than 1% growth, while ebay.com was the only site to drop into the negative with a -22% growth rate for the year.
The Apparel and Fashion category witnessed outstanding year-over-year growth with an overall traffic increase of 42%, though this number was driven by a few big winners.
India-based myntra.com led the pack with an incredible 249% increase in traffic over the last 12 months. This increase in visits to the apparel and fashion site could be driven by positive growth within the Indian economy. Likewise, China-based shein.com saw their traffic double year over year with a total increase above 117%.
Uniqlo.com has had a strong year with a growth of 53%. Likewise, hm.com saw double-digit growth nearing 34% for the year.
The biggest losers last year were companies based in three different countries, suggesting their challenges may not be connected to any overarching geographic trend. US-based gap.com fell by 17% and Japan-based mercari.com fell by 11%. The biggest loser, however, was the Spanish multinational retailer, zara.com, which saw traffic plummet 37%.
The Beauty and Cosmetics category has seen massive growth across the last 12 months. Overall, the category’s traffic increased by 80%, with 7 out of 10 domains in the positive territory for the year.
Perfume-focused websites dominated year over year. Fragrantica.com (248%), fragrentica.ru (231%), and fragrancenet.com (194%), all saw massive triple-digit growth. Yesstyle.com (59%), boots.com (41%), and boticario.com.br (37%) also showed strong growth.
Though French cosmetics giant, sephora.com (20%), saw steady growth, its top contenders weren’t so fortunate. Both ulta.com (-2%) and qvc.com (-20%) ended the year with traffic losses.
Sporting Goods had a strong year in terms of traffic growth. Overall, the industry saw an average growth of 51%. Of the top 10 sites, 70% were in the positive territory.
The winner in the Sporting Goods category over the last year was decathlon.fr which saw traffic grow 138%. The Spanish version of the site, decathlon.es, also saw tremendous growth, rising 72% year over year.
Puma.com (118%) and adidas.com (112%) also saw triple-digit growth, while nike.com also had a strong year, witnessing a 62% increase.
In terms of losers, academy.com saw the largest traffic drop year over year, falling 34%. Likewise, dickssportinggoods.com (8%) and rei.com (1%) also saw downward trends, though to a much smaller degree.
In the Jewelry and Luxury Products category, a few domains saw tremendous growth, bringing the overall industry traffic growth upwards of 78%. Overall, 2 of the top 10 domains saw triple-digit growth, while the rest experienced more modest gains or slight losses.
In the winners category, catawiki.com led the way with a massive traffic expansion of 438%. Following this break-out brand, saksfifthavenue.com (171%) and dior.com (98%) also had a stellar year for traffic growth.
Gucci.com (49%) and pandora.net (45%) also came out in the positive, though not all designer brands had the same success. Louisvuitton.com’s traffic only increased by 1%, while chanel.com and neimanmarcus.com both saw declines of 1% and 4% respectively.
The biggest loser, however, was the Canadian online retailer ssense.com. Over the course of the year, the brand saw their traffic decline by 21%.
The Food and Beverages category had a strong showing, with an average growth just north of 51% year over year. Of the top 10 sites, 80% were in the positive, with 3 nearing triple-digit growth.
The traffic winners came from a diversity of countries across the globe. Japan-based recipe app kurashiru.com saw traffic skyrocket with growth above 223%. Likewise, German-based cooking site chefkoch.de saw traffic more than double with a growth of 104%.
US-based recipe sites didn’t fare as well as their global counterparts. Allrecipes.com (-24%), which leads the list in the #1 position in terms of monthly traffic, and foodnetwork.com (-43%) both saw their numbers plummet last year.
Though not all US-based brands suffered. Traffic to fast food sites seems to be climbing in light of rising inflation and tightening purse strings. Mcdonalds.com (96%) and dominos.com (64%) both posted double-digit traffic increases for the year.
The Healthcare category was a mixed bag over the last year with half of the top 10 domains in the negative traffic territory for the year. Overall, domains saw moderate expansion with an average growth rate of 11%, though this number was boosted by a couple of significant winners.
Clevelandclinic.org led the winners with a massive triple-digit boost of 137%. Likewise, UK-focused nhs.uk posted a 42% growth rate for the year. The remaining winners for the year, including nih.gov (13%), mayoclinic.org (13%), and medicalnewstoday.com (2%), struggled to see the same growth as their peers.
The last 12 months’ losers saw steep losses compared to their counterparts in the positive territory. Webmd.com took the biggest losses with traffic dropping 38% year over year. Likewise, cdc.gov (-22%) and healtline.com (-20) witnessed losses in the low double-digits.
The Computer Software and Development category has had an amazing year of growth with an overall of 127% for the year. Of the top 10 sites, 80% were in the positive traffic territory.
File sharing software, mediafire.com saw traffic increase over 700% taking the prize for growth year over year. Likewise, discord.com (183%) and canva.com (144%) also saw triple-digit growth. And not far behind, Wordpress.com (99%) and paypal.com (67%) also saw high double-digit growth rates.
While stackoverflow.com (-15%) saw moderate losses, the biggest loser was zoom.us (-40%). The significant drop may be attributed to an increase in companies calling workers back to the office.
The last year has been amazing for the Computer and Video Games category. This category was the overall leader with a massive growth of 183%. All 10 sites on the list were in the positive traffic territory for the year, and 70% saw triple-digit growth.
The winners in the Computer and Video Game category were US-based epicgames.com (392%) and the French gaming site jeuxvideo.com (381%), which both saw massive triple-digit growth. Not far behind, steampowered.com (226%) and gamespot.com (192%) saw growth on either side of 200%.
On the lower end of the growth spectrum, video-game streaming site twitch.tv only saw a 31% gain for the year. Compared to other categories, this is still a strong showing, but not nearly as spectacular as others on the Computer and Video Game list.
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