It’s that time of the week again, guys!

This week’s glorious roundup of statistical goodies includes news from Snapchat, insight into online shopping searches, smart homes and much more.

For extra information, don’t forget to download Econsultancy’s famous Internet Statistics Compendium.

Let’s dive straight in…

Marketing becomes a major priority for small business owners

A new study by eBay has found that two thirds of small online businesses are to invest more heavily in marketing this year.

With SEO and social media overtaking print advertising and direct mail, 61% of owners cite digital marketing knowledge as important when recruiting new staff.

In fact, it’s now even more in-demand than a degree.

Alongside marketing, online businesses are also set to focus on expanding product ranges and improving customer services.

Snapchat announces three-year deal with Wimbledon

In the same week that Snapchat announced it has 10m active daily users, it also publicised a new multi-million dollar partnership with the All England Tennis and Croquet Club.

Including live insight direct from Wimbledon, the deal aims to encourage younger generations to get excited about the tournament. 

With sponsorship opportunities for the likes of Haagen-Dazs and Stella Artois, it is predicted to be valuable for big brands looking to advertise during the two-week tournament.

Women are the biggest users of mobile internet

According to a new report by UKOM, women are more likely to use their smartphones to access the internet than men.

49% of women’s internet time now occurs on mobile in comparison to 39% of men’s.

With a combination of social media, ecommerce and gaming contributing to women being the heaviest users of smartphones, brands could benefit from using this insight to better tailor marketing messages.

UK publishers see digital revenue increase by 62% 

A report by Deloitte and AOP has revealed that UK publishers saw a rise of 8.3% in digital revenue in Q1 2016 compared to the same time last year. 

With a 62% overall rise in the past four years, increased growth has been put down to sponsorship revenue, subscriptions and online video.

This spells good news for publishers who have heavily invested in digital, choosing to move away from traditional methods like display advertising.

Consumers nonchalant about the concept of smart homes

A survey by PwC has found that two-thirds of consumers are not bothered about introducing smart technology into their homes. 

Despite this lack of interest, 95% of people who already have the technology in their homes said that they saw the benefit.

With a lack of accessibility appearing to be the biggest obstacle, brands need to find a way to introduce technology and break down the assumption that it is highly complex and difficult to use.

Facebook to roll out ‘community activated’ safety check

Since drawing criticism for supposed Western-bias, Facebook is set to relaunch its safety check tool.

Instead of manually switching on the feature – which lets friends and family know that a person is safe in the event of a disaster – it will now be triggered by local trends.

Available in 80 languages., the new safety check will use a more algorithmic approach in order to reflect real-tme reactions.

eBay says online retailers must think beyond the traditional age bracket for weddings

Data from eBay has revealed that more people aged 45 and over are searching for wedding-related items online.

It was found that consumers between the ages of 45 and 54 were 25% more likely to search for ‘engagement ring’ on eBay last year, compared to those aged 25 to 34.

What’s more, shoppers aged between 65 and 74 made seven searches for ‘wedding dress’ every hour in 2015.

While this could be a reflection of older generations lending a helping hand to organise weddings, it still shows that online retailers should think twice when marketing to a specific age bracket. 

Christmas shoppers enticed by free returns

The Christmas period might feel like a world away, but new insight from Bizrate Insight, a division of Connexity, has released data to help jumpstart consumer loyalty during the holiday period.

According to a survey from the US and Canada, 60% of consumers would be more inclined to buy if free shipping was included. 

43% also cited free returns as a good incentive to buy.

With a large percentage of online purchases predicted to be made on mobile, ecommerce companies should focus on smartphone optimisation.

1 in 4 decision-makers value Facebook over other social platforms

Hotwire has found that 24% of decision-makers cite Facebook as their preferred channel when seeking information about a potential purchase.

17% said LinkedIn and just 6% said they looked to Twitter.

Despite the preference for Facebook, 30% of decision-makers said they wouldn’t use the platform for B2B marketing, believing that it is best suited to consumers.

Online retail sales fall for the first time this decade

It has been revealed that 49% of all retail sales were made on mobiles during the first quarter of 2016 – compared to 51% at the same time last year.

This is the first time there has been a decline since tracking began back in 2010.

Reportedly due to a decline in the use of tablets – growth in sales through tablet devices is now down to a record low of just +3%.

With sales through smartphones on the rise, retailers should capitalise on shifting trends by focusing on a mobile-led shopping experience.