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We’ve got a bumper edition of stats for you this week.

Well, just the standard set of ten, but there’s lots to enjoy.

You’ll find news on content marketing formats, abandonment emails, customer retention and social media. Don’t forget to download the Internet Statistics Compendium for lots more.

72% of marketers value data analysis over social media skills

According to a new report by BlueVenn, 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be the most important skill to acquire in the next two years.

From speaking to over 200 marketers in the US and UK, BlueVenn found that understanding customer data is considered far more vital than the likes of social media and web development, with just 65% and 31% of respondents citing these respectively.

This appears to be an especially common view in larger businesses, where a lack of tools and access to technologies is the biggest barrier.

Abandonment emails sent after one-hour boost conversion

New stats from SaleCycle show that the best time to reconnect with shoppers is one hour after they’ve abandoned their basket.

From the conversion rates of 500 global brands, an average conversion of 6.33% was seen after one hour, compared with just 3.14% when sent before one hour and 3.41% one to two hours after.

As well as timing, research also found that personalisation is a big factor in email success, with subject names that include the customer name seeing the highest open-rate.

Two-thirds of UK consumers willing to use robots for banking

‘Robo-advisors’ is not a term we’ll be adopting any time soon, however, according to new research from Accenture more of us will be willing to accept the concept in future.

Apparently, it refers to the robots used to offer financial or banking advice in place of real-life humans. And according to a survey of UK consumers, 68% are willing to use them.

The reasons behind the demand for this type of technology is speed and convenience, with 40% citing this factor for using it. Lastly, 25% see the impartiality of robo-advice as a key attraction, with this figure rising to almost one third in those over 65.

Instagram Stories grows to 150m daily users

Despite initial reservations from users, Instagram Stories continues to grow, with the feature adding 50m more daily users since October.

According to other recent stats, a third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories on Instagram result in a direct message. 

Lastly, 70% of video views are reportedly played with the sound on (though this does not include Live Stories).

Original data is the best-performing type of content marketing

A survey by Clutch has uncovered the types of content that marketers believe leads to greater success.

17% of respondents said that infographics perform the best, while 18% cited research or original data – both trumped other formats like blog posts and video.

In terms of promotion, 85% of content marketers cited paid distribution, such as social media, PPC and native ads as the most effective tactic, over-and-above organic efforts. This reflects the strategies of most marketing agencies, with 71% using paid distribution tactics most frequently.

Nearly 20% of online retailers lost out to rivals over Christmas

According to the latest JDA/Centiro report, many retailers failed to meet the growing consumer demand for convenience during the 2016 Christmas period.

19% of online Christmas customers shopped at alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints.

While use of click-and-collect services has somewhat plateaued, it is mostly seen as a way of avoiding delivery charges, with 53% of consumers recently using it for this reason.

The report also found that many people suffered problems with click and collect last Christmas, with long waiting times due to a lack of staff having a negative impact on the experience.

Valentine’s Day presents big opportunity for retailers

With Black Friday and Christmas out of the way, many retailers are turning their attention towards the next big holiday.

According to stats from Bing, Valentine’s Day presents a huge opportunity, after an estimated $19.7bn was spent last year (and an average of $146 per person).

However, it’s not just humans that can expect a gift or two. $681m was reportedly spent on pets for Valentine’s Day last year, giving pet retailers a good reason to get on board in 2017.

Instagram most important platform for marketers

In more Instagram-related stats, it’s been revealed as the platform marketers will invest the most in this year.

Research from Greenlight shows that 70% will focus on Instagram, while 40% of marketers will invest in Twitter. 

Interestingly, older marketers are placing less importance on social platforms, with 50% of professionals who are over the age of 50 reporting no plans to invest in Instagram and 58% saying the same for Snapchat. 

Generation Z bored by standard digital ads

According to a study by Kantar Millward Brown, generation Z (i.e. consumers aged between 16-19) have high expectations when it comes to digital advertising, preferring ads that allow them to interact or make a decision.

When it comes to ads that prompt viewers to vote, generation Z reported a positivity score of 31%, compared to just 25% from generation Y. 

Generation Z were also found to actively dislike invasive ad formats like non-skippable pre-rolls. However, interruption appears to be a big bugbear for all age ranges, with the majority of people installing ad blockers due to this reason.

Customer retention is down 7% globally

From a global study of more than 24,000 consumers across nine industry sectors, Verint and IDC has found that customer retention dropped by 7% last year.

Overall, this appears to be down to consumers who prefer using digital-based companies displaying less brand loyalty than those who engage with businesses on a human and one-to-one level.

49% of digital customers have been with providers for more than three years compared with 57% who prefer to go in-store.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 13 January, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

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

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Comments (5)

Gabriel Nwatarali

Gabriel Nwatarali, Owner at Tech Help Canada

We have been using Instagram lately and I must say, for those marketers not investing on it, I hope that you revisit that decision. Instagram is only going to grow in importance, I say get in now and grow your audience fast.

All the best,
Gabriel N
http://www.techhelp.ca

2 months ago

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Grahame Palmer, Marketing Director at All Things Ecommerce Ltd

Just on the issue of "abandoned carts"... We discovered an interesting behaviour with many of our customers. The capacity of all web-browsers to now enable Tabbed Browsing makes it very easy for online shoppers to open an "array" of competitive retailers in several browser tabs. What we found was that they use the shopping cart to do "price comparisons", not just on individual products, but on total basket value. People will now add items to their carts on each of several websites, then look at the total basket values... a good measure for anyone looking to see what they would be spending overall. They make their choice (of which shop(s) to purchase from, then "abandon" the rest... many don't even bother to empty the carts on the non-successful webshops and simply click the browser tab closed. When we look at real-time sessions, we see this behaviour happening... carts are filled up, and the session (time since last click) stagnates. If it goes beyond 3 minutes, we kinda know that the shopper has been using this method to do "basket total" comparisons and has probably bought elswhere. In such instances, any follow-up to incentivise a sale can backfire if not handled properly. If someone has already satisfied their need by making a purchase elsewhere, it is annoying to be invited by the non-successful retailer to return and complete the purchase, and to use discount carrots to tempt them. They have already bought what they want. Automated follow-up emails should be very carefully worded to appreciate this. We are looking at ways of measuring the stagnation period in a session, and if it goes beyond 3 minutes, a different follow-up message is sent. One that does not try to recover the PAST sale, but which tries to win the customer for FUTURE purchases.

2 months ago

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Grahame Palmer, Marketing Director at All Things Ecommerce Ltd

... apropos my earlier post... Savvy online shoppers also know that abandoning a cart can often prompt the seller to follow up with discount offers. Fill up the cart... stagnate the session... close the broswer... and wait an hour for the retailer to come back with a discount... Do this with several webshops and then choose...

Follow-up emails with discount carrots could be regarded as little more than a race to the bottom.

2 months ago

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Liam O'Dowd, Director at Pop Digital LTD

Interesting thoughts Grahame, I know I've tested the water with cart abandonment discounts as a consumer before to see if I get a follow up.

Would be interesting to see the results of different messages based on stagnation periods.

2 months ago

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Grahame Palmer, Marketing Director at All Things Ecommerce Ltd

The real issue is probably more basic and goes back to the age-old principle that marketers of yester-year seemed to understand better... "Win the customer, not the sale"...

Elsewhere on this blog are discussions that look at customer loyalty and the indicators point to digital shoppers being least-likely to be "loyal" - either to a brand, or to someone selling it. It's become too easy to initiate automation in the selling game, and many (modern) "marketers" think that technology can replace (or emulate) some of the essential empathy that has to be there for true "loyalty" to exist. Thus, the "human" factor is a diminishing value in the digital world... That's why "loyalty" as it was known is diminishing with digital shoppers. People know that messages they receive are usually automated - and are therefore largely "generic". But this may be a prompt for marketers to start looking at how this concept "loyalty" has changed... become less "human". I think the challenge is to try to leverage technology to enable modern marketers to return (somehow) to the basis of loyalty... winning the customer, not the sale.

2 months ago

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