We’ve reached the end of January – hooray!

To celebrate, there’s a myriad of stats to get your teeth into in this week’s roundup, including data on customer recommendations, digital out-of-home (DOOH) and financial results for some big companies.

Before we get started, subscribers can take a look at our Digital Statistics Index for more?

68% of marketers don’t understand what AI is (and think it’s an overused buzzword)

A survey conducted by Vitreous World and Phrasee has found that 68% of global marketers feel they don’t understand what AI is and think it’s simply an overused buzzword.

Additionally, a worrying 67% of those surveyed say they don’t know how to implement AI to effectively deliver results. This shows a large gap in knowledge when it comes to one of the biggest trends shaping the world of marketing today and the near future – and it is thought to be costing companies millions in revenue.

As a result, 70% of the 1000 respondents admitted that they don’t use AI, and an extra 8% didn’t know if they do or don’t. Even if they were actively looking to employ AI in their organisations, 67% believe they are unable to assess and compare the various related technologies available to them.

In order to address this gap in knowledge, Phrasee have launched ‘The Phrasee Pledge’, which aims to educate 500 marketers in AI over the course of 2020.

65% of ecommerce traffic originates from mobile, but only accounts for 53% of sales

New data from SaleCycle suggests that 65% of ecommerce traffic in 2019 originated from mobile, but only accounted for just over half of overall sales (53%).

Fashion ecommerce saw the largest amount of mobile traffic at 75%, as well as the largest percentage of sales (67%) out of all industries analysed. In contrast, the results revealed that travel customers were 64% more likely to make a purchase on a desktop than they were on a smartphone, with mobile making up just 53% of total traffic last year, and accounting for even fewer sales (29%).

The typically younger demographic of fashion consumers has prompted many clothing retailers to adopt a mobile-first approach on their websites and apps in order to meet customer expectations. As a result, visitors find it easier to search for and browse clothing, and ultimately convert on a mobile fashion website, as reflected by the final data.

On the other hand, travel is lagging behind. There could be many reasons for this – perhaps customers prefer conducting initial research via mobile before using desktop to ensure their final purchase is correct and secure. Alternatively, travel companies could just not have had the same pressure from their customers to optimise their websites fully for mobile, meaning User Experience on these devices is not so refined.

All in all, despite mobile continuing to dominate ecommerce, it seems as if consumers remain more comfortable purchasing big ticket items and experiences – such as holidays – via desktop.

mobile ecommerce

Sales of Apple ‘wearables, home and accessories’ hit $10bn

Apple revealed this week that its net sales of ‘wearables, home and accessories’ during 2019 has once again surpassed those of its mac computers.

In its Q1 2020 financial statement released on 28th January, the combined revenue of these products such as the Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod and Beats (among others) increased by around 37% year on year from $7.3bn to over $10bn in 2019 – an all-time record for the category.

Meanwhile, sales of Macs have decreased year on year by around 3.45% to ‘just’ $7.2bn, but the iPhone performed well, raking in nearly $56bn.

The stark contrast between sales figures in various categories suggests a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour – favouring more portable, wearable products over the company’s previously steadfast tech like Macs and iPads.

Increased importance placed on affordability and easy interconnectivity may have had an impact on these results, as customers opt to purchase more innovative (and yet more inexpensive) technology from brands they are loyal to.

apple watch

Facebook’s Q4 advertising revenue grows by 25% year-on-year

Social giant Facebook released its fourth quarter and full year results earlier this week, presenting a 25% year-on-year growth in its advertising revenue for Q4 2019 – an increase from $16.6bn to over $21bn.

Alongside its Daily Active Users and Monthly Active Users rising by an average of 9% and 8% respectively year-on-year in December, this demonstrates the company’s continued growth, despite of the many scandals and controversies it has faced in recent times.

However, Facebook’s shares dropped by about 7% following the announcement, as year-on-year growth – while it remains strong – has shown signs of slowing (ad revenue for Q4 2018 was up 30% on the same period in 2017).

While its financial report doesn’t detail the specifics of customer ad spend, insight from SocialBakers suggests that Instagram is picking up the slack in the company’s advertising revenue figures where Facebook has been experiencing a downturn in percentage of total social ad spend over time. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues as Instagram becomes a progressively more popular platform for marketers.

social bakers infographic facebook ad spend

25% of British 18-24 year-olds are more likely to observe branded DOOH ads if they incorporate live content

Consumers aged 18-24 are 25% more likely to observe branded DOOH ads when they include live content, a new study from Ocean Outdoor indicates.

The research showed that 16% of those in the same age range believe that live content displayed via DOOH is more likely to be trustworthy and genuine than content from other sources (such as online and traditional media). Furthermore, one in five said that they would have a tendency to act on a brand’s advertising if it appeared next to such content.

Across all age ranges surveyed, breaking news was cited as the most popular live content, with weather forecasts, transport updates and film trailers following closely behind.

Of course, results from DOOH are much more difficult to measure than online advertising, often bringing into question its effectiveness and value for money per impression. However, it also has a lot going for it – namely the ability to target audiences in real-time and avoid pesky ad blockers on personal devices.

Certainly, it appears that young people are responding to DOOH in a positive way, with nearly half (49%) of them stating that they would be interested in seeing more real-time content on outdoor screens.

How the BBC is setting the bar for creative outdoor advertising

51% of UK consumers consider a friend or partner’s recommendations more trustworthy than any other advertising

According to Mention Me’s Customer Advocacy Research Report, 51% of UK consumers consider a friend or partner’s recommendations more trustworthy than any other advertising.

Friends topped the survey as the most trusted source of brand recommendation (28%), with partners ranking close second (23%). Furthermore, respondents were 41% likely to be put off a brand if a friend of member of their family dissuaded them from purchasing from there.

Meanwhile, consumers appear to be becoming more distrustful of online reviews – just 11% of whom cited them as trustworthy in 2019 compared to 17% in 2017. Perhaps this is attributed to the recent crisis of transparency brought on by ‘fake news’ and recent corporate scandals. Even fewer trust celebrity endorsements (2%) and, perhaps unsurprisingly, those from politicians (1%).

It is interesting to note what drives such recommendations. Consumers cited ‘Trustworthiness’ and ‘Customer Service’ as the two highest factors in their likelihood to endorse a brand to other people, whereas (slightly worryingly) ‘Green Credentials’ and ‘Innovative’ were ranked lowest.

How are fake online reviews impacting the beauty industry?