Consumer discount websites thrive as economy suffers

LONDON - Websites offering consumers discounts were among the fastest growing UK sites over the past year, as concerns about the economy impacted consumers decisions, according to Nielsen Online.

Five of the 10 fastest-growing websites over the past 12 months were money-saving, classified and shopping sites.

Following its Brit Trips promotion offering discounts on UK trips, Walkers Snack Foods was the fastest growing UK website over the past year, increasing 2,575% from 17,000 UK unique users in June 2007 to 444,000 in June 2008.

Nielsen Online's top 10 fastest-growing websites also contains two coupon/reward sites (MyVoucherCodes and Fair Exchange), a shopping comparison site (FindStuff) and a classifieds site for jobs, cars and homes (Trovit).

Alex Burmaster, internet analyst at Nielsen Online, said: "Sites tapping into consumer concerns about the economy, giving them the opportunity to save money, dominate the fastest growing list.

"Coupons and reward sites, classifieds and shopping comparison engines are obvious examples, but Walkers Snack Foods is the fastest growing site of all due to its ‘Brit Trips' promotion offering discounts on British holidays and trips around attractions, hotels and restaurants."

Of the UK top 10 most popular websites, Google Maps is the fastest growing, with its number of unique users up 57% year on year, followed by YouTube, up 52%, and Wikipedia, up by 41%.

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