It’s that time again to share some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we’ve seen this week.

Statistics include site testing, the John Lewis Christmas ad, Alibaba, UK online sales, Christmas spending and how Netflix dominates US traffic.

For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.

Just 71% of companies test their websites

  • Companies whose conversion rates have improved carry out 50% more tests on their websites than companies whose conversion didn’t improve. However, 7% are testing nothing at all.
  • Of the companies that carry out testing, 60% carry out one or two A/B multivariate tests a month and only 6% perform more than 10 tests a month.
  • These findings come from the fifth annual Conversion Rate Optimisation Report, carried out in partnership with RedEye, and based on a survey of almost 1,000 client-side and agency digital marketers.

John Lewis’ Christmas ad set to break its own records

  • Last week saw the unveiling of the now traditional John Lewis Christmas ad and it looks set to break its own social media records.
  • In the 24 hours after it was launched the ad was mentioned in 49,152 tweets, of which only 16% were negative. This is more than double the 21,027 mentions that last year’s ad picked up in the same time frame.
  • According to the data from Hotwire PR/33Digital, John Lewis’ 2012 snowman advert was mentioned 220,768 times in the whole of November while 2011’s effort accumulated 91,551 for the calendar month.  

Alibaba’s $5.7bn day

  • Chinese retail giant Alibaba Group smashed its one day record after taking £3.5bn ($5.7bn) in sales on November 11. It saw a 5x increase in revenue coming from mobile transactions and this was helped by Alibaba providing consumers free data while surfing on the platform.
  • The record occured on China’s Singles’ Day, a local twist on Valentine’s Day, and ecommerce firms marked the occasion with a range of promotions.
  • For more information on marketing in China, download our Baidu Search Best Practice Guide.

Arsenal top the social leagues

  • Research from RadiumOne shows the correlation between performance in the league and support from glory-hunters, with Arsenal topping the league for social media performance.
  • Manchester United are currently in second place based on social performance, followed by Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs.
  • When the same research was run in the pre-season, Arsenal would have found themselves in sixth place.
  • The rankings were calculated by the number of stories shared about each team on popular sports news websites, combined with how effectively each club has been interacting with its fans in the 30 days leading up to the tenth game of the season.

UK online sales continue to rise

  • According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index the online retail market continued to see steady growth in October, recording a solid 15% year-on-year increase.
  • The figure follows a strong August and September, when online retail spend recorded 18% and 20% year-on-year growth respectively. The Index has recorded 16% growth in online sales year to date in 2013, compared to 13% during the same time last year.
  • The data also revealed that conversion rates for ecommerce as a whole continue to see an upward trend, with 4.7% recorded in October, the highest conversion rate since November 2012. In the six month period between May and October, total online retail saw a conversion rate of 4.6%, compared with 3.9% during the same period in 2012.

Mobiles devices account for nearly a third of visits to youth websites

  • Almost one third (31%) of visits to youth and young-adult focused websites in the first half of 2013 came from tablets and mobiles, according to new figures released by w00t! Media.
  • Tablets accounted for almost one in every eight visits (12%) in the first half of 2013, after a 320% increase in the number of visits on 2012. In comparison, comScore data shows that tablets account for 8.7% of all web pages viewed in the UK.
  • Smartphones accounted for 19% for visits to these sites in the first half of 2013, after a 137% increase in the number of visits on 2012.

Free dating sites prove a hit in the UK

  • A new report from Greenlight has found that there were over 871,000 dating-related searches made online in the UK in September.
  • The majority of consumer queries (15%) were for free internet dating sites, the terms ‘free dating sites’, ‘free dating’ and ‘free online dating’ cumulatively amounting to 132,600 searches.
  • Other popular searches included ‘first dates’, ‘mature dating’ and ‘polish dating’.
  • A third of new relationships apparently begin online and on average, 9m Britons log on to dating sites in their quest to find a significant other, an industry which research firm Mintel estimates will be worth £150m by 2014.

Brits plan to spend close to £300 this festive season

  • Brits are set to spend an average of £289 on Christmas gifts, new data shows. The findings, from social enterprise Give as you Live, show that the 34-45 age group plan to spend the most (£343.65). In the gender stakes, women plan to spend more than men (£294.75 versus £281.17).
  • The data comes from a study of over 2,000 Britons who were asked about their spending plans this Christmas.

It’s official, online sales are on the up

  • Non-seasonally adjusted data from the ONS show that the proportion of online sales increased by 1.1% in October 2013 compared with October 2012 and accounted for 10.5% of all retail sales (excluding automotive fuel).
  • Feedback from retailers suggests online specific promotions were the contributing factor to this increase.

Netflix and YouTube dominate US traffic

  • Netflix and YouTube account for half of US fixed broadband media consumption, according to the Global Internet Phenomena Report.
  • Netflix took a 31.62% share of downstream fixed network traffic in peak hours, followed by YouTube on 18.69%. All other applications were in single figures, including Hulu (1.29%) and Amazon (1.61%).
  • The report is based on data from the company’s 250-plus service provider customers around the world.