This week’s juicy digital marketing stats include the least engaging brands in the US, excitement about VR, Amazon profits, returns policies, and (altogether now) “much more”.

As usual, it would be remiss of me not to plug Econsultancy’s Internet Statistics Compendium, too.

Now, on with the stats…

Volkswagen the least-engaging brand amongst US consumers

42,792 American consumers participated in Brand Keys’ 2016 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

I’m not entirely sure how emotional engagement strength was calculated, but it’s a percentage measure with 100% representing the ideal.

The lowest engaging brands were as follows:

1. Volkswagen (29%)

2. Blackberry (30%)

3. American Apparel (38%)

4. Cosi (39%)

5. Aéropostale (41%)

6. Sears (42%)

7. kobo (43%)

8. Budweiser (49)%

9. Sports Authority (50%)

10. Whole Foods (53%)

Six brands were in this bottom 10 for the first time. Volkswagen was one – obviously as a result of the emissions scandal.

Whole Foods features after being accused of price rigging. American Apparel and Aéropostale have both ‘suffered badly at the hands of online and corporate management’ according to Brand Keys.

The other newbies in the bottom 10 were Sports Authority, which entered into bankruptcy protection in March, and Cosi, the sandwich chain, which hashed store closures and staff cuts.

Facebook Reactions represent just 3% of all interactions on the platform

Quintly’s analysis of 130,000 Facebook posts found:

  • Reactions are just 3% of all interactions.
  • “Love” is the predominate Reaction.
  • Videos receive 40% more Reactions than images.

The table below shows how profile size impacts on post engagement and reactions.

facebook research

facebook reactions

Amazon profits are flying

The company reported a $513m profit during Q1 2016, up from a $57m loss over the same period in 2015.

$29.1bn worth of goods and services were sold, up 28% year-on-year.

Amazon Web Services sales were up 64% year-on-year, to $2.6bn.

Enagagement with branded content is deeper on smartphones

Polar’s benchmark report looks at aggregate performance and engagement data with branded content placed by its native format ad platform.

6,165 branded content campaigns involving 18bn native placements were analysed.

Engagement with branded content on smartphones is shown as significantly higher than on desktop and tablet (119s vs 89s for tablet and 73s for desktop).

A 127% higher clickthrough rate was seen on smartphones than desktop.

The finance vertical saw greatest engagement.

time spent by device with branded content

time spent by publisher vertical

VR excites 69% of adults!

The Advanced Imaging Society surveyed 1,000 adults about VR.

  • 69% of adults between the ages of 18 and 60 were excited about experiencing VR.
  • 73% of men and 65% of women were looking forward to VR experiences.
  • An ability to “explore places” they can’t travel to interested 74% of respondents.
  • Experiencing entertainment more deeply was a draw for 68%. 

Unfortunately I don’t have a link to the study.

Better pricing drives customers online 

GfK has analysed the reasons why shoppers choose to shop in-store or online.

The charts below show which causal factors were selected by the highest proportion of shoppers in either channel.

Unsurprisingly, seeing and feeling the products before purchase was the main motivation for in-store shopping (51% of consumers said this was a factor).

Online shopping was motivated chiefly by the desire to save money (55% said this was a factor).

The survey took in over 23,000 consumers in 23 countries across APAC, LATAM, Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Half of Britons cut social usage, cite too many ads

Lithium says that over half of Britons say they have cut down their social media usage because of too many ads.

The same research indicated that websites containing product reviews, and online social communities are most trusted when researching product or service information.

70% of UK adults will not buy something that does not have positive online reviews.

The results are presented by Lithium, though there is no methodology included.

52% of travel research happens on mobile

Hitwise has revealed 52% of visits to travel ‘destination’ sites are made from a mobile.

After booking a trip, Brits continue planning via mobile, with 72% researching ‘things to do’ from their smartphone.

The tables below show local and international destinations that are enjoying the greatest percentage increase in search share, as well as those that have fallen the most.

70% say free returns would make them buy online

Onestop Internet recently commissioned a survey exploring consumer preferences for returns.

  • 38% of respondents reported making an online purchase in the last week.
  • 70% of respondents said free returns would make them more likely to buy online.
  • 38% of respondents said finding the perfect fit while ordering apparel online is a challenge either every time or more than half of the time.
  • 65% of respondents said they would be willing to accept a shorter return period if it meant they could order multiple sizes online and only be charged for one unit.

No methodology available here.

French mobile networks are the best performing

STL Partners has released The Mobile Network Experience Index, benchmarking mobile operators’ network speed and reliability by measuring the consumer app experience.

The benchmark looks at download speed, average latency, error rate and latency consistency (the percentage of app requests that take longer than 500 milliseconds to fulfil).

  • Bouygues Telecom of France scored highest – 76 out of 100.
  • Two other French operators followed – Free (73) and Orange (70).
  • British operators, EE (65) and O2 (61) were next.
  • The five worst operators identified were E-Plus of Germany (26), Wind of Italy (26), Telefónica’s Movistar of Spain (33), Sprint of the US (33), and 3 Italy (36).