Buckle up: we’re back with another dose of our weekly US digital marketing stats round-up.  

This time we’re covering email’s continuing dominance as a customer service channel, the explosive rise of Snapchat and Netflix, and much more. 

Email beats social media as best channel for US retail customer service

Despite the growing use of Twitter and Facebook, email delivers the fastest and most accurate customer service from US retailers according to new research from Eptica.

Key findings include:

  • Twitter: retailers could only answer 20% of questions sent via Twitter.
  • Facebook: 54% of Facebook messages were replied to successfully.
  • Email: retailers answered nearly three quarters (73%) of emails received.
  • Web: just 65% of answers to routine questions could be found on company websites.
  • Email response times were more than three times faster on average than social media.
  • 58% of consumers would like to receive an email reply within two hours, yet the average time taken was 7 hours 51 minutes.
  • 85% of consumers surveyed expect an answer on Facebook within six hours, but retailers took an average more than 27 hours to respond
  • On Twitter 64% of consumers demand an answer within 60 minutes, yet it took retailers on average over 31 hours to respond.

Snapchat triples video views

Daily video views on Snapchat now stand at a staggering 6bn, tripling in the space of six months and beating Facebook’s video growth, which has only doubled in the same period. 

The figure was originally quoted by the Financial Times and later confirmed by Snapchat. 

63% of consumers more likely to recommend a simplistic brand

It would appear that simplicity pays off for US brands. Not only would nearly two thirds of consumers be more likely to recommend a brand due to its simplicity, but 69% would actually pay more for a simpler experience. 

These figures are according to Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index, an online survey of 12,000 respondents across eight countries that ranks 585 brands according to their perceived simplicity.  

German discount supermarket Aldi achieved the top spot on the index, with Google and Lidl in second and third place respectively.

The study also looked into social media specifically and found:

Netflix use doubles 

A new report from GfK has found that monthly Netflix users now watch 10 shows per week on the platform, up from just five per week in the same survey three years ago. 

GfK estimates that the average US consumer aged 13 to 54 now watches around five TV shows and two movies per week via Netflix. 

On mobile, Netflix use has more than doubled in three years. 24% of regular Netflix users report viewing via mobile in the past month, up from 10% three years ago. 

Travel search lead times are shrinking rapidly in North America

A new global travel insight report from Sojern has highlighted some key trends around the way consumers behave when booking travel online. 

Key findings include:

  • It is 33% cheaper to fly out of Atlanta than the national mean this Thanksgiving, followed by Ft. Lauderdale (18%) and DCA (15%).
  • It is 26% more expensive than the national mean to fly out of JFK this Thanksgiving, 21% from San Francisco’s SFO, and 18% more from LAX.
  • December 19th is the top Christmas travel day across the globe, with the exception of North America, where it’s the second most popular after December 23rd. 

Check out the infographic below for more stats:

Travel search stats infographic

95% of consumers say product information is important when making a purchase decision

A new survey by Shotfarm has highlighted the importance of high quality product information.

Key findings include:

  • 76% of consumers have noticed inconsistent content for the same product across channels.
  • 51% of consumers believe that a manufacturer’s website offers the most accurate product content, while only 3% say marketing, ads and commercials do.
  • 40% of consumers have returned an online purchase in the past year specifically because of poor product content.
  • One in four consumers say they have abandoned a purchase because of poor product information.
  • 87% of those surveyed said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to make a repeat purchase with a retailer that provided inaccurate product information.

68% of B2B buyers purchased goods or services online in 2014

According to a new study by Accenture Interactive, the number of B2B buyers who purchase goods or services online is growing, up from 57% in 2013 to 68% the following year. 

Other key findings include:

  • 86% of B2B organizations now offer online purchasing options.
  • Despite growth, however, only 50% said their organizations receive more than a tenth of their revenue from online sales.

64% of US internet users cite ‘overall experience in store’ as main reason for purchasing decision

Somo has just released a retail-focused infographic around the Internet of Things, with lots of stats around customer experience and the wants and frustrations of US consumers. 

Key findings include:

  • 9/10 male and 7/10 female shoppers would be more likely to make a purchase if they saw something personalized on an in-store beacon or digital display.
  • Biggest frustrations of US internet users with shopping at retail stores are long lines at checkouts (29%) and slow checkouts (21%).
  • With click-and-collect services the biggest frustrations are long waiting times due to lack of staff (32%) and store staff unable to locate items (30%). 

Check out the infographic below for more stats.

internet of things retail stats infographic

Half of US businesses unaware of EU data changes

Only half of US businesses are aware of or preparing for the EU regulation on data privacy that’s due to become law by the end of the year, according to a new survey by TRUSTe.

In terms of sector, financial services companies are most aware at 58%, while tech companies surprisingly scored the lowest with 43%. 

Retailers neglecting social response

According to the Q4 2015 Sprout Social Index that analyzed 255m messages from 119,000 active social media accounts, an increasing number of consumers are contacting retailers through social. 

The study predicted that the average retailer could expect more than 1,500 inbound social messages this holiday season, a 20% increase on the same period in 2014. 

But in addition to increased volume, the study also found that in 83% of cases consumers are not receiving a prompt response from retail brands on social.

The few who do hear back have to wait an average of 12 hours for the pleasure. 

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.