Consumer insights

Don’t leave “Peak Week” money on the table

Posted on Nov 07 2011 by

For the first seven years of studying online holiday shopping behavior, Experian Hitwise has been accurate in predicting the peak day for online traffic to retail sites. Here’s a look at what we’ve seen historically and what we’re predicting this year.

Affluent shoppers boost online retail traffic

Posted on Oct 28 2011 by

Holiday retail sales for 2011 are expected to increase 2.8% to $465.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, lower growth than the 5.2% increase in sales from the 2010 holiday season. Last year, the increase in visits to online retailers was higher than the overall lift in sales as consumers researched products and store information as well as purchased holiday gifts. Last year, visits to the Retail 500 (excludes auctions, classifieds and rentals) increased during the kickoff of the holiday season, the weeks with Thanksgiving & Black Friday and Cyber Monday, increased 8% and 11% respectively. As we head into the holiday season, recent economic indicators like consumer confidence have declined, causing concern about potential spending power. However, traffic to online retailers has grown with visits up 10% year-over-year for the week ending October 23, 2011.

One driver behind the increased visits to the Retail 500 is the audience, which over-indexes against the population for the most affluent Mosaic Groups: Power Elite (over-indexes for household incomes of $125k and up), Flourishing Families (over-indexes for household incomes between $75k and $250k), Booming with Confidence (over-indexes for household incomes over $75k), Suburban Style (over-indexes for household incomes of $75k to $175k). These 4 Mosaic Groups represented 28% of the visits to the Retail 500 for the 12 weeks ending October 22, 2011. While there may be anxiety around consumers’ ability to spend during the holidays, purchases from affluent segments may help offset the decreased buying power of those with lower household incomes.

Can tablets rescue retail?

Posted on Oct 25 2011 by

By next year, the market adoption of tablet devices in the US is expected to reach 13% of households. The tablet users are more affluent and tech-savy. It’s time for retailers to look at a bright spot in the numbers and read it as a sign of a bright future ahead. Many retailers are reporting 50% to 100% higher conversion rates by tablet users over PC users, and this is just the beginning. The tablet is attractive to both the consumer and retailer.

Can Netflix make an impact in the UK?

Posted on Oct 25 2011 by

Yesterday US video streaming and DVD rental site Netflix announced that it was going to have a second crack at conquering the UK market. The company has decided to focus solely on online video streaming this time around, in a move which will see it go head-to-head with LoveFilm.

Boomers batting cleanup in World Series viewership

Posted on Oct 24 2011 by

Compared to younger adult audiences, Baby Boomers are more likely to be watching the World Series coverage. Experian’s Mosaic USA finds the largest share of World Series viewers are heavily saturated with adults age 50 to 65.

Apple and BlackBerry storm as failures cause embarrassment

Posted on Oct 18 2011 by

Last week both Research In Motion (RIM) and Apple suffered some embarrassing PR thanks to errors in their network and software respectively. Millions of BlackBerry users were denied access to email, Internet and BlackBerry Messenger after a router failure at RIM’s network operations centre.

Correlating search and new auto purchases

Posted on Oct 17 2011 by

As the 2012 automotive models continue to roll out throughout 2011, consumers in the market for a new vehicle are increasingly searching online for automotive makes and models. Online users have increased their share of overall vehicle make and model searches by 37% for the 4 weeks sending October 8, 2011 as compared to the same time frame 2 years ago.

Experian Hitwise and Experian Automotive have been working closely together to bridge the gap between consumers’ automotive interests online and their offline behaviors. During the second quarter of 2011, Ford was the most searched automotive manufacturer brand, with nearly 13% market share of branded automotive searches as compared to 2nd ranked Dodge with 8.4%. Ford also received the greatest number of new car registrations during the same time period, indicating strong interest online along with actual purchases offline.

There was much greater movement in branded searches during the second quarter among other manufacturers, with Kia, Cadillac, BMW, Volkswagen, and Mazda all moving up in rank by 2 spots or more. Searches for Kia showed strong performance in Q2 and jumped two places from 8th to 6th in branded searches, the 12th position last year. Additionally, there was an increase of 18% in new vehicle registrations for Kia in Q2 from the previous quarter.

When comparing market share of branded searches online with new car registration data, the market share both online and offline closely align for most vehicle brands. For Mazda, BMW, Kia, Subaru, and Jeep, the gap between market share of branded searches and market share of new car registrations were minimal, indicating that searches precluded actual purchase. Kia searches accounted for about 4% of the branded manufacturer searches and just over 4% of the new cars registered in the second quarter. The share of new vehicle registrations for Chevrolet and Toyota were both higher than the share of online searches.

The vehicle makes that received the highest relative change in new car registration for the second quarter also increased their share of brand searches substantially, with the exception of a few niche brands such as Lamborghini and Mini. Fiat experienced the largest increase in new car registrations in conjunction with a 72% increase in branded searches in the second quarter versus the previous quarter after their launch of the Fiat 500 in the US.

Thanks to Cristina Bell, Senior Analyst on the Custom Data & Analytics team for today’s analysis.

December and October busiest months for social media

Posted on Oct 11 2011 by

Social media continues to be one of the fastest growing industries online. Between September 2010 and September 2011 visits to Social Networks and Forums have increased by nearly 11% and, if you saw my Internet clock blog last month, social media accounts for nearly a quarter of all time spent online. But when are people engaging with social media the most?

iPhone 5 rumors shaped search activity

Posted on Oct 07 2011 by

On October 4th 2011 Apple announced the addition of the iPhone 4S to its product line which will be available to customers on October 12th. This was likely to the dismay of web users who have been anxiously awaiting Apple to announce that it would be releasing the iPhone 5 instead of an upgrade to the current iPhone.

Kindle Fire searches twice as big as iPad

Posted on Oct 04 2011 by

It was only a couple of months ago that I was blogging about the online battle between the iPad and Kindle. Back in August, iPad dominated the UK search market, with twice as much search volume as the Kindle.