Social shopping communities have become increasingly popular for online shoppers when researching their Xmas purchases, according to stats from Nielsen Online.

Nielsen’s analysis (pdf) of the 1,000 most influential blogs (ranked by number of inbound links) finds that gift recommendations are dominating holiday discussions on these sites.

Services like Stylehive and CrowdStorm allow peer-driven reviews of products, though the fact that consumer electronics and games are the most frequently reviewed products suggests a mainly tech-savvy audience.

They are also generating a fair amount of buzz around e-commerce sites – mentions and links of etailer Overstock.com rose 122% for the week ending December 2.

This was reflected in the number of visits to Overstock.com, which rose by 11% in the same week.

According to Nielsen’s Kate Niederhoffer:

“Bloggers’ holiday gift recommendations have evolved from simple product reviews to be far more social in nature.”

“The new face of online recommendations – an emergent trend this season – comes from several forward-thinking blogs which point consumers to social shopping sites.”

Related research:

Social Commerce Report 2007
 

Related stories:

Social networks drive more traffic to retailers

UK shoppers first in the Xmas queue