Well this is rather exciting. The final stats round-up before we all (sort of) detach ourselves from the digital marketing ecosystem and play that wonderful annual game of seeing how close we can get to actually eating and drinking ourselves to a fat and happy death.

So it is with pre-near-fat-and-happy-death levels of pleasure that I present to you some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen in the past week. 

From a lack of digital skills among leaders to the unsung hero that is the humble text message, along with lots of stats around Christmas and mobile search, some delicious infographics and much more, this one truly is a cracker. 

98% say leaders should have digital skills, but reality doesn’t reflect this

In a recent survey carried out as part of our Effective Leadership in the Digital Age report, 98% of respondents say technological literacy is either important or very important. 

Q: How important is it for leaders in the modern business environment to be technology-literate?

digital skills in leadership

The reality, however, appears to highlight a significant digital skills gap among senior business leaders. 

Just 28% of respondents say leaders within their organisation are ‘very technology-literate’, with 41% saying they are ‘quite technology literate’.

29% say leaders within their organisation are ‘not very technology-literate’, while 2% say leaders are ‘not at all technology-literate’. 

Q: How technology-literate do you deem the leadership within your organisation to be?

digital skills in leadership

SMS produces 6-8 times more engagement than email

Only 20% of emails are fully read, compared to 98% of text messages, according to a new infographic by Neon SMS.

Check out the infographic below for more stats:

sms marketing infographic

Mobile search will increase 500% over the Christmas weekend

Based on 2014 trends, Bing Ads predicts that mobile search enquiries will increase by five times over the Christmas weekend.

Other key findings include:

  • UK shoppers start as early as 4pm on Christmas Day to seek a festive sales bargain.
  • Brits are rising as early as 8am on Boxing Day to bag a bargain.
  • Over 65% of all Christmas Day retail searches were made on mobile or tablet devices last year.
  • Jewellery was the most popular searched for product on mobile devices.

Black Friday: sites were under-prepared for mobile traffic

Websites were under-prepared for Black Friday traffic, raising the risk of abandonment and lost sales, according to a study by SciVisum

The two infographics below illustrate some of the key findings from the research:

black friday mobile site performance

black friday mobile site performance

Highest ever monthly online sales growth fuelled by smartphone spending

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Index, November saw the highest month-on-month (MoM) increase in online sales since the index launched 15 years ago. 

The record breaking increase of 40% was driven by the growth of mobile sales, with smartphone purchases accounting for 32% of all mobile commerce sales. 

Other key findings include:

  • Sales made via a smartphone grew 97% year-on-year.
  • Multichannel retailers saw just a 4% YoY increase in sales, compared with online-only retailers at 24%.

41% of shoppers use mobiles to find best deals while in-store

More than two in five Brits – equivalent to almost 22m shoppers – regularly ‘showroom’ by using their mobile devices to check for the better prices while in-store, according to research by EE.

London and Newcastle are the British cities with the most showroomers at 47%, while the practice is most common among those aged 18-34.

The table below shows a breakdown of showrooming by city. 

Aldi & Lidl Christmas ads more likely to engage audiences

While John Lewis has the most media interest with 410 articles written about it in November 2015, when it comes to audience interest, John Lewis stories had 0.24% click-through rate compared to 0.56% for Lidl and 0.55% for Aldi.

These figures are according to research by Outbrain, which also found that Tesco had the second highest number of stories published behind John Lewis (296) and the third best click-through rate behind Lidl and Aldi (0.43%).

Audiences were more likely to engage with stories when they were using a tablet, with an average CTR of 0.50% on tablets, 0.40% on mobile and 0.29% on desktop.

Half of UK shoppers feel they’re more likely to get ripped off at Christmas

Around 50% of UK shoppers feel they’re more likely to get ripped off at Christmas than any other time of the year, according to new research by Trustpilot.

Other key findings include:

  • 36% of shoppers feel desperate buying things at Christmas.
  • 56% are more likely to use a retailer they’ve never used before. 
  • 78% admit they should do more research into the online retailers they use at Christmas.
  • The most common cause of negative reviews at Christmas is bad customer service.
  • The vast majority of shoppers would use a retailer again after leaving a negative review if the company addressed their concerns, with a freebie or discount the most popular way for retailers to bounce back.

Instagram is the B2C engagement winner

With the exception of the consumer products and telecommunication and cable industries, B2C brands see the highest engagement on Instagram, according to a new report by TrackMavern.

Other key findings include:

  • Industry-wide, B2C brands see minimal engagement on Twitter. 
  • Restaurant brands perform best on Twitter, but still sport a relatively small engagement ratio of one interaction per post per 1,000 followers on average.
  • B2C brands have plentiful Facebook fans, but their Facebook audiences engage minimally, likely due to decreases in organic reach on the network. 
  • B2C brands see a higher ratio of interactions on Instagram and Pinterest.

Retailers fail to offer customers smooth checkout

33% of retailers do not offer ‘guest checkout’, and require customers to register before completing the purchase, according to a new study by Bronto.

Other key findings include: 

  • Customers have to navigate an average of five pages to complete the check-out process.
  • Only 7% of retailers allow shoppers to change product attributes such as colour or size during the check-out process.
  • 38% of retailers only reveal the total cost of the items *just* before the purchase, which leads to many customers aborting the order completely.
  • 59% of UK retailers don’t send basket reminders to customers.
  • 22% of UK retailers only send one basket reminder email to re-engage shoppers.

89% of brands struggle to create a single customer view

Not having a single customer view is the biggest barrier to cross-channel marketing in the UK, according to a new infographic by Experian. 

37% of marketers say the lack of a single customer view is inhibiting them from marketing across channels. 

Check out the infographic below for more stats:

single customer view infographic

3 in 10 consumers overlook independent retailers at Christmas

Consumers are snubbing independent shops at Christmas because they don’t provide the same digital experience as larger retailers, according to research by Worldpay. 

Other key findings include:

  • 36% of consumers say a lack of delivery options, in-store availability and inflexible returns policies keep them away.
  • Three quarters (73%) of us freely admit we’re in need of inspiration when it comes to Christmas shopping.

Non-profits lagging behind when it comes to UX

Non-profit websites are struggling to keep up with other sectors when it comes to user experience (UX), according to a new report by Sigma

The report tested 10 not-for-profit websites, selected at random. Out of a possible score of 25, the websites achieved an average UX score of just 13.55.

The 10 websites and their scores were:  

  1. Citizens Advice (19).
  2. The Prince’s Trust (17).
  3. Victim Support (16.5).
  4. British Medical Association (16.5).
  5. Age UK (15.5).
  6. Step Change (13).
  7. War Child (11).
  8. Trafford Housing Trust (11).
  9. Business in the Community (BITC) (10).
  10. SportsAid (9).

Customer loyalty top marketing priority for 2015

48% of marketers say creating and maintaining customer loyalty was one of their top priorities this year, according to a new infographic by Experian. 

39% say it is integrating technology to automate, orchestrate and manage data, while 39% again say building a customer acquisition strategy is one of their top marketing priorities. 

Check out the infographic below for more stats:

top marketing priorities 2015 infographic

Third of UK consumers abandon baskets due to lack of customer support

29% of UK consumers have abandoned their shopping basket due to the absence of available customer support, according to a new report by iAdvize. 

Other key findings include:

  • Live chat and community chat are emerging as the most popular customer care communication channels amongst UK consumers.
  • ‘Brand advocates’ are deemed equally as helpful as professional agents.

Searches on eBay rose 50% overnight between 23 and 24 December last year

Online auction site eBay saw a massive spike in searches overnight between 23 December and Christmas Eve last year, according to new figures released by the brand. 

Other key findings include:

  • Men were twice as likely as women to still be searching for ‘Christmas’ items on eBay on Christmas Eve.
  • Men made seven searches per minute for dresses in the final hour of Christmas Eve (11pm–midnight).
  • Women made more than 10 searches per minute for ‘coat’ during the same hour.
  • More than eight searches made for ‘watch’ per minute during the Queen’s Speech last year.
  • There was a 52% rise in searches for ‘shoes’ on eBay.co.uk in the week after Christmas among women.

Timely and vaguely relevant stat of the week…

On this day in 2009, a Paris court ruled that Google was breaking French law with its policy of digitising books.  

The court fined Google to the tune of $14,300 a day until the search giant removed the offending extracts. 

For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           

Download Econsultancy’s Internet Statistics Compendium, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.

It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.