Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week.

Stats include customer loyalty, UK smartphone ownership, online spending over the festive season, mobile commerce, and tablet conversion rates.

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

Free delivery is key for customer loyalty

  • A new Rakuten survey of more than 200 online retailer has found that nearly half (48%) of merchants are concerned about competing purely on price in 2013, and free delivery is still considered to be key to customer loyalty.
  • 39% of merchants polled believed that free delivery remained the most powerful loyalty tool at their disposal. Nearly a quarter (22%) of merchants sought to reward their customers using vouchers and special offers, while 17% used social channels to engage fans with competitions and unique offers. 
  • The survey also revealed that less than half (43%) of merchants had used social media to promote their business.

62% of UK mobile users have a smartphone

  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of UK mobile owners have a smartphone, according to new data from comScore.

  • The study revealed that 46.6% of UK smartphone owners had a handset powered by Google’s Android operating system, compared with 34.2% last year.
  • Apple’s iOS share increased 1.5% points on an annual basis to 28%, while RIM’s Blackberry was down by 2.5% to 15.2%.

£472.5m predicted to be spent online on Boxing Day

  • According to Experian Hitwise and IMRG visits to UK retail websites are expected to reach 126m on Wednesday 26 December, up 31% on 2011 and an increase of 14m visits from the recent record breaking Cyber Monday. 
  • Consumers are expected to spend £472.5m on Boxing Day as they snap up sales bargains.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are also predicted to be big online spending days with consumers expected to spend £225m and £307m. 
  • UK consumers will spend 375m hours shopping online in December 2012, 32m more hours than were spent in 2011 – an increase of 9% year on year.

Online spending in November breaks £8bn for first time

  • The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed a better-than-expected performance for online sales in November, recording yearly growth of 18%, and up 25% on October 2012, equating to £8.4bn spent online.
  • This is the first time since the Index launched in 2000 that spending has topped the £8bn mark for a single month.
  • It was the sectors most traditionally associated with the season that saw the greatest pick up. Health and beauty had a healthy 82% increase from October, whilst gifts saw 38% year-on-year growth and 132% month-on-month, the highest in almost five years.

Mobile commerce to grow 43% by 2015

  • Consumer sales transactions completed on mobile devices will grow by 43%, as a proportion of overall interactions, between 2012 and 2015 in Europe, according to research commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services.
  • In a similar trend to that seen in sales transactions, customer services and mobile-specific market campaigns will experience substantial growth as a percentage of overall consumer interactions – growing 48% and 46% respectively between 2012 and 2015.
  • The companies reporting the greatest success with digital mobile consumers are those that are quickest to adapt to new platforms such as the tablets. Globally, the leading companies had an average of 25% of their mobile apps designed specifically for tablets; in contrast, the companies with the least success had just 17%.

Tablet conversion rates are five times better than smartphone

  • Smartphones and tablets have accounted for more than a quarter (28%) of the clicks on retail paid search ads so far this Christmas, according to data from Kenshoo.
  • The Kenshoo 2012 UK Online Retail Christmas Shopping Report – Early Edition, indicates that the share of clicks from personal computers is down to 72%, with tablets comprising 15% of all clicks and mobile phones accounting for 13%.
  • The data also shows that tablets drive the highest average order value at £85.55, followed by smartphone (£77.80) and desktop (£75.93). 
  • However smartphone conversions lag way behind the other devices at just 1%, compared to 4.99% on tablet and 5.16% on desktop.

Conversion rates from tablets are four times higher than smartphones

  • New data from Screen Pages highlights the vast difference in conversion rates achieved by tablets and smartphones.
  • Across 16 of its clients’ websites the average conversion rate was 4.81% between 1 and 15 December.
  • A decent proportion of the traffic comes from iPads (13.3%) and iPhones (6.9%), and the conversions on each device are remarkably varied.
  • In average terms, the conversion ratio from desktops was 5.41% – 0.6% higher than the overall average. 
  • IPads converted less well than desktops at 4.16%, while iPhones bring up the rear with 1.3% – only a quarter as effective as desktops.

EU cookie law: ICO has received just 550 complaints

  • One of the biggest concerns for online businesses this year has been the EU cookie law.
  • Six months after the enforcement ‘deadline’, it seems that the cookie apocalypse hasn’t transpired, but the ICO has felt the need to write to 174 companies about their cookie policies. 
  • According to a recent activity update, it has received 550 reports from web users about sites’ cookie policies.
  • To put this into context, the ICO received more than 53,000 complaints about unwanted marketing communications, so concerns about cookie policies aren’t that high on the agenda.

40% of media buyers plan to put 10% of 2013 budget into native advertising

  • This week, Solve Media released a report and infographic on Native Advertising that shows 49% of media buyers plan to make native advertising purchases in 2013.
  • This is big news as, while native advertising has been news in media and at recent conferences, the dollars haven’t backed the excitement.
  • With two out of five media buyers surveyed in the report are putting aside more than 10% of their 2013 budget into this type of advertising. This is becoming an integral part of online advertising and will only grow throughout 2013.

Loyalty beats price for 57% of online shoppers

  • The majority (57%) of online shoppers in the UK prefer to shop from a handful of their favourite websites rather than shopping around for the best price, according to research from EPiServer.
  • The report, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, also revealed that over a third have increased the amount of online shopping they do in the last year, and almost half (44%) have made purchases using a mobile device in the last six months. This is compared to 94% of UK consumers that have shopped on the high street during the same timeframe.
  • The research suggests that clothes and shoes are the most frequent online purchases (46%), closely followed by CDs/DVDs/video games (45%), and books/stationery (37%).