A change is as good as the rest, and so we’re trying something slightly different this week. 

We’ve cherry-picked some of the best stats around, and paired them with some extra analysis and reading recommendations.  Optional, of course – we’re not going all Miss Trunchbull on you.

The Internet Statistics Compendium is still ready and waiting to download as always.

So, on we go.

Cart abandonment rates increase to 78.4% for Q3

SaleCycle’s remarketing report has revealed that the global cart abandonment rate for Q3 2017 is 78.4%, which is a 1.5% increase on the previous quarter.

Fashion sites are doing the best job at converting visitors, with the lowest abandonment rate at 68.1%. In contrast, finance and travel brands generate the highest, with travel consumers typically abandoning bookings to continue their research and compare prices.

I recently wrote about why online shoppers abandon their baskets, which also highlights how consumers across all sectors are increasingly using sites for researching purposes. While it might be impossible to prevent this behaviour, perhaps well-timed communication or relevant retargeting can be effective for luring consumers back at a later date.

More on cart abandonment:

Reader relationship with publisher impacts ad effectiveness

According to Inskin Media, the effectiveness of online ads has more to do with the relationship the reader has with a publisher than the surrounding editorial content.

This comes from a study of the conscious and subconscious reactions of 4,370 people who were served ads on branded publisher websites and elsewhere. 

It found that ads on the branded publisher sites increased awareness by 60% compared to the ads on other sites. Meanwhile, among readers with a close relationship to the publisher, awareness of ads was 152% higher than among those who saw the ads elsewhere.

The implication is that as good as audience targeting can be, the context for advertising will always be one of the most powerful factors in generating awareness.

More on online ads:

Four in five consumers have seen a fake review this year

BrightLocal has revealed that consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family, but that many are still failing to spot fake reviews.

From a survey of 1,031 US-based consumers, it was revealed that 79% of consumers have seen a fake review in the last year, but 84% admit that they can’t always spot them.

Interestingly, more consumers now look for businesses responding to reviews, with 30% seeing this as a key sign of trust compared to just 20% last year.

It’s not just an issue for local retailers either. Interestingly, even the biggest retail giants have a fake review problem. Forbes recently reported that there has been a marked increase in fake reviews on Amazon lately, with data suggesting that the average review weight for Amazon (which is the measure of how trustworthy reviews are) has almost halved since Amazon banned its incentivised scheme. 

More on online reviews:

UK SMEs have spent 600 hours preparing for GDPR in the past year

A new survey by Data Compliance Doctors has revealed how small businesses in the UK have been preparing for the impending GDPR deadline.

Speaking with over 500 SME owners, it found that the average UK SME has spent over 80 days (or 600 hours) preparing for the legislation over the past year, and 44% have reorganised operational responsibilities as part of the process.

It also found that over a quarter have hired new staff to help prepare for GDPR, with an average of £13,300 being spent on new salaries so far. Meanwhile, half have also invested in expert guidance, costing SME’s an average of £8,000 on fees.

Despite this spend, a worrying 73% do not have detailed documentation to evidence their GDPR compliance and 64% of business have no plan in place for customer data breaches.

Naturally, GDPR has been a hot topic for Econsultancy of late. Head on over to our GDPR hub for a shed-load more blog posts on the topic and information on our training course.

User numbers increase while time spent online decreases

A new report by Verto Analytics has uncovered an interesting shift in online consumer engagement. Over the course of a year, it found that the total US user numbers for social media, communications, and mobile gaming apps had increased, while the average time spent with this content had decreased.

It appears that consumers are shifting their attention away from news content to other categories such as lifestyle and ecommerce apps. This declining trust in digital news media is also apparent elsewhere, with a recent Kantar study finding that printed newspapers, radio, and rolling broadcasts are much more trusted than news websites or apps.

One UK publisher than has placed an increased focus on gaining consumer trust is the Guardian, striving to balance consumer privacy with a data-driven approach.  If you’re interested in finding out more, check out our sister brand Marketing Week’s coverage on the topic.

8% surge in mobile visits as early Black Friday shoppers buy on the go

Black Friday is currently in full swing, but here’s an early indication of UK purchasing behaviour from Salmon.

Fresh data suggests that 26% of all visits between midnight and 6am took place in the first hour, before traffic once again peaked at 6am. Early morning has been the busiest period so far, with 81% of visits coming from mobile devices – an 8% increase from 2016. With 74% of transactions also coming from mobile devices, this suggests many shoppers were tempted while on their commute to work.

Finally, Salmon is predicting that the day will contribute £20bn in online spend in November, with more than 50% of transactions expected to take place on mobile.

You’ll have to check back next week for a full run-down of Black Friday stats, but in the meantime, here’s more analysis to wet your whistle.