17 Dec 2011

The Italians Are the Champions of Socializing

In Italy you see people gathering everywhere having a chat. They are really great at socializing. But that's not limited to the physical world. Online they are great too. The Italians are the champions of social media. In Italy 8 in ten (80%) has set up a social networking profile, market report from Ofcom states.

Consumers who have have a social network profile
Italy 80%
UK  70%  
France 71%
Germany 65%
USA 78%
Source: Ofcom (December 2011)

It's primarily the young who visit social networking sites. The trend is the same all over Europe except in Italy where more people in each age groups seem to have adopted social networking sites compared to the rest of Europe.

Consumers who have visited a social networking website, by age
Country     18-24    25-44  45-64
Italy 93% 87% 74%
UK 92%   82%   71%
France 92% 81% 65%
Germany 88% 78% 64%
USA 95% 85% 73%
Source: Ofcom (December 2011)

In the two age groups 18-24 and 25-44 more than half visit a social networking site more than 2 times a day. Facebook is still the most popular social networking site - all over Europe.

Get the Ofcom International Communications Market Report 2011.

11 Dec 2011

British Consumers Prefer the Web over the Store

Why go to the store when you can shop online? This could be the motto of the British consumer. According to a survey by KPMG most British consumers prefer to shop online rather than going to the high street store. Three in four (74 per cent) of British consumers say they are more likely to buy flights and vacations online and 77 per cent prefer to buy CDs, DVDs, books and video games online.
     Britain     Global    
Prefer to buy flights and vacations online 74%   70%
Prefer to buy CDs, DVDs and books and video games online             77% 65% 
Source: KPMG (December 2011)

However, when it comes to luxury items most people say they prefer to go to the store and four in ten consumers still seem to avoid grocery shopping online. This is especially evident in America where more than three in four say they would book a flight online, but only 21 per cent say they are more likely to buy groceries online.

When shopping in a store almost half (45 per cent) of the British use their mobile phone or device to find the nearest store, a third (32 per cent) use their phone or mobile device to research products and services, 30 per cent use their phone or device for online coupons and one in five (19 per cent) scan barcodes for product information. Globally 41% research products and services and almost a quarter pay with their mobile device.

Mobil device usage    Britain    
Locate store45%  
Research products            32%
Online coupons            30%
Scan barcodes for product information            19%
Source: KPMG (December 2011)

Ratings and reviews
When buying products or services the majority of customers in the UK and globally consult feedback and ratings pages on the internet or get information on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

See news release by KPMG.

26 Nov 2011

Social Networking Has Gone Mobile

In the beginning, we used our mobile phone to talk to other humans, then we began texting each other and now it seems we are using our mobile friend to access social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr and all the rest. A study from Comscore reveals that in September 2011, 55.1 million mobile users in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain visited social networking sites or blogs on their mobile device, representing 23.5 per cent of the total mobile audience in these five countries.

Huge increase in daily visitors
In the last year, there has been an increase in the visiting frequency. People visit social media sites and blogs more often. 25.8 million mobile users visit a social networking site and or blog almost daily. This is a huge increase compared to the same period last year. The table below shows the frequency for mobile users visiting social networking site or blogs on a 3 month average ending in September 2010 vs. September 2011.

     Sep. 10     Sep. 11     Change
Visited a Social Networking Site or Blog ever 38,395,000   55,125,000    44%
Visited a Social Networking Site or Blog almost every day   15,438,000 25,779,000      67%
Source: Comscore (November 2011)

If you want people to visit your social networking site, you might want to consider making an application. The number of people accessing social networking site via a internet browser is still higher than people accessing it via an application but mobile users accessing a social networking site via an application has double within a year. The table below shows the accessing method for mobile users visiting social networking site or blog on a 3 month average ending in September 2010 vs. September 2011.

Social Networking Access Method     September 10     September 11      Change
Via mobile browser 23,855,000   31,307,000    31%
Via application   12,507 24,208      101%
Source: Comscore (November 2011)

Facebook still rules
Facebook is by far the most popular social networking site. No doubt about that. No one will be able to challenge Facebook for years, it seems. Twitter is growing faster but is still far behind.

Audience for selected Social Networking sites   September 10     September 11     Change
Facebook 25,361,000   39,022,000    54%
Twitter   3,980,000 8,568,000      115%
Tuenti 1,474,000   2,327,000    58%
Linkedin 944,000 2,210,000      134%
Source: Comscore (November 2011)

See press release by Comscore.

6 Nov 2011

Men Engage in More Social Shopping Activities than Women

Time and time again we hear that women love shopping - especially when the shopping experience involves social shopping activities like researching and sharing on social media sites like Facebook. I have even made several blog posts about it. Women still more frequently search for bargains, coupons and specials but a study from Performics shows that men actually do more social shopping activities than women.

Social shopping activities
Men do more frequently read reviews, research product information, find product availability, compare products and information about shops via social networks, shopping and bargain sites. As mentioned women are still more frequently searching for coupons, specials and bargains,.

Where men and women do social shopping activities
Social Media Site     Men     Women
Facebook  96%   97%
You Tube 54% 34%
Twitter 37% 24%
Google+ 36% 24%
My Space 31% 20%
Linkedin 30% 16
Source: Performics (October 2011)

Share the shopping experience
Social media has become a part of the shopping experience. When searching for a product social networkers most often visit Amazon, eBay or brand websites to begin their shopping experience or right before they decide to a buy. Social networkers are more likely to use social media sites such as Facebook immediately after the purchase to share their shopping experience with their friends.

Social commerce in-store
Social shopping activities is not just done at home in front of the computer. It's also done in-store. The in-store shopping behaviour has changed dramatically. The in-store shopping experience is not limited to the shop anymore, it's also online.

In-store Activities      Percentages
Price searches in-store        62%  
Checks-in on Social Media site       45%
Use a search engine on their mobile phone to look for information       41%
Wait between five and 10 minutes for advice on social sites before buying       41%
Use a barcode scanner on their mobile phone to shop for prices       30%
Pause in a shop before buying in order to seek advice on a social network       25%
Source: Performics (October 2011)

See press release by Performics or download statistics on Slideshare.

30 Oct 2011

Apple iOS Is Now Bigger than Nokia Symbian

Nokia's Symbian has for many years been the most popular operating system among smartphone users. Leaving Apple's iOS and Google's Android platform to struggle for second place. But not anymore. iOS has now a larger share, according to Comscore which has been looking into mobile and connected devices use in the five leading European markets (the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) during an average three month period ending in August 2011.

Adding iPhone, IPad and iPod Touch together
Symbian still has the largest share of the smartphone market. However, if we add all mobiles and connected devices including iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches together, iOS has the larger share with 30.5 per cent of all mobile and connected devices (excluding feature phones and e-readers). Symbian ranks second, accounting for 28.7 per cent followed by Google's Android platform as the third most popular operating system with 23.5 per cent.

OS Market Share by Audience Installed Base

3 Month average ending August 2011
Total mobile subscribers above age 13
Device platform          
Share (%) of
Devices in Use
Apple iOS       30.5%
Symbian       28.7%
Google Android       23.5%
RIM (BlackBerry)         8.1%
Microsoft         5.5%
Other platforms         3.5%
Source: Comscore MobilLens (October 2011)

Symbian is no longer no. 1 because it’s share of the market is driven only by Symbian smartphones. In comparison almost half of iOS' share comes iPads and iPod Touches. There doesn't seem to be so many tables using Android, or they are just used less frequently, because tablets account for only 16 per cent of the Android platform share.

See press release by Comscore.

9 Oct 2011

E-commerce Is Gaining Ground in Scandinavia and the Nordic Countries

It's a year ago I made the blog entry E-commerce in Scandinavia and the Nordic Countries and I think it's time for an update. As the last time, I use Posten's (the Nordic Post) survey about e-commerce in Scandinavia and the Nordic countries.

A brief summery. 1 in 4 citizens in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland) is shopping online each month. Among the Nordic countries the Danes are most likely to click on the buy button. 1 in 3 (32%) Danes are shopping on the web each month.

Percentage of people who shop each month via distance
Country      S DK  N  SF

    28%    32%  24%  10%
Source: Posten Norden (May 2011) 

The Danes shop online because it's easy and they can hunt for bargains. The Danes are not as interested in a larger selection of products as their fellow Nordic citizen. The Danes expect a short delivery time, 1 in 3 (35%) demands that the product is delivered within in three days.

The online shopping Swedes are younger (15-29 years) than in the other Nordic countries. In Sweden people prefer to click on the buy button in shops situated in Sweden and to be invoiced. 

The credit card is gaining ground on invoices among the internet shopping Norwegians. In Norway they are more patient and accept a delivery time of more than a week.

Finns are still the most hesitant online shoppers in the Nordic countries. They prefer to use bank transfer and are not using their credit card as often as their neighbours.

Men shop more online than women 
In most surveys of this kind women are always crowned as kings of internet shopping. But not in Scandinavia and the Nordic countries.

Percentage who shop each month (gender)
Country S DK  N  SF
Men 30%    37%  27%  9%
Women   25%    26%  21%  9%
Source: Posten Norden (May 2011)

1 in 3 in the age groups 15-29 and 30-49 shop online each month. However, the most frequent shopper are Danish men in the age 30-49 where half (51%) claim they shop online each month.

Reasons for shopping online
Half the Nordic population shop online because it's easier and faster than shopping in the high street shops. The price is also an important factor. 1 in 5 thinks that a price is important. When shopping online consumers expect a larger selection of products.

Most important argument for shopping online (selected categories)
Country S DK  N  SF
It's cheaper 22%    30%  26%  12%
Better selection   22%    15%  25%  23%
Source: Posten Norden (May 2011)

Consumer electronics are hot - glasses are not
Clothes/apparel are most often put in the virtual shopping cart followed by consumer electronics. Newspapers and magazines, food, glasses and contact linses are seldom bought online.

Products people have ordered last year (top 3 and bottom 3)
Country S DK  N  SF
Clothes 50%    49%  44%  53%
Consumer electronics   33%    45%  36%  41%
Books 28%    18%  16%  22%
Newspapers and magazines     2%      3%    1%    5%
Food     1%      3%    2%    2%
Glasses and contact lenses   2%      0%    1%    2%
Source: Posten Norden (May 2011) 

Almost half (49%) of the people living in the Nordic countries have bought clothes online in the last year.

Card or cash?
Over all the credit card is the most popular paying method but there are geographical differences. The Finns are least likely to use credit card and the Swedes like to be invoiced.

The most common payment methods
Country S DK  N  SF
Credit card   21%    80%  40%  14%
Invoice 41%    4%  24%  30%
Bank transfer 28%    10%  20%  39%
COD     8%      3%  12%  12%
Instalment agreement     1%      0%    0%    3%
Don't know     1%      3%    4%    2%
Source: Posten Norden (May 2011) 

Get hold of E-handel i Norden 2011 (in Danish) by Posten.

18 Sep 2011

Android Beats IOS and Apple in Europe

The number of phones sold with the Android platform has increased dramatically in the last year. In July 2011, almost 1 in 4 smartphones in the five largest countries in Europe (Germany. France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are running on the Google Android platform, Comscore reports.

Top Smartphone Platforms in the Five Largest European Countries by Share of Smartphone User
Platform    July 2010  July 2011   Difference
Symbian        53,9%    37,8%    -16,1%
Google       6,0%    22,3%      16,2%
Apple     19,0%    20,3%        1,2%
RIM        8,0%      9,4%        1,5%
Microsoft     11,5%      6,7%       -4,8%
Source: Comscore Mobilens (September 2011)

Symbian holding on to no. 1   
Nokia's Symbian platform is still the most popular operating system for smartphones in Europe but not for long. In a year (from July 2010 to July 2011) the number of Symbian users has dropped with 16.1 per cent. The position at the top of the list will soon be overtaken by Android. Having recently replaced the Symbian platform with Microsoft Windows on Nokia's smartphones will not keep Nokia's smartphones at the top of the list. Windows has dropped almost 5 per cent (4.8) in the same period.

Producers using Android
HTC and Samsung have the highest market share among producers using Android in the five European countries with 34.6 and 31.7 per cent respectively, followed by Sony Ericsson with 18.8 per cent, LG with 3.4 per cent and Motorola with 2.8 per cent.

Top Mobile Producers for the Google Android Platform
Producers        UK    France   Germany      Italy    Spain
HTC      50,9%     21,8%     29,8%    24,8%   31,9%
Samsung      21,6%     42,3%     32,4%    35,6%    33,9%
Sony Ericsson      14,2%     17,4%    14,6%       8,3%   18,8%
LG        3,5%       7,8%      6,8%     10,1%     3,4%
Motorola        2,1%       3,0%      7,8%       2,4%      2,8%
Source: Comscore Mobilens (September 2011)

The UK is different from the rest of the four European countries. In the UK HTC is the leading producer with a 50.9 per cent market share with Samsung in second place with a 21.6 per cent market share. In the rest of the five countries Samsung is predominant. In France Samsung is the leading Android phone with a 42.3 per cent market share and more than a 30 per cent market share in Germany, Italy and Spain.

See the press release Android Captures #2 Ranking Among Smartphone Platforms in EU5 from Comscore.

11 Sep 2011

Half of the Online Adults Have Shopped with Their Mobile Phone

Half (51%) of the online adults* have shopped with their mobile phone, a survey by IBM reports. This indicates that our online customers are not just using their computer to shop online but also their phone - and they like it.

68% note that price comparison on the mobile is important or very important
38% say they want receive discount coupons
38% want to be able to review and change their shopping basket items later time, on their computer
29% say it is important to receive special offers on the mobile phone

Find more information in the press release IBM study finds social networks influence more than half of shoppers’ decision-making - even in the store.

*The survey including 4,000 adults in Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy who have access to the internet.

4 Sep 2011

Less Than Half of the Europeans Shop Online

Last year on average only 40 per cent of EU citizens purchased goods or services online, a study from EU reveals. A disappointingly low number. There is, however, large differences from country to country, with less than one in four individuals having made an online purchase in 11 Member States compared with more than half in 8 other Member States.

Internet purchases by individuals 2010 (% of all individuals)
Country Percentage      Country Percentage
Denmark 68%      UK 67%
Netherlands 67%      Sweden 66%
Luxembourg 60%       Finland 59%
Germany 59%      France 56%
Austria 42%       Malta 38%
Belgium 38%       Ireland 36%
Slovakia 33%      Poland 29%
Slovenia 27%       Czech Republic 27%
Spain 24%       Hungary 18%
Cyprus 18%       Latvia 17%
Estonia 17%       Portugal 15%
Italy 15%       Greece 12%
Lithuania 11%      Bulgaria   5%
Romania   4%
Source: Eurostat (September 2011)

E-commerce has doubled in five years
It's not all bad, fortunately. In the last five years the number of people who shop online has doubled from 20 per cent in 2005 to 40 per cent in 2010.

Online shopping in the domestic market
The Internet makes it possible to buy products and services from online shops in other countries but surprisingly few consumers do this. Last year 23 per cent of all those who made an online purchase did so from a seller based in another EU Member State. This, however, differ from country to country. In 19 Member States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) less than 50 per cent of online shoppers are purchasing goods or services from a shop in another country.

Find more information in the report Consumer behaviour in a digital environment by the European Parliament. Or get more numbers on the EU by Eurostat.

28 Aug 2011

Only Half of Adult Americans Are Using Social Networking Sites

You are on Facebook, you colleague is on Facebook; Everybody is on Facebook. Wrong. Only half of the adult Americans use social network sites, according to a survey by Pew Internet. This might seem like a catastrophic low number. There is, however, a silver ligning. Because 2 in 3 (65%) adult internet users are using a social networking site like Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace or equal. That’s a huge increase from 2008 where 29 per cent were using a social networking site. Back in 2005 only 8 per cent of internet user were surfing a social networking site.

Only e-mailing and searching are more popular
On a ordinary day 43 per cent of adult surfers use social networking. The only two activities which are more popular is e-mail used by 61 per cent and search engines used by 59 per cent.

It's woman's world
Women in the age of 18-29 are the most frequent users of social networking sites. 9 in 10 (89%) who are online have used a social media network site and 69 per cent use a social media site on an average day.

The percentage of adult internet users of each gender who use social networking sites
Year Females Males
2011            69%              60%
2010   67%   56%
2009   50%   42%
2008   30%   28%
2006   14%   18%
2005     6%     9%
Source: Pew Internet (August 2011)

And the young
If we are looking on age groups it's primarily young adults who are networking on the Internet. Social media network became popular five years ago. In 18 month, between February 2005 and August 2006, the use of social networking sites among young adult internet users increased from 9 per cent to 49 per cent. In the same period the use of social networking sites among the 30-49 year olds stod still. That has changed since then but the young adults are still dominating social networking sites.

The percentage of adult internet users in each age group who use social networking sites
Year     18-29   30-49   50-54    65+
2011      83%     70%     51%    33%
2010      86%     61%     47%    26%
2009      76%     48%    25%    13%
2008      67%     25%    11%      7%
2006      49%       8%      4%      1%
2005       9%       7%       6%      6%
Source: Pew Internet (August 2011)

However, grandmothers and grandfathers of all ages have adopted social networking online. In the last two years the use of social networking sites among internet users age 65 and older has grown 150 per cent. In the period the use of social networking sites by 50-64 year-old internet users has doubled.

Find more information in the survey 65% of online adults use social networking sites from Pew Internet.

20 Aug 2011

The Mobile Phone Has Become A Necessity

If you forget your wallet at home you don't go back for it; but you go back for your mobile/cell phone. The mobile/cell phone has become a necessity. A study made by Pew Internet shows that 83 per cent of Americans own a mobile phone. And they use it. Quite often.

Problems in Paradise
It is great that Americans use their mobile/cell phones this much. But not all is well in the Garden of Eden.16 per cent have difficulties reading on their phone because the screen is too small, and one in ten has difficulties entering a lot of text on their phone.

Texting is popular
Text messaging (sms) and taking pictures are the two most popular thing to do with your phone. Three in four mobile owners (73%) use their phones for both texting and picture taking. Other frequent activities are sending photos or videos, half  (54%) of mobile phone owners do this and surfing on the Internet via the mobile phone is done by 44 per cent.

One third of American adults (35%) own a smartphone. And smartphone users use their phone more than ordinary mobile/cell phone users. Nine in ten smartphone owners are texting or taking pictures with their phones, while eight in ten use their phone to surf on the Internet or to send photos or videos.

Percentage of adult cell phone owners within each group who use their phones to do the following:
Activity Mobile/cell phone owners         Smartphone owners
Texting              92%                  59%
Take picture              92%                  59%
Access the Internet              84%                  15%
Send phone or video              80%                  36%
E-mails              76%                  10%
Download apps              69%                    4%
Play a game              64%                  14%
Play music              64%                  12%
Record a video              59%                  15%
Go to social network sites              59%                    8%
Watch a video              54%                    5%
Post a photo or video online              45%                    5%
Do online banking              37%                    5%
Participate in a video chat or call              13%                    1%
Source: Pew Internet (August 2011)

Half the mobile/cell phone owners (51%) has used their mobile/cell phone at least once to get information they needed right here and now. One in four (27%) has experienced a situation in the previous month in which they had problems doing something because they didn't have their mobile/cell phone with them. This shows that we are becoming dependent on having our mobile/cell phone with us at all times, that's why we go back for it if we forget at home.

See Americans and their cell phones from Pew Internet.

31 Jul 2011

The Number of Smartphone Users Visiting Retail Websites Has Increased by 80 Per Cent

Can your website be accessed by mobile phone and smartphone users? If not, you might want to make it accessible or even make an m-commerce site. 13.5 million mobile users in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France visited a retail website from March to May this year, according to Comscore. This is equal to an 80 per cent increase over the past year. The UK has the largest growth with a 163-percent increase in smartphone users visiting a retail site.

Auction sites and shopping guides
Auction sites and shopping guides are also becoming increasing popular among mobile owners. 6.3 per cent of all mobile users in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France visited an online auction site and 5.1 per cent also visited an online shopping guide from March to May 2011.

Among the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France, the UK had the highest penetration for auction sites, retail sites and shopping guides. One in ten mobile users in the UK (10.5 per cent) visited an auction site, 9.2 per cent visited a retail site and 5.7 per cent visited a shopping guide. The number of mobile users visiting a retail site grew by 118 per cent over the previous year, a number that is even more outspoken among smartphone users (up 163 per cent). The UK also had the highest increase for users visiting an auction site (up 95 per cent) and users visiting a shopping guide (up 71 per cent).

Mobile Retail Activity Among Total Mobile Subscribers

  UK Germany    Italy    Spain   France
Visited auction site     10,5%       6,7%    6,0%      4,1%      3,6%
Visited retail site   9,2%    6,5%    5,7%  3,4%  3,4%
Visited shopping guide      5,7%    5,4%    6,6%  4,3%  3,4%
Source: Comscore (July 2011)

See the press release from Comscore.

24 Jul 2011

UK Retailers Are Investing in E-commerce and M-commerce

To have an e-commerce website and an m-commerce platform is high priority in the UK. Top 100 retailers' IT investment in e-commerce and m-commerce will grow from 17 per cent last year to 23 per cent in 2011, according to a report by Martec International and BT Expedite & Fresca.

Web sales are just as important
The reason for this growth in investment is that sales from websites are an area where retailers are experiencing growth. Web sales and sales from the high street store are slowly becoming just as important. Having increased significantly every other year, non-store sales as a percentage of the total remain
at 6.3 per cent.

M-commerce is a "must have"
M-commerce is here to stay and a platform any retailer must have. 16 % of top 100 retailers are already using an m-commerce platform. This is an increase of 5 per cent from last year. However, even more m-commerce platforms will see the day of light in the near future because 12 per cent intend to adopt an m-commerce platform.

IT investment priorities – Top 100 UK retailers
IT priority
of retailers 
E-commerce/m-commerce       23%
Store systems       17%
PCI DSS compliance         8%
Supply chain         7%
Integration of systems         7%
Buying and merchandising         6%
Cost cutting         6%
Marketing CRM         5%
ERP         5%
Reporting/access to information         3%
Source: Martec International and BT Expedite & Fresca (July 2011)

Download Martec IT in Retail Summary Report 2011-12 by Martec International and BT Expedite & Fresca.

17 Jul 2011

1 in 5 Internet Surfers Are Using Google Chrome

The battle of Internet browsers has long been a fight between Internet Explorer and Firefox (and Safari for Mac users). Lately, Bing (Microsoft) and Chrome (Google) have joined the dojo.Well, Chrome has been around for a while and now it's really begining to be a browser we have to take into account when designing and testing our website og e-commerce sites.

Chrome up 32% this year
In June Chrome was responsible for 20.65% of the Internet traffic worldwide which is a huge increase from January where it had just 15.68%. A increase of 31.7%. While Chrome is gaining ground, Firefox is losing ground. Firefox had 28.34% of the traffic in June but 30.68% in the beginning of the year.

Top 5 Browsers from January to June 2011 (percentage)
Browser January    February    March     April       May     June
Internet Explorer     46,0 45,4 45,1 44,543,943,6
Firefox 30,7 30,4 29,9 29,729,328,3
Chrome 15,7 16,5 17,37 18,319,420,7
Safari 5,09 5,08 5,02 5,045,015,07
Other 2,6 2,6 2,5 2,482,52,4
Source: Statcounter (July 2011)

Bing, however, is showing in the statistics. It's growing, as I mentioned earlier, but worldwide we are still waiting for the big breakhtrough.

Get more statistics on Statcounter.

3 Jul 2011

Word of Mouth Is Still Best

In the age of the Internet word of mouth is still best way to attract customers. 82 per cent of small businesses say that the customers find them via word of mouth, according to a survey by American Express. Although word of mouth sounds rather analog and old fashioned, it can happen on the web.

On the web there are several possibilities to pursue this. You give the consumers a possibility to share products, articles, pages on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and so on, this is called Social Sharing and has proved successful. You can also focus on Social Commerce or User-Generated Content (UGC). Social Commerce is a way to let people actively participate on online shopping sites. This is most commonly done by letting consumers rate products and pages or submit reviews. These methods might not strictly be word of mouth but this is a way to embrace the concept on the Internet.

Shown below is the other ways the Internet is used to attract customers.

Which of the following online marketing techniques does your business currently utilize?

A company website 86%
Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) 44%
Mass e-mail 35%
Search engine optimization (-SEM) 28%
Search advertising (Google AdWords, etc.) 21%
Display advertising (such as banner ads) 18%
Video (for example, a channel on YouTube) 13%
Blog 12%
Rich local listings such as Google Places 10%
Rich profiles in consumer review sites (such as Yelp)   4%
Pod casts   4%
Other online marketing 17%
Source: American Express (July 2011)

See American Express OPEN Small Business Search Marketing Survey by American Express.

19 Jun 2011

Germany Has the Largest Marked for Online Video Watching

It might not be a big surprise since Germany has the largest online audience but here it is: Germany has the largest European marked for online video watching. In Germany there are 45 million unique viewers watching an average of 187 videos for 19.6 hours per viewer in April. The Turks are second with 20.7 million viewers with 169 videos viewed for an average 18.7 hours per viewer. The British are ranked third with 166 videos watched for 17.0 hours on average per viewer.

Online Video in Selected European Countries
Country          Videos pr 
  Hours pr viewer         Total Unique 
        Viewers (000)
Germany      186.919.6 44,928
Turkey 168.618.7 20,732
United Kingdom 166.417.0 32,594
Spain 150.918.418,902
France 131.2 12.838,658
Italy 114.8 12.818,690
Russia  86.8 9.739,840
Source: Comscore (Juni 2012)

See the press release: Germany Leads Europe in Online Video Viewing from Comscore.

12 Jun 2011

1 in 10 Visits to a Website Comes from Sharing

You see them on every site: Addthis, ShareThis, Addtoany plus the possibility share on Facebook, Twitter and send via e-mail. The possibility to share content has really caught on. And there is a reason for this. A study by ShareThis shows that 10 per cent of website visits come from sharing and it generates almost half of the traffic for websites and brands that is created by search. Sharing also accounts for 31 per cent of referral traffic. So sharing is bigger than fans, friends and followers.

A link is shared 5 times

A link which is shared across all channels is clicked almost 5 times (4.9) so content shared by large groups of people reach a wider audience than content passed along from others.

A marketing opportunity
Sharing is a marketing solution for reaching large audiences when they are most receptive to a particular category of advertising. If you can get your customers and visitors to share your content you have the possibility to attract a large audience to your website. And more visitors is equal to better sales.  Or its should be.

Read the blog entry ShareThis and Starcom MediaVest Group Collaborate to Release First Comprehensive Study on Sharing on ShareThis.

5 Jun 2011

One in Three Compare Prices Online While Shopping in a Store

If you see a customer using his mobile phone while shopping he is probably not texting (sms) - he is comparing prices. One in three (34 per cent) compare prices online while shopping in a store, a survey by PriceGrabber reveals. And who can blame him; everybody wants to make a bargain. A customer has on average three shopping apps on his smartphone. In the survey the customers say that they have an average of 21 apps on their smartphone - among them three shopping apps.

Coupons and product deals
In addition to shopping on their mobile phones, consumers use their mobile phone to do a number of other shopping related tasks. Almost three in four (72 per cent) customers indicate that they are receiving coupons, product deals and price alerts on their mobile phone.

34 % compare prices
A little more than half (55 per cent) say they use their mobile phone to search the internet. And another third indicate they use their mobile phone to find nearby products to purchase. Finally, one in five (21 per cent) say they use product bar code scanning to find the best price.

Read the presse release Average consumer has downloaded three shopping-related apps by Pricegrabber.

29 May 2011

Huge Increase in Europeans Doing Mobile Banking

The next hot thing to do with your mobile phone is to access your bank account. Well, it might not be hot but at least it's pracitical. In march 20 million mobile users in United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy accessed their bank account via a mobile phone, according to Comscore. This is equal to 8.5 per cent of mobile subscribers in these five countries.

A 40% rise among smartphone users
Since August last year there has been a 15.4 per cent rise in mobile bankers. People who access their bank account via a mobile phone are mostly smartphone users. Among smartphone users the number of banking users has risen by 40 per cent since August 2010. Smartphone users accounted for 70 per cent of the mobile banking back in March.

The French are ahead
Usually it's United Kingdom and Germany which are at the forefront. But not this time. When it comes to mobile banking France and Spain are ahead. France has the highest penetration of mobile bankers with 10.3 per cent accessing their bank accounts via their mobile phones. Spain is just behind 10.2 per cent. Germany, which is the largest smartphone audience in Europe, has surprisingly the lowest penetration of mobile banking users with just 6.8 per cent.

Accessed Bank Account
Country Percentage      
France     10,3%
Spain     10,1%
United Kingdom       8,6%
Italy       7,5%
Germany       6,8%
Source: ComScore (May 2011)

Mobile banking is for males
Two in three who access their account with a mobile phone are males. The 25-34 year olds are the most avid mobile banking users with 27.9 per cent.

Accessed Bank Account
Age Percentage      
13-17             4,0%
18-24     16,3%
25-34     27,9%
35-44     22,4%
45-54     13,5%
55+     15,9%
Source: ComScore (May 2011)

Read the presse release Europe Sees 40 Percent Growth in Mobile Banking Through Smartphones by ComScore.

8 May 2011

Germany Has the Largest Online Audience

If you want to have a successfull online business you might want to consider targeting Germany. An overview made by Comscore reveals that back in March Germany had the largest online audience above age 15. Germany had 49.7 million unique visitors, followed by Russia with 47.4 million unique visitors and France with 42.3 million unique visitors.

The Dutchs are online the longest
The Germans might have the largest Internet audience but visitors coming from the Netherlands have the highest engagement. The Dutchs spent 34.4 hours on average online in March, this is 33 per cent higher than Europe as a whole – followed by the visitors in the United Kingdom who spent 33.0 hours on average. The Dutchs were also viewing most pages in March each viewing 3,515 pages on average, 31 percent more than the European average.

Overview of European Internet Usage by Country Ranked by Total Unique Visitors
Country          Total Unique 
     Visitors (000)      
  Average Hours 
pr. visitor
        Average Pages
pr Visitor
Europe      363,69726.0% 2,678
Germany 49,72923,4% 2,643
Russia 47,41722,8% 2,532
France    42,25127,5%2,644
United Kingdom 36,244 33,0%2,953
Italy 22,981 17,9%1,688
Turkey  22,768 29,4%3,098
Spain     21,317 26,3%2,404
Poland  18,192 25,9%2,976
Netherlands     11,953 34,4%3,515
Sweden  6,138 25,0%2,369
Belgium     5,903 19,7%2,016
Austria  4,654 13,8%1,456
Switzerland     4,646 18,4%1,794
Portugal  4,099 20,2%1,878
Denmark     3,638 20,8%2,138
Finland  3,336 24,7%2,359
Norway     3,212 25,1%2,019
Irland     2,048 18,8%1,720
Source: Comscore (May 2012)

See press release from Comscore.

21 Apr 2011

Banks Are Going Mobile

For years people have logged on to their bank's website. In fact three in four consumers have logged on to their bank's (or other financial institution) website. But with the possibility to distribute apps for Android and iPhone the banks have found a new way to service their customers.

Despite the fact that the mobile phones are not used as widely for doing financial transactions as other methods the consumers seem to embraced this possibility. A report by Comscore shows that one in five credit card holders have logged on to their account with their mobile phone. They have done this via a mobile browser or a downloaded mobile application.

Channel usage among mobile phone users      Primary method        All methods used
Go online to my financial institution's web site                  59%                          74%
Call the company on the phone                                         17%                           51%
Logged on via my mobile phone's Internet browser              4%                           16%
Logged on via an application via my mobile phone              3%                           13%
Via text message alerts on my mobile phone                       2%                           13%
Source: Comscore (April 2011)

See also my blog post Banking Is An Online Business.
Download Online Credit Card Report from Comscore.

Banking Is An Online Business

If you think the queue is getting smaller in your bank, you might be right. Credit cardholders are logging on to their account more frequently than few years ago. Last year 76 per cent had logged on to their account which is 5 per cent more than in 2009, according to a Comscore report.

One in five log on to their account at least once a week and 17 per cent log on more than once a week. There is, however, a large group which have never logged on to their account. 24 per cent say they have never logged on to their bank's (or financial institution) web sites but this group is getting smaller. Compared to last this group is 5 per cent smaller.

Frequency of visit to bank's website       2009        2010
Log on more than once a week                     15%         17%
Log on once a week                                     15%         19%
Log on twice a month                                   17%         17%
Log on once a month                                    15%         15%
Log on less than once a month                        8%          8%
Have never logged on to the website             29%         24%
Source: Comscore (April 2011)

See also my blog post The Banks Are Going Mobile.
Download Online Credit Card Report from Comscore.

9 Apr 2011

Half the Population Uses the Mobile Phone when Shopping

Every second consumer in the U.S. uses his mobile phone to help decide which product to buy. And this is before the smartphone has really caught on America. In a study by Leo Burnett & Arc shows that the way we are shopping is forever changing – once again. And you better get in the game because shoppers are beginning to develop preferences for retailers which enable them to use their mobile phone while shopping. But we, the retailers, are not ready, quite yet. How many has a mobile site, an app for iPhone or Android; or even a site scalable for the mobile phone?

The way of involvement is changing
It might seem that high involvement shopping is now done more casually. Or is it? It’s just done differently. When buying expensive products which usually demands more consideration the research is done via the mobile phone on the go. On the other hand, giving an (almost) endless number of opportunities simple tasks are now done with more consideration than we are used to because consumers can customized interactions and experiences. A drink at a bar is not just a drink.

What is m-commerce exactly?
Shopping with the mobile phone can mean a lot of things from searching for a product, comparing products and finding prices. But it doesn’t stop there shoppers do also research benefits, gather information about where to buy it - and then actually buying the product. The shopping experience can also include activities done after the purchase, such as returning or servicing a product, sharing the purchase on Facebook and Twitter. Mobile shopping includes using the phone to facilitate any part of the shopping experience, from looking up a shop address, to reading reviews, sharing photos of the item, tweeting price details or using online shopping tools to help see the product.

How to succeed in m-commerce
If your shop is to become a success in the changing landscape, you must give the shopper a value-added mobile app and website. To reach all types of mobile shoppers, retailers should activate both mobile on the go and mobile in-store interactions. This can be offers on m.website and on Foursquare, Facebook places and related services.

Download the Whitepaper from Leo Burnett & Arc.

3 Apr 2011

Will Facebook Commerce Kill E-commerce?

Does F-commerce (Facebook commerce) mean the end to e-commerce as we know it? According to Adgregate Markets and Webtrends it might just happen. The two companies state that major companies (Fortune 100) are experiencing a decline in visits to their websites. Last year 68 per cent of the top 100 companies were experiencing fewer visits on their websites with an average drop of 23 per cent.

Traffic is increasing on Facebook
At the same time there is an increase in visits to companies' Facebook fanpages in general. In a sample of 44 companies, 40 per cent experienced higher traffic to their Facebook page compared to their website. In this sample 65 per cent (13 companies) of non-e-commerce companies received more unique visits to their Facebook fanpage compared to their website. However, e-commerce companies did better than non-e-commerce companies. 5 companies did have promising Facebook trends and 77 per cent did drive consistent traffic to their websites, although experiencing a decline in annual visits.

Conversion rates
Conversion on Facebook isn’t bad either. Facebook commerce conversion rates range from 2 per cent to 4 per cent which is equal to e-commerce websites which has a 3.4 per cent average according to Forrester and shop.org. The average order value is $104 (£64.5; €73.06) with 24 per cent growth month over month.

What to think and do?
Well, the numbers are there but does this mean that e-commerce will be replaced by F-commerce? Time will tell, but probably not. What it means is that in our struggle to care for both e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile commerce) we just have another channel to tend to: F-commerce. And let’s be honest: It’s great! So if you want to nurture this channel you need as a minimum to have a shop tab on your facebook fanpage giving your customers a shopping experience equal to one you give them on your website.

See Whitepaper from Adgregate Markets and Webtrends.

Women Shop More Frequently but Men Spend More pr Purchase

Women shop more frequently than men and that for the third year in a row. It may sound like a myth but it is not, according Deutsche Card Services (German Credit Card Services) which has investigated around eight million selected transactions on their platform. This is supporting a blog post I made last year about the same topic.

Six out of ten transactions in European online shops are done by a woman. Women might shop more frequently but men tend to use more money per purchase. A man has on average articles worth €93.12 (£82.23; $132,55) in his shopping cart when he makes his purchase. This is €24.47 (£21.61; $34.83) more than a woman usually has. Unfortunately, men are not always happy with their purchase. When shopping for less than €500 (£441,53; $711,7) chargebacks involving men are 0.0926 per cent meanwhile women only account for a third of that. Only when shopping for more than €500 (£441,53; $711,7) do women have a higher return rate.

See press release from Deutsche Card Services.

27 Mar 2011

Three in Four Online Surfers Visit a Retail Website

The number of online surfers in Europe who visit a retail website is increasing. A survey from Comscore shows that in January 2011, 270.6 million unique visitors in Europe visited a retail website, which is equal to a market penetration of 74.5 per cent of Internet users. Retail websites also show high penetration in the different European markets, reaching at least 75 per cent of the total online audience in 7 out of 18 European countries. Last year (2010) close to 1 in 10 Internet sessions in Europe included a visit to a retail website.

United Kingdom is ahead
United Kingdom has the highest penetration of any European market. Retail websites are visited by 9 in 10 of the total online audience. France is second with 87 per cent, followed by Germany with 82.1 per cent.

Reach of Retail Sites in European Countries
Country                 Jan-10         Jan-11         Average minuts 
pr visits
United Kingdom      83,2%89,4% 84,1
France 76,4%87,0% 83,2
Germany 73,1%82,1% 63,8
Ireland    64,9%80,7%35,7
Netherlands  75,3% 80,2%50,2
Spain  68,4% 76,7%39,7
Denmark  68,2% 75,1%40,6
Sweden     73,8% 73,6%43,7
Norway  66,7% 73,4%38,8
Belgium     71,7% 73,3%29,7
Switzerland  70,3% 73,2%34,5
Poland     N/A 72,4%20,4
Austria  61,6% 71,4%34,1
Turkey     68,0% 69,8%73,0
Italy  67,4% 69,5%21,4
Finland     63,8% 66,5%29,8
Portugal  60,2% 65,9%23,9
Russia     43,1% 59,0%33,7
Europe     66,0% 74,5%52,4
Source: Comscore (March 2011)

Clothes are popular
Apparel sites are still very popular online, you could call the online bestseller. European shoppers were spending an average of 23.3 minutes shopping clothes in January 2011. Fashion sites also have the highest percentage of page views in retail, accounting for 21.6 per cent of retail pages viewed in January.

Top Retail Categories in Europe by Per Cent Reach           Reach       Average minutes 
    pr visitor
Comparison Shopping 31,6%         5,9
Apparel  28,4%        23,3
Consumer Electronics 27,1%        14,1
Computer Hardware  22,2%        17,4
Computer Software 15,9%           6,3
Source: Comscore (March 2011)

See press release from Comscore.

20 Mar 2011

SEO Is Better Than SEM

The hard daily work to get your keywords ranked in search engines like Google and Bing is worth the effort. An eye-tracking study by User Centric reveals that organic search results are far superior to paid ads on search engines.

100% look at the organic result
The research shows that users overlook paid ads but organic search results are viewed 100 per cent of the time and users spend an average of 14.7 seconds on Google and 10.7 seconds on Bing looking at organic search results. The paid ads are dong lousy. Just 28 per cent of the users look at the right-side ads on Google, and just 21 per cent do the same on Bing.

Where users are looking for information           Google   Bing
Organic search result 100%      100%
Ads in the right-side     28%        21%
Ads above organic search result    90%        90%
Source: User Centric (January 2011)

It’s not all bad for SEM (Search Engine Marketing) because about 90 per cent look at the ads above the organic results. So in your online marketing mix you might want to pay a little extra to be on top of the search result that right to the search result.

User Centric was in its research looking in to five areas of interest: sponsored results at the top, sponsored results to the right of the organic search results, organic search results, left pane, and on-hover flyouts (which is only used by Bing).

See press release from User Centric.

13 Mar 2011

Search Phrases Are Getting Shorter

Nearly half (47,52%) of the web searched in the U.S. consist of only one or two words, according to Experian Hitwise which has examined 10 million U.S. web searches in four weeks ending February 26 2011. The longer search queries of five to eight words have become less frequent.

Number of words                January 2011   February 2011         Month over month 
        percentage change
One word 23,39%23,86% 2%
Two words 23,59%23,66% 0%
Three words 19,99%19,91% 0%
Four words    13,71%13,57%-1%
Five words  8,28% 8,15%-2%
Six words  4,62% 4,52%-2%
Seven words  2,58% 2,52%-2%
Eight or more words     3,85% 3,80%-1%
Source: Experian Hitwise (March 2011)

This means that when you are doing your search engine optimization (SEO) you have to make sure your keywords are spot on. Customers are using shorter search phrases, hence, you have to make sure the customer can find you when only searching for one word. Yes, it can be done, but it's not easy.

See press release from Experian Hitwise.

12 Mar 2011

Bing Is Growing - Slowly

Google is still the undisputed king of the search engines. No doubt about that, but Microsoft's Bing seems to be gaining ground. According to Experian Hitwise Bing is the search engine which has improved most from January to February 2011. Experian has examined 10 million U.S. web searches in four weeks ending February 26 2011 and Bing has improved the most while Google is slowly losing ground.

Percent of all U.S. searches among leading search engines                January     2011   February 2011  Month over month percentage change
Google 67,95%66,69%-2%
Bing-powered searches 27,44%28,48% 4%
Yahoo 14,62%14,99% 3%
Bing    12,81%13,49% 5%
Source: Experian Hitwise (March 2011)

More people are using Bing. And Bing seems also successful in providing a useful search result which is basically why people are using search engines in the first place.

Success rate among search engines           January 2011   February 2011
Yahoo 81,38%81,51%
Bing 81,54%81,27%
Google 65,58%65,80%
Source: Experian Hitwise (March 2011)

When people makes a search on Yahoo or Bing more than 81 per cent of the searches result in a visit to a web page. Google achieved a success rate of only 66 per cent. This means that a third of the searches on Google doesn't result in a visit to a web page.

Optimize for Bing
Many e-commerce marketers have just done search engine optimisation (SEO) in order to perform well on Google. The numbers mentioned above mean that we should begin to take Bing seriously. If you do it now it might give you an advantage because you have optimized to Bing before everybody else and accordingly be ranked higher.

See press release from Experian Hitwise.

5 Mar 2011

Shoppers Don't Understand Why Brands Use Social Media

All brands, well at least brands with a minimum of self-respect, have a Facebook fanpage. Some companies might even have a Twitter profile or otherwise be working with social media. But according to Shoppercentric, this might not be such a great idea. Well, the idea is great, but regrettably, the consumers can't really see the point.

Shoppers prefer the shop
33 per cent of the consumers don't understand why brands are using social media (having a Facebook fanpage etc.) compared to 18 per cent saying they don't understand why retailers use social media. Dare we conclude that customers will rather communicate with the high street shop than the brand's head office in some remote place - at least when talking about social media.

Reason to use social media           Why shoppers think
companies do it
  What shoppers want
from companies
Sell products 54%26%
See what customers are saying 34%23%
Find info about their customers 29%24%
To stand out from their competitors    25%18%
To connect with people 25%23%
To bring the brand to life 23%20%
To tell med something new 22%32%
To help me have some fun  7%12%
Source: Shoppercentric (February 2011)

The retailers' websites are more popular
It's not only the retailer's Facebook page which is more popular than the page from the brand's head office. The online shopper will rather visit the retailer's website than the brand's website. Again local is better than global.

Shoppers might not always see the great idea behind a company's online presence but they do visit both our social media pages and our websites. Thank Good. The purpose why shoppers visit a social media page and website is nonetheless quite different.

Reason for contacting companies           Website   Social media
To make a purchase 63%6%
Researching 59%10%
News about products 51%13%
Find the best price    55%8%
Get loyalty award 44%7%
Reviews 43%12%
Offers, discounts, vouchers 43%10%
To make a complaint 42%6%
To get news    38%11%
See what others have bought 26%15%
Share thoughts, join a forum 14%29%
To fell part of a group 12%32%
Source: Shoppercentric (February 2011)

One in ten who follow a brand on Facebook is doing it in order to get a discount, exclusive price or to participate in a competition or to get news. Only 6 per cent do it to make a purchase which shows that Facebook isn't a place of commerce but a place of social interaction.

Read Windows on shopping in evolution by Shoppercentric.

20 Feb 2011

Focus Your Online Surveys

We need to know our customers in order to succeed. One way to get to know them is to let them answer a survey or questionnaire. But you need to plan this and not give in to the temptation and give the customer too many questions.

Keep it short
SurveyMonkey took 100,000 surveys which were 1-30 questions long, and analyzed the median amount of time that respondents took to complete the surveys. In an perfect world the average time it takes to answer a question should not vary based on the length of the survey. But the world is not perfect, as we all know. And the result shows that the longer the survey, the shorter the respondent used on each question.

Number of
Average seconds spent
pr question
  Total survey
    completion time
1 751 min 15 sec
2 402 min
3-10 302-5 min
11-15      255-7 min
16-25 217-9 min
26-30 199-10 min
Source: SurveyMonkey (February 2011)

In fact in a survey longer than 30 questions, the average amount of time spend on each question is only half of that compared to surveys with less than 30 questions. Knowing this you must tune your survey or questionnaire because you want as many as possible to completed the surveys and the respondents to stay focused all the way through.

This means you'll have to:
  1. Ask only relevant questions.
  2. Make the questions easy to understand.
  3. Test your survey.
If you do this you should get more completed surveys and, perhaps even more important, a better result.

Read How Much Time are Respondents Willing to Spend on Your Survey? by SurveyMonkey.