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.

13 Feb 2011

E-commerce Is Back on Track in the U.S.

Finally, after two years of rather modest e-commerce activity in the U.S. things have changed. Last year U.S. e-commerce spending reached $227.6 billion (£142,05; €227,6), which is an 9 per cent increase compared to 2009. Travel  grew 6 per cent to $85.2 billion  (£53,18; €62,93) and retail (non travel) jumped 10 per cent to $142.5 billion (£88,94; €105,26), according to the ComScore whitepaper: The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review.

Travel is, however, not the top growing category. The top growing categories are listed below.

Top 5 Growing U.S. Retail E-Commerce Categories in 2010
Consumer Electronics 19%
Computer Hardware 17%
Books & Magazines 16%
Flowers, Greetings & Gifts 13%
Jewelry & Watches      11%
Source: ComScore (February 2011)

Search engines
It's still the two search engines Google and Yahoo which attracts the majority of the traffic with 180 million visitors a month. Google is the no. 1 search engine, accounting for more than 3 out of every 5 North American searches. Yahoo is second.

However, Facebook is just behind. Last year the Social Network became the no. 1 website by time spent in august 2010. Facebook now accounts for 12.3 per cent of time spent online in the U.S., up from 7.2 per cent just a year ago.

Download the whitepaper: The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review by ComScore.

5 Feb 2011

Social Media Is Driving Disappointingly Little Traffic to Your Site

If you are thinking of changing your marketing mix in favour of Social Media and discard the tried-and-true online marketing mix you might want to wait a little.

I have earlier written a blog post about how much a Facebook fan is worth but in a survey made by Foresee it's revealed that a Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media fan does not generate the revenue we might have expected it to, yet.

Social Media is only responsible for 3 per cent of the visitors to e-commerce website in the UK (in America it's 5 per cent), the study reveals. In comparison search engines are responsible for 13 per cent of the visitors and email marketing 10 per cent. Moreover, the customers who visit a website because of a Social Media interaction are not among those most likely to press on the proceed to check out button. The survey shows that in Great Britain Social Media doesn’t influence the online sales as much as hoped for.

Primary Influence on Website Visit
Familiarity with brand 46%
Search engine result 13%
Promotional e-mail 10%
Word-of-Mouth Recommendation 10%
TV, Newspaper, Radio or Magazine Ads      8%
Internet Advertising 5%
Interaction on Social Network 3%
Shopping Comparison Website 2%
Blogs or Discussion Forums 1%
Product Review Website 1%
Source: Foresee (February 2011)

When asked how the customers wanted to hear from retailers the traditional channels win again. A surprisingly high number (20 per cent) doesn’t want to hear from us at all - the rest are quite clear on how we are to contact them. Again Social Media is not among the most preferred. Only 2 per cent in the UK and 8 per cent in the US prefer Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Again e-mail marketing is most preferred with 62 per cent in the UK and 64 per cent in the US. Social Media is like all other channels important but, at the moment, not as important as we might have expected it to be.

Download the complete survey by Foresee.