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The Year of the Cost-Conscious Consumer: Similarweb Estimates 100 Fastest-Growing Digital Brands of 2022

Business Wire 25-Jan-2023 10:00 AM

Appeals to consumer frugality drove growth across many domains

With its annual Digital 100 ranking, Similarweb is recognizing what it believes to be the 10 top-performing digital domains from 10 critical business categories, ranked by growth – with the top sites up by hundreds, or even thousands of a percent, between 2021 and 2022.

The winners, announced today, are led by:

  • Automotive, #1 site is mobilpromotions.com, an oil rebates and special offers site, up 248.4%, apparently benefitting from consumer concern about gas prices and inflation.
  • Beauty & Cosmetics, #1 site is laurageller.com, a direct-to-consumer makeup brand for women over 40, up 164%. Laura Geller owes some of its success to strong social media referrals, particularly from Facebook, which account for a quarter of its traffic.
  • Technology & Services, #1 site is snipfeed.co, a monetization tool for creators and influencers, up 374.7%. Snipfeed gets 44.4% of its traffic from social media, making strong connections with those seeking to boost their brands.
  • Consumer Electronics, #1 site is grover.com, a high-end gadget rental company, up 353.5%. Grover connects with the theme of consumers looking for ways to get what they want, when they want it, with a lower cash outlay, using display and search advertising to build brand awareness.
  • Health & Fitness, #1 site is setforset.com, a provider of fitness equipment, up 347.8%. Set for Set saw a 336% increase in direct traffic and a 351% increase in organic search.
  • Apparel & Accessories, #1 site is intimissimi.com, a women's intimate clothing brand, up 285.9%. Intimissimi got a boost from celebrities including official brand ambassador Jennifer Lopez, plus Sarah Jessica Parker, Heidi Klum, Irina Shayk, and Gisele Bundchen.
  • Financial Services, #1 site is synchrony.com, a private label credit card and alternative payments provider, up 3,388%. Compared with the rest of the top 10 in this category, Synchrony brought in the most traffic across the direct, search, referral, and social channels, and ranked second for display advertising traffic.
  • Jobs & Career, #1 site is meritamerica.org, an online technical training non-profit for the tech industry, up 229.9%. In a sign of strong brand awareness and repeat business, 56.8% of Merit America's traffic comes directly to the website, 63% of its search traffic comes from searches by company name.
  • News & Media, #1 site is forever-mom.com, a portal for mothers to find information and parenting advice, up 1,316.3%. Forever Mom's success may partly be the story of a pandemic baby boom, but the site also benefitted from a surge in referrals, which accounted for 65% of its 2022 traffic.
  • Travel, #1 site is capitalonetravel.com, Capital One's credit card travel rewards program, up 774.2%. Capital One Travel's growth may reflect the overall pent-up demand in travel but also strong traffic from consumers searching for deals.

The Digital 100 identifies what Similarweb estimates to be the fastest-growing digital companies, not the largest, but collectively Digital 100 attracted nearly 50 million visits from 20 million people on an average monthly basis. This ranking estimate is based on traffic from desktop and mobile web internet users within the United States, focusing on digital domains that were already active throughout 2021 and averaged at least 100,000 monthly visits in 2022. Parallel reports for the U.K., Germany, France, and Japan, are also being released today, with one for Australia to follow.

Winners who ranked across multiple geographies include Set for Set (#1 Health & Fitness in the U.S., U.K., and Australia), Snipfeed (#1 Technology & Services in Germany as well as the U.S.), and Live Universal Awareness Map at liveuamap.org, with its coverage of the war in Ukraine and other conflicts (#1 News & Media in France and Germany; #2 in the U.S. and U.K.).

Biggest Trends of 2022

"The events of 2022 put a lot of stress on businesses and consumers, alike," said Similarweb Chief Product Officer Benjamin Seror. "With inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain issues warping supply and demand, companies had to adapt quickly and effectively. Many of our Digital 100 winners found ways to appeal to the cost-conscious consumer, offering options beyond the mainstream that allowed them to stretch their budgets."

The major trends included:

  • The cost-conscious consumer: Budget sensitivity is showing up everywhere, at a time of heightened inflation. We are seeing growth in price comparison sites, especially in oil/gas and auto, as well as growth in sites for do-it-yourself and loyalty rewards programs.
  • Find another way: Consumers want what they want, when they want it, and are willing to explore sites not in the mainstream to get it. Thus, we see growth in alternative financing, sites for people to rent appliances they would normally own, fast-fashion sites promising low prices, copycats of luxury goods, and subscription health services.
  • Consumers are prioritizing travel above other forms of leisure even if prices are high. "Revenge Travel" refers to consumers prioritizing travel above other types of discretionary purchases – a direct response to the relief of constraints from the pandemic, combined with consumers' strong desire to escape confinement. All forms of travel are seeing upticks, especially cruises and international air.
  • AI tools for finding talent were prominent among the winners in the Jobs & Careers category, while on the job hunter side of the market, most of the top sites were specific company career portals.
  • Winners have achieved brand recognition and loyalty. While the winners tended to be proficient in marketing across digital channels, when looked at collectively, one of their great successes was the ability to increase direct traffic to their websites over the course of the year. By December, direct traffic visits to the Digital 100 domains were up 177%, year-over-year.

"Similarweb's mission is to reveal the patterns that drive digital growth, and it's fascinating to see the different strategies these companies have pursued to achieve their success," Seror said.

For more details, download our A Day in the Life of the Cost-Conscious Consumer trends report, or visit the Similarweb Insights blog for posts on individual categories. A series of infographics are also available for the media and use on social media.

Eligibility criteria: The rankings are based on industry categories Similarweb tracks on an ongoing basis, ranked based on year-over-year change in their total estimated traffic for 2022 over 2021. To qualify for the U.S. ranking, a domain had to average at least 100,000 monthly views for 2022 and 50,000 for 2021. Domains that had no measurable traffic at the beginning of 2021 were also eliminated from the ranking. All product names, logos, brands, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About Similarweb Similarweb is the most trusted platform for understanding online behavior, used by millions of people every day to create insights and strengthen their knowledge of the digital world. We empower anyone — from the curious individual to the enterprise business leader — to make smarter decisions by understanding why things happen across the digital ecosystem. Learn more here: https://www.similarweb.com/corp/about/

Disclaimer: All data, reports, and other materials provided or made available by Similarweb are based on data obtained from third parties, including estimations and extrapolations based on such data. Similarweb shall not be responsible for the accuracy of the materials and shall have no liability for any decision by any third party based in whole or in part on the materials.

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