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Some of the UK's top online retailers have made improvements to the accessibility of their websites over the last 12 months, with Boots and John Lewis the top performers in a Webcredible study.
The average accessibility score increased from 57% to 62%, but some online retailers' scores have slipped since last year, and there is still plenty of room for improvement.
It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to ad spend forecasts. The Kelsey Group is bullish on local mobile advertising over the next five years.
OK, so we've all heard this year will be "the year of mobile" for seemingly as long as "next year in Jerusalem" has been intoned at Passover seders. Nevertheless, Going Mobile: The Mobile Local Media Opportunity makes some interesting predictions.
US mobile ad revenues are predicted to grow from $160 million last year to $3.1 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 81.2 percent.
Kelsey splits ad spend into three distinct categories: display, search and SMS messaging. Last year, $21 million was spent on display; $39 million on search, and $100 million on SMS.
By 2013, search will reign supreme, according to the report, accounting for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.
Other interesting findings include these tidbits:
Down, down, down. Some major analysts have recently revised their projections of ad spending for 2009, and it comes as no surprise that the original projections of double-digit growth have shriveled into the low single digits for the sector.
UBS Equities recently downgraded its ad spending forecast to 1.4 percent growth, compared to the company's previous estimate of a 10.4 percent rise in spending.
Veronis Suhler, meanwhile, broke digital media spending out of its overall forecast. While overall US advertising is now projected to decline -0.4 percent, versus a previous forecasts of 4.9 percent growth, online will fare better.
— Internet and mobile spending are projected to grow 9.1 percent, down from previous forecasts of 15.5 percent.
— Mobile content and video games will grow 34.2 percent and 19.5 percent respectively.
— Traditional media: newspapers, TV, magazines, and radio ad spend is forecast to plummet -16.2 percent, -9 percent, -8.5 percent, and -7.2 percent respectively.
Mobile users are quick to discard iPhone apps, with just 30% of buyers using them the day after buying and downloading them from Apple's App Store, according to a new survey.
The drop-off rate is even higher for free apps, with just around 20% using them the day after download, and less then 5% 30 days later, with games apps the most durable category.
Online retailers performed best for customer satisfaction in a survey of five retail categories in the UK, including supermarkets, department stores and electrical retailers.
The UK National Customer Satisfaction Index scored retailers for Q4 2008, giving e-commerce a score of 82, much higher than the average of 74.8.
In chart after chart, the numbers kept falling off a cliff. In delivering ComScore's "State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy through January 2009" report today, Chairman Gian Fulgoni didn't mince words. His references kept returning to the fact that the numbers have never looked this bad.
But ecommerce could be worse. A lot worse. It could look like traditional retail.
ComScore's panel (rather than survey) data indicate a drop in year-over-year online shopping in the critical fourth quarter of 2008, "The first time we have seen a decline in the eight years that we have been tracking quarterly," noted Fulgoni grimly. Any bumps in spending he attributes to an increase in gift card redemption - rather than actual buying - over the holiday season.
Spending drops were greatest more or less where you'd expect. Luxury goods were hit hard, as was entertainment spending. But there was also a steep 30 percent decline in spending in sectors such as office supplies as businesses cut back their budgets.
Social media A-lister Digg.com is a wondrous diversion for those times when you have 15 minutes to kill. It’s better still for media owners that happen to be on the receiving end of Digg love.
Digg can deliver a serious traffic spike, should one of your stories make it to the homepage. I’ve watched in awe as Digg directed more than 1,500 visitors in a minute to an entertainment blog that I run. It’s like turning on a tap.
One of the questions I’m frequently asked is ‘how many Diggs do I need to get my story onto the front page?'. The answer, it turns out, is about 100, but there’s way more to it than that.
Let’s look at the fundamentals for success, and then some facts and figures relating to Digg.
Social and viral media expert Dan Zarella has posted the results of a fascinating study: the numbers and semantics behind getting Twitter followers to ReTweet tweets, thereby amplifying and expanding upon messaging by using Twitter's built-in viral aspects.
Few marketers will be surprised by the fact that a simple call-to-action matters. A lot. Simply adding the phrase "please retweet" just plain works much of the time.
Zarella's semantic analysis of what gets ReTweeted reveals the following:
- Timely content is often ReTweeted
- Freebies are popular
- Tweeting about Twitter is effective
- So are lists
- People like to ReTweet blog posts (he doesn't specify if this refers the original tweeter's own blog, but irregardless - Twitter users are also highly active in the blogosphere.)
Oh, and don't forget to mind your manners. Requesting a Retweent politely and remembering to say "please" ups the ReTweeting odds by nearly a 6X factor.
With the global economy still in a tailspin and waves of layoffs still hitting major industries, it's no surprise that websites catering to professionals and job-seekers are increasingly popular.
After all, business and jobs become far more important when business is harder to build and jobs are harder to come by.
It seems that The Telegraph has been using Digg successfully to drive more traffic to its website, and provides a useful example for other newspaper and blogs to follow.
By encouraging readers to Digg the stories they are reading on the newspaper site, The Telegraph has managed to increase the amount of traffic it receives from the social news site, and is now largest recipient of Digg traffic in the UK.
Thanks to growing adoption of the iPhone and other smart mobile devices, an increasing number of Americans are logging onto WiFi networks to access the internet on the go.
Growth is heaviest in the heavily metropolitan West and Northeast sections of the country, together with Texas. California led the way with 18 percent of usage, followed by New York with 14 percent and Texas with 8 percent.
The findings come from mobile ad network AdMob's Mobile Metrics Report.
Worldwide mobile ad requests increased 8 percent month over month in January to 6.8 billion, led by double digit growth in Western Europe and Asia, but ad requests remained flat to negative growth in most of North America.
According to CyberSource Ltd., the UK subsidiary of electronic payment provider CyberSource Corporation, online fraud is a growing challenge for online businesses in the UK.
Although the total rate of fraud increased by 'only' 2.6%, one in 8 online merchants in the UK are now losing 5% or more of their online revenue to fraud and 37% lose at least 1%. All told, more than 40% of the merchants surveyed as part of CyberSource's 5th Annual Fraud Report saw fraud levels increase online last year.