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Eight Good Holiday Season Statistics for Internet Retailers

Forrester has some great statistics related to the holiday season for online retailers:

1. 61% of online shoppers prefer an e-tailer that offers free shipping. However, 49% say shipping prices do not deter them from buying.
2. Only 26% say they would pay for expedited delivery. (It was 45% last year.)
3. 55% say they shop online to find products they can’t find offline.
4. Only 18% would pay extra for gift wrapping (down from 33%).
5. The top categories for online shopper this holiday season? In order: apparel, books, electronics, gift cards and toys
6. 68% of internet users shop online or research products online. 50% of those users window shop only (research information) and then buy offline. This is interesting—it seems to indicate that only about 1/3rd of internet users are really online shoppers.
7. The higher the income, the more likely a user is to shop or research products online.
8. Here are the biggest deterrents of online shopping in order: credit card security, privacy, shipping costs, quality, return policies, delays and product availability.

Nonprofits Outpace Businesses on Social Media

Charities are often more savvy than businesses when it comes to using social media – especially blogging. The Center for Marketing Research looked at the top 200 largest US charities as defined by Forbes Magazine. They found that seventy-five percent of the charities are using some form of social media.

Social media specifically refers to blogging, podcasting, using message boards, social networking, video blogging and wikis. 46% of the charities report that social media is a key part of the organizations fund raising efforts (though they do not measure success by numbers – they seem to use the tools more for branding purposes).

Social media is an effective way to increase awareness of their missions and helps them connect with their constituencies. The research did not trace how this affected donations because the organizations mainly used it to build community and foster their online presence.

Which Blog Platform Do You Use?

imageNew data from Nielsen Online shows WordPress.com leaping over SixApart’s TypePad to take second place in the hosted-blog market. Here’s the new top five:

  1. Blogger – 34,104,000 users – up 58% from last year
  2. WordPress – 11,440,000 users – up 444% from last year (wow!)
  3. Six Apart TypePad – 10,601,000 – up 20 % from last year
  4. TMZ.com – 7,107,000 – up 10%
  5. LiveJournal – 3,366,000 – up 27%

imageThe numbers are only for hosted software platforms, so don’t include WordPress.org, MovableType or Drupal.

imageBlogger has a huge lead but I wonder how many of those are active and not spam scraper sites? I remember the days when it seemed LiveJournal was the tool to use for blogging, but I instead went with Blogger. Now I’m a true WordPress convert.

Online Ad Revenues, Retail Up

Here’s one story that makes at least one major search engine happy: the IAB announced yesterday that online advertising revenues continue to climb, setting a new record in Q3: $5.2 billion. This number is up 25% over the same period last year.

Online ad revenues have risen all year: in Q1, they were at $4.9B and $5.1 in Q2. Each of these record-setting periods has contributed to increasing the total year-to-date by 26% over this time last year (YTD). This also means we’re on course for the first $20+ billion dollar year.

eMarketer reports that this development is chiseling away at offline media’s budget share: they project that 7.4% of advertising dollars this year will go to online media. They report that television, newspapers and radio have taken the hit the hardest: all those media have lost their share of advertising dollar spent (comparing Jan-Jun 2007 to Jan-Jun 2006).

Radiohead Denies comScore’s Data

Earlier this week, comScore released data that said that 62% of Radiohead downloaders don’t pay. While plenty came to the band’s defense, we had no official word on the price people were paying.

Mathew Ingram reports that Radiohead has contradicted comScore’s report in an official statement:

In response to purely speculative figures announced in the press regarding the number of downloads and the price paid for the album, the group’s representatives would like to remind people that… it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales.

However, they can confirm that the figures quoted by the company comScore Inc are wholly inaccurate and in no way reflect definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project.

Radiohead’s Experiment: People Taking Advantage

It’s been one month since we all started buzzing about Radiohead’s latest experiment: a downloadable set-your-own-price release of their latest album. I’m sure many people saw this as the band’s vote of confidence in the genuine goodness of humanity—although I’m sure they realized that not everyone would be willing to pay when they could get it for free.

And it looks like both sides are right. A few weeks in, it looked as though the average price being paid was £8 (about $16). However, immediately after that report came a second—in reality, the price paid was more like £2.50 (about $5)—less than Radiohead would have received from their record company per album had they gone the traditional route.

MySpace Dominates in the US

Datamonitor predicts that social networking sites will level off around the world in the year 2012. They also predict that the plateau will hit even sooner in the US. In the meantime, global active memberships in social networking sites are growing. They’re expected to reach 230 million at the end of 2007 (this includes multiple memberships by one person).The money is good and growing.

For example, my friend’s Facebook App that took two weeks to build recently sold for $25k. And marketers who are savvy are getting a lot of press for their social networking presence. There is a lot of money and creativity being exchanged. “Revenues from social-networking services should reach $965 million, growing to $2.4 billion by 2012, writes MarketingCharts.”