This week’s version includes news about Black Friday results, CX roles, checkout abandonment, and lots more. Check out the Internet Statistics Database for further facts and figures.

Number of CX executives predicted to grow by at least 25% in 2020

Forrester has predicted that that one in four CX pros will lose their jobs in 2020, after dozens of high-profile CMO positions were eliminated last year.

At the same time, however, Forrester has also predicted that the number of CX executives will grow by at least 25%.

Harley Manning, research director at Forrester suggests: “At companies that do have a firm grasp of the economic benefits of customer experience, the surge in newly created positions for chief customer officers (and equivalent titles) will continue. As we finish out 2019, we see hiring at the executive level and one rung below continuing at a rapid pace.”

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Customer Experience Management – A guide

Black Friday footfall increases 3.3% in the UK compared to 2018

It was good news for physical retailers in the UK this Black Friday, as Springboard data revealed that 2019 saw a rise in footfall of 3.3% compared to the same day in 2018.

Interestingly, footfall increased steadily as the day progressed, rising by +1.9% up to 12pm, +3.7% by 3pm, and by +3.9% by 5pm. Shopping centres saw the highest jump in footfall, with a 6.5% rise year-on-year. Meanwhile, high streets also saw a 2.4% increase, and retail parks saw a 1.9% increase.

Elsewhere, Barclaycard echoed the news of a Black Friday boost, as it revealed that the volume of transactions on Black Friday rose 7.2% year-on-year, while the transaction value was up 16.5% compared with 2018.

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The first rule of Black Friday marketing is: You do not talk about Black Friday

54% of digital commerce projects last year were deemed unsuccessful

Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s ‘Ready or Not’ report – based on a survey of 503 senior-decision makers – has revealed that 54% of digital commerce projects last year were deemed unsuccessful.

When questioned as to why this might be, 34% of leaders pointed to a lack of customer alignment, while 29% cited poor logistics, and 29% said insufficient investment. Interestingly, 51% of digital commerce leaders admitted they believe their organisation hasn’t invested enough in ecommerce, while a further 28% said digital projects move forward too quickly and lack real strategy.

Despite these challenges, the study also revealed a sense of optimism, as 79% of digital commerce leaders said they feel ready to take advantage of the opportunities digital commerce has to offer in the next year. Digital commerce leaders feel the three biggest areas of opportunity online commerce offers their business will be to provide a better chance of growth within their industry (20%), a better ability to compete (20%) and alignment with customer demands (16%).

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Ecommerce Best Practice Guide

Online travel agents see highest abandonment rates out of travel sector

SaleCycle released its 2019 Travel Ecommerce Remarketing Report last week, looking into abandonment rates and sales insight from the online travel industry.

Key takeways include an overall average abandonment rate of 90.74% for online travel sites. Out of five different sectors analysed, online travel agents (OTAs) have the highest travel abandonment rates, currently at 93.96%. SaleCycle suggests that this is due to the complexity of an OTA booking, which could involve range of travel products including hotels and transport combined.

In contrast to this, hotel and car rental sites have lower booking abandonment rates (due to their relatively simple booking process), at 84.63% and 86.34% respectively. Finally, the report notes a dip in abandonment rates for most sectors around January, which can be put down to people wanting to book holidays ahead of the summer.

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US spend for social product ads increased 43% YoY this ‘Cyber 5’

Kenshoo has revealed that US retailers relied heavily on social advertising this sale season, as they attempted to reach shoppers early (and target those who weren’t even thinking about a brand as a purchase option yet). 

During this year’s ‘Cyber 5’ (the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday), year-on-year spending increased 20% for search shopping campaigns, and 13% for ecommerce channel ads. However, social product ads experienced the biggest lift with an increase of 43% year-on-year.

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Elsewhere, Kenshoo found that search shopping campaign investment increased 177% during Cyber 5 compared to the pre-Thanksgiving November period. Most of this stemmed from a 169% increase in cost per click (CPC), as advertisers were willing to bid higher to reach customers with greater purchase intent.

Finally, in comparison to an average day in pre-Thanksgiving November, the average daily spend across Cyber 5 for ecommerce channel ads increased 133%, with the average cost per click increasing by 23%. 

42% of creative professionals feel their sector lags behind in the adoption of new technologies

Half of small businesses in the creative industry say that technology helps them compete with larger organisations, according to new research by Vodafone.

The research, which involved a survey of 500 small businesses in the UK’s creative industry, found that 40% of companies produce their best ideas and work ‘on-the-go’. What’s more, 38% work digitally rather than in person, suggesting that it is a sector that heavily relies on technology to drive productivity.

However, whilst 73% of respondents believe technology brings positive change, 42% of also said they feel the sector lags behind others in adoption and usage of new technologies.