We resisted the temptation to make this week’s roundup a Black Friday bonanza, but don’t worry, it still includes more shopping-related stats than you can shake a stick at.

There’s also news on search behaviour, digital natives, dark social and more.

Don’t forget to download the Internet Statistics Compendium for further insight. 

82% of young people unable to distinguish between news and native ads

Stanford University has found that young people show a surprising inability to decipher the type of information they find online.

In a study on the behaviour of ‘digital natives’, it discovered that most were able to identify banner ads, however, 82% were unable to see the difference between a news article and native advertising.

In fact, a number had no idea what ‘sponsored content’ even meant, leading to the suggestion that media literacy should be taken more seriously in schools.  

Black Friday spend predicted to surpass £1.1bn

Analysis from Captify suggests that Black Friday 2016 will surpass last year’s record spend of £1.1bn.

Based on the analysis of 15bn online searches, it found an 11% jump in people searching Black Friday during the month of October compared to the same time last year.

Two key trends have also emerged. 

The first is retailers offering huge discounts across a greater number of days, and the second is consumers researching as early as August to ensure they get the best deal.

Taking both into consideration, it has been predicted that this year’s spend will blow last year’s record out the water. Be sure to come back next week to find out…

15% of consumers paying over the odds due to direct debit

New research from Echo Managed Services has found that direct debit payments are leading to a loss of consumer trust, with many paying out more than necessary.

In a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 15% were found to be spending more than they should.

So why is this occurring?

Poor customer engagement looks to be a big issue, with one in five receiving a higher than expected bill without any warning.

Online Christmas shopping sales already up from 2015 

Hooklogic has revealed the first round of ecommerce data from the 2016 Christmas shopping season.

The results show significant growth from last year, with the amount of shoppers growing 13.8% YoY and conversion volume rising 1.8%.

While the US election delayed proceedings for a while, the rebound was rapid, with a growth of 36.5% in ecommerce shopping on the Friday after results day.

Hooklogic also found that mobile is becoming the device of choice for consumers, with a slight decline in desktop conversions overall.

People who share content are nine times more likely to buy

A new report by RadiumOne has found that consumers who click and share content online are nine times more likely than non-sharers to go on to buy.

According the research, dark social is a huge purchase driver, with 77% of converted shares originating from dark social channels compared to just 12% from Facebook.

This suggests that brands should pay more attention to analytics that track non-public sharing, as well as offer incentives to the most active sharers.

43% of Christmas shoppers turn to Amazon

New statistics from Astound Commerce show that 43% of shoppers will buy their gifts on Amazon this year, demonstrating the retailer’s long-standing popularity.

Despite this, a survey found that shoppers could be tempted elsewhere, but only if retailers rise to the occasion on a number of factors.

65% of respondents said that better prices would sway them away from Amazon, while 46% cited special offers and promotions.

Interestingly, only 29% say that on par or faster delivery times would prompt a purchase elsewhere.

Shoppers aware of 9.3 brands at the beginning of path to purchase

When it comes to the path to purchase, consumers enter the journey with a very limited shortlist of brands – this is according to new insight from Quantcast.

Research has revealed that shoppers tend to be aware of nine to 10 brands during the initial stages, before narrowing it down to consider just two or three.

Finally, they will seriously consider one or two before making the final decision.

However, only four out of 10 consumers are said to go on to buy from one of their shortlisted brands, with price, value and promotions being the strongest influences in changing their minds.

Marketers choose to represent diversity over brand messages

In a survey of 500 marketers in the UK, Shutterstock has discovered that many prefer to choose images that represent diversity in Britain today – rather than those that align with the brand message alone. 

Representing ethnic minorities and diverse communities is becoming an important priority for marketers, with 49% having used images relating to this in the past 12 months.

Likewise, non-traditional family images are also becoming more popular, with 66% choosing these types of images over traditional ones.

Online search reflects growing demand for Hatchimals 

New data from Hitwise has revealed the products that UK consumers have been searching for in the run up to Black Friday.

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Hatchimals retains the title of the most-searched for item, followed by the ever-popular Fitbit.

There has also been a spike in searches for the term ‘Hatchimal in stock’, demonstrating the high demand for the toy.

With Argos and Tesco recently announcing the appearance of more stock in stores, Hitwise recommends consumers move fast if they want to get their hands on it.

Lastly, it is interesting to note that the PS4 Pro is making waves, now up three places to become the fourth most-searched for product.

Generation Z shops in-store an average of seven times a month

A new report by Shoppercentric suggests that Generation Z, or consumers aged between 15 to 24, are becoming a bigger priority for retailers. 

Interesting stats from the report include:

  • Generation Z shop in-store around seven or eight times a month.
  • 62% of Gen Z agree that online shopping is a great way to prevent boredom.
  • 70% say that they often browse online with no intention of buying.

For more analysis on this, read our article on how retailers are targeting Generation Z.