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This week, I’ve had the pleasure of being in Lisbon for Web Summit 2016. 

Outside of my delicious, pastry-fuelled digital marketing bubble – things have been a little less fun. 

But, if there’s one thing that’ll help us digest a rather surreal few days, it is some good old facts and figures.

This week’s stats roundup includes news about online retail sales, dark posts, Instagram users and, yes, election night response.

You can also download the Internet Statistics Compendium for more.

Online retail sales stronger than expected in 2016

The latest data from IMRG and Capgemini shows that this year’s online retail growth sales have been higher than expected.

Despite the economic uncertainty following Brexit, growth is currently running at 15.1% for the months January to September compared to the same period in 2015. 

Now, with just three months until the end of the year, the overall forecast has changed to 15%+ annual growth for 2016 (IMRG's original estimate was 11%).

John Lewis Christmas ad garners over 200,000 shares in an hour

It’s always a hotly anticipated sign that Christmas is around the corner, but this year’s John Lewis ad has smashed all previous records.

Within the first hour, Buster the Boxer had already garnered 218,330 video shares on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

This is in comparison to last year’s Man in the Moon ad, which saw just 174,717 shares within the hour.

Consequently, the 2016 ad looks set to be John Lewis’s most-shared ad of all time.

53% of investors cite AI as the biggest threat to jobs

In a Venture survey of over 200 investors at this year’s Web Summit, 53% agreed that artificial intelligence poses the biggest threat to jobs in the digital and tech industries.

Similarly, a whopping 93% said that governments are unprepared for the impact of AI.

Here are some other results from the poll:

  • 82% of investors agreed that Brexit is damaging to the European economy.
  • 39% said the least innovative major tech company is Apple.
  • 94% of investors would have voted for Hillary Clinton, with 89% predicting the democrat candidate was going to win.

More businesses are investing in dark posts on Facebook

According to the 2017 Facebook Advertising Budget Benchmark Index, more companies are investing their time and budget in dark posts rather than boosted posts on Facebook.

While the average total spend for a dark post is nearly twice as much as that for a boosted post, it is now seen as a viable strategy for larger businesses with bigger than average Facebook audiences. 

This is because the average number of likes for a business’ Facebook page with active dark posts is 845,086, compared to just 592,797 without. 

What’s more, dark posts tend to be active for around 14 days longer.

Millennials are more likely to buy a product after watching a video ad

New research from Groundbreak Productions has uncovered the kind of video adverts that are most likely to make consumers spend money.

From a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 42% said that they like video ads that are informative and 'to the point'. Consequently, 22% would be more likely to buy a product after watching one. 

In terms of the biggest spenders, the report suggests that ads have more an effect of millennials, with one in five being more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video ad. This is compared to 12% of 45-54 year olds, 13% of 55-64 year olds and 6% of those aged 65 and over.

Interestingly, just 8% of consumers say they are receptive to celebrity-endorsed ads, with only 3% being more likely to purchase after watching one.

Election night peaks with 96,000 tweets per minute

If you stayed awake throughout election night to hear the final result, 4:20am was said to the be the peak moment for Twitter activity in the UK.

This is the latest data from social media tracking company, Spredfast, which also analysed how the situation unfolded.

Throughout the day, hashtags supporting Hillary accounted for four times the volume as Trump’s campaign, however, this gradually shifted over time. (See below graph).

Data also shows that there was a 342% increase in the word "shocked" during the last nine hours, alongside the phrase "no words" being used 3,900 times in the final six hours.

Instagram’s UK community grows to 18m

I recently wrote about the top 10 most influential UK lifestyle brands on Instagram.

In other news, it has just been announced that the platform’s community has reached 18m monthly users in the UK – an increase of 29% in just one year. Also, time spent watching video on the platform is up 150% over the past six months.

This comes in the year the platform launched Instagram Stories, introduced a new logo and expanded its Explore feature. 

B2C marketers have superior social knowledge than B2B

The latest social media snapshot from the DMA has revealed that B2C marketers spend more time on social than those working in B2B. 

A study found that people in the B2C industry spend more than 75% of their time working on social, with this percentage answering more questions correctly in the DMA survey. 

In terms of knowledge gaps, social specific areas like Pinterest’s Rich Pin and the length of Instagram video resulted in the biggest number of incorrect answers. 

Half of consumers have an unused email account

The DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker 2016 research has discovered that nearly half of all UK consumers have a ‘ghost’ email account, meaning that it is still active but no longer used. 

Consequently, this means that companies could be sending unread messages to around 19m email addresses.

According to the research, 62% of consumers typically abandon an email address because they are receiving too many unwanted messages. 

This behaviour is even more prevalent among younger people, with 58% having abandoned an account for this reason compared to just 27% of older consumers. 

Christmas spending looks set to increase post-Brexit

Despite initial fears over Brexit, new research from Accenture has revealed that retail spending could increase this festive season.

In a survey of 1,500 UK consumers, 85% of respondents said that they are likely to spend the same or more money in 2016. 

However, people are looking to get more from their money, with 74% saying they will shop around to get the lowest price.

The survey also found that 57% of shoppers say their shopping habits have been unaffected by the UK referendum result. 

Similarly, only 11% say they are now more cautious about spending on non-essentials.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 11 November, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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