Why Australian Organisations Don’t Do It!

Australian Online Businesses

There is a definite disconnect between Australian consumer usage of the internet and the investment in digital from organisations. Despite the many articles promoting the potential of digital – it is only few – mainly the pure play online organisations that are benefiting from the digital phenomenon.

However despite the strong signals of consumers both spending increasing amounts of time and money online, organisations are not slow off the mark to invest in the digital channel. And the statistics prove it.

Australian Online Behaviour & Organisations Online Spend

Statistics from Mike Hall, Director of Holler advised that more than 13 million Australians are online and the digital life survey suggests that as a nation we now spend one-third of their leisure time online, which according to Nielsen is 16.1 hours online per week. But our time online is not just spent browsing, according to Mike in 2008 Australians spent approximately $24 billion dollars online.

The Nielsen advertising report, released in March 2009, demonstrated the significant gap that exists between online promotion and consumer consumption of media. Of the top 10 retail organisations advertising in Australia, only 1% of ad spend is invested online. This same trend currently exists within the beauty & cosmetics sector whilst in the entertainment and leisure sector the proportion is slightly higher at 3%.

But the time spent online by consumers is not matched by the online spend of organisations.

So whilst many businesses will claim that Australian consumers are not likely to buy online, the above demonstrates the lack of investment by organisations.

So why is there such a disconnect?
I believe there are several reasons why organisations are not jumping on the digital bandwagon, these are;

Poor Digital Leadership;
Traditional marketers are not equipped to lead the digital charge and champion the digital channel at a senior level. If senior stakeholders are not truly convinced of the opportunity the channel will not be taken seriously, and the appropriate investment will not be made – leaving digital unable to live up to its promises.

Customer ComplainingBad Experiences;
Mark Freidin from www.internetretailing.com.au understands the impact a bad online investment experience can have on an organisations attitude towards the channel. Mark has witnessed the early introduction of eCommerce by Australian organisations and feels bad experiences in the earlier part of the decade have left a bitter taste in retailers’ mouths. He says “A lot of national retailers jumped on board in the early stages because everyone else was doing it. Instead of trying to understand this new channel and how it would work (and what it would entail to run and manage) many businesses did not tie eCommerce to their master strategy and spent money on the technology without defining what they wanted to achieve and how they were going to market themselves online. 10 years later in Australia many CEO’S are older, and more wary about their online experiences so they steer clear of selling online.”

Lack of client side knowledge;
Whilst there are many digital consultants and agencies in Australia, there is a lack of digital knowledge on the client side at all levels that are continuing to drive the implementation of digital tactics. Organisations looking to invest in digital must not only invest in the tools, but invest significantly in retraining traditional marketers to ensure they are equipped to drive the value from the digital channel.

Lack of local training & case studies;
Australia has developed a strong community of independent bloggers on various digital topics. However Australia lacks the formal nationwide digital training that is required to re-skill traditional marketing professionals. Many traditional client side marketers wishing to up-skill are unsure of where to go both online and offline to gain the skills required to grow their digital knowledge base. As a result marketers are more inclined to use techniques where their expertise lies and those which they can comfortably implement to show return.

In addition, whilst there are many online case studies for brands successfully leveraging digital channels overseas, Australia lacks the local examples to prove that digital campaigns can be successful in the local market. This makes it difficult for marketers to push the digital agenda within their organisation.

Local big boys aren’t leading the way;
If the big retailers are unable to monetise the digital channel, it casts doubts over its potential. Small to medium organisations are not in the position to take risks and invest in a channel without knowing the outcome – thus these organisations are looking for the reassurance that there is money to be made. Thus as this is not currently occurring it casts doubt over its potential for the wider business landscape in Australia.

Lack of understanding of the online influence for offline sales;
Online and Offline IntegrationResearch by Outrider at the end of 2008 demonstrated that many Australian consumers are researching their purchases online before making the final transaction. Whilst the dependence on the internet during the research phase differs greatly depending on the category, 1 in 4 consumers are researching white goods online prior to purchase, nearly 1 in 2 are researching electronics, automotive and telecommunications, and nearly 80% of consumers research their travel arrangements online.

Thus many organisations are failing to see the direct correlation that exists between online efforts and offline transactions. Organisations need to understand that not being there during the initial research phase, may mean the brand is not in the consumers final decision set when it comes to making the purchase. Until organisations can quantify this, uptake and investment will be slower than it should be in the Australian market.

Do you have any thoughts or insight into why Australia is slower on its uptake of Digital? If so share your thoughts below.

Want to expand your digital knowledge base?
If you are interested in learning more about Digital Marketing in Australia, visit www.internetretailing.com.au. This new site has been created as a knowledge centre to assist Australian organisations to learn about how to market themselves online.

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Australian Digital Stats Compilation 2014 – 30 Fast Facts

Online Marketing Trends and Stats

It’s been a year since I compiled my latest digital stats summary and so I felt I was long overdue to provide another one.

A lot can happen in a year, it was only yesterday my son was born and next week we are celebrating his first birthday (now you know why it’s been a while between drinks).

In digital a year is like a decade and the statistics demonstrate just that. With consumer consumption across the majority of channels and devices continuing to show upward growth – the biggest thing marketers need to be thinking about is how to reach the connected consumer in a orchestrated fashion.

Whilst building channel strategies is important often these are done with little consideration to the customer journey. It’s time for marketers to build blended strategies and understand consumer behaviour across various channels on the path to purchase to minimise marketing investment / waste and maximise value derived from digital efforts. I often talk about spray and pray in the email space and as brand investment has continued to grow we are seeing a similar approach applied to other key channels like social, display and more. Advertising networks including social, news publishers and beyond are innovating heavily to aid marketers to become more targeted and reach consumers at various stages of the path to purchase rather than just at the awareness phase. To do so marketers need to start taking a risk in Australia, testing and learning in this space to improve returns from digital budgets.

Over the coming few years, brands who leverage these innovations and combine it with their own consumer data to drive sophisticated, relevant and timely digital strategies will rise above the pack.

Now onto the stats…

Mobile & Tablet Usage

1. The percentage of Australians owning 3 electronic devices – a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop – has climbed to 53 per cent, from 28 per cent last year – Deloitte Australia, July 2014

2. 56% of Australians own a tablet device up 12% over the past 12 months – Sensis eBusiness Report, September 2014

3. 77% of Australians now own a smartphone up 5% over the past 12 months – Sensis eBusiness Report, September 2014

4. 55% of mobile web users now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of going online, an increase from 40 percent in 2013 – InMobi Report

5. Of those Australians who have an internet enabled phone 53% access the internet more than 5 times a day – with one in 5 accessing it more than 15 times a day – Sensis eBusiness Report, September 2014

6. The average mobile user consumes 6.7 hours of media per day, with mobile (23.3%) almost surpassing television (23.8%) in terms of time spent – InMobi Report

7. Tablet ownership is highest amongst Millenials and generation Xers. Over the past 3 years, 67 year olds and over (the Matures) have shown the greatest increase in appetite for tablets and are the only age group to have higher ownership of tablets than smartphones – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

8. Tablets continue to be used primarily for content consumption rather than content production or creation. Tablet usage in Australia differs across age groups. Boomers and Matures tend to use their tablets for communications, reading the news and e-books, as well as for online banking and taking photos. Millennials and Xers are more likely to use their tablets to watch TV shows and listen to music – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

Preferred Sources of EntertainmentEntertainment

9. Australians spend an average of 3.3 hours online for personal use as compared to 2.2 hours watching TV – TSN

10. The Internet as a preferred source of entertainment continues to grow at the same rate as in previous years (10% YOY growth over the past 3 yrs), it will eclipse watching TV in the coming year heralding a significant digital tipping point in our media habits – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

11. Connected TV use in Australia lags compared to other markets at 42% vs China (83% of those surveyed), the US (58%) and Italy (51%) perhaps due to the limited content offered locally – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

Australian Online Video Viewers12. When it comes to online video, men lead the way in terms of consumption whilst the number of viewers across male and female are evenly split men watch 155 streams a month on average, vs. 138 for women—or 12.3% more. They also spent about three-quarters of an hour longer watching those streams – Nielsen Online Ratings & Hybrid Streaming

13. Overall in February 1.1 billion videos were streamed from YouTube with an average time spent among video viewers of 5 hours 43 minutes – Nielsen Online Ratings & Hybrid Streaming

14. e-books are on the rise with almost 32% of Australians purchasing e-books. 66% of those who purchase e-books are reading more digital books than printed books – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

15. Australian consumers are not willing to pay for news online with 92% of Australians saying that they would not pay, as they believe there is enough information available for free – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

16. Traditional news formats continue to decline, with 32% of Australian survey respondents now indicating that keeping up to date with breaking news is one of their top 3 reasons for using social media – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

Online Spending

17. For the year to July total online sales grew by 8.6% to reach $15.6 billion, online sales are now equivalent to about 6.6% of traditional retail spending, up from 6.3% for the same time last year – NAB, July 2014

18. 3 in 4 Australians are spending more than $2,500 each year buying goods and services over the internet – Sensis eBusiness Report, Sept 2014

19. Males are more inclined to make more purchases online, spending on average $3100 compared to $2100 for females – Sensis eBusiness Report, Sept 2014

20. Almost as many Australians reported purchasing on tablets (27%) as mobile phones (30%) over the past 12 months despite higher ownership of mobile phones – Sensis eBusiness Report, Sept 2014

21. On average, 26% of online purchases from Australians are made from businesses located overseas, which has fallen from 32% last year. Australians in the younger age demographics tended to report higher proportions of their online purchases coming from overseas – Sensis eBusiness Report, Sept 2014

Social Media FollowersSocial Media

22. Age is correlated with the number of connections Australians have online with those 14 – 19 boasting average 511 connections, whilst those 65+ having on average 88 connections – Yellow Social Media Report

23. 95% of Australian social media users are on Facebook – Yellow Social Media Report
24. 61% of social media users under 20 use Snapchat – Yellow Social Media Report
25. 19% of female social media users use Pinterest – Yellow Social Media Report

Social Media Devices26. 71% of Australians now use their smart-phone to access social media sites – whilst tablet usage isn’t far behind laptop computer usages at 39% and 55% respectively – Yellow Social Media Report

Advertising

27. Video advertising grew 76% to reach $196 million during the 2014 financial year – Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Online Advertising Expenditure Report.

28. Online advertising expenditure for the 12 months reached $4.387 billion, 22% higher than last year’s result. Search and directories was the largest part of the pie at 52%, followed by general display (29.2%) and classifieds (18.8%) – Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Online Advertising Expenditure Report.

29. Mobile advertising has grown strongly reaching $620m in the year to 30 June, making it now larger than the total magazine market – Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Online Advertising Expenditure Report.

30. 36% of Australian survey respondents expressed some concern about their social networking posts/tweets being used for advertising or promotion purposes, with 17% ‘extremely concerned’ about it – Deloitte Media Consumer Survey

Watch: Australian Digital Media and Digital Economy Statistics

References
TNS
Sensis eBusiness Report, Sept 2014
InMobi Mobile Report
Deloitte Media Consumer Survey
IAB Expenditure Report

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8 Interesting Insights from Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Report with an Australian Twist

Last week, the very influential Mary Meeker released her 2014 Internet Trend Report at the Code Conference in California.

If you don’t have time to wade through the 160+ page report – here is my summary of some of the most interesting insights for marketers with an Australian take on it (where possible).

SOCIAL 

1) From social broadcasting to selective messaging
Global Messaging Services

Tech acquisitions often shed a lot of light into where things like social media are heading, so when Facebook attempted to acquire SnapChat and went on to purchase WhatsApp it became pretty clear that people were beginning to favour private communications over public social networks. In the past 12 – 18 months, we have seen the popularity of messaging apps soar as consumers seek more control over who sees a message or photograph – demonstrating a shift from broadcast type social messaging to communicating to a select few. This consumer shift will change the way brands use social media with these direct messaging services providing brands with new tools to find and build relationships with individual customers.

With recent statistics demonstrating apps like Snapchat are growing in popularity down under – with approx 10% of the online population already using the Snapchat service, it’s one Australian marketers need to watch closely and consider relevance – particularly brands operating in the youth brand space.

Not Findable Content2. Content generation growing but becoming unfindable

As consumers shift some of their focus and attention to communicating via messaging apps – there is a growing amount of unfindable content being generated which limits marketers’ ability to capture brand perceptions and sentiment as well as glean data from social on individual consumers.

MOBILE & TABLET

3. Mobile growth unabated but mobile advertising still flat
Mobile internet usage continues to grow, with mobile data rising 81% year over year and now making up 25% of total web usage. Despite the significant growth, globally mobile advertising represents just 11% of internet advertising demonstrating lots of room for growth in the years ahead.

Device Usage by CountryIn Australia, mobile internet usage trumps usage on any other device making up 33% of all minutes spent accessing the internet. In line with global trends there is significant upside and growth opportunity in mobile advertising down under with mobile internet advertising currently attracting just over $1 in every $5 spent in display, and 17% of all search advertising spend according to the IABs recent statistics.

4. Single purpose apps all the rage

Part of the success of apps like Instagram, WhatsApp and others has been attributed to their single minded purpose. We are seeing tech giants globally begin to invest in single purpose apps i.e. Facebook Messenger to ensure important features that drive usage and interaction are not buried under a mound of functionality.

Mobile Phone Sensors Stats5. Rapid growth in sensors drives innovation & big data

The rising growth in mobile handsets shipped with sensors will pave the way for the next generation of mobile experiences – as the increasing number of sensors embedded into mobile devices provides an opportunity to create new / more engaging experiences. Equally the growth in sensors is also anticipated to create troves of additional data to mine, contributing to the big data mind-field.

6. Tablet continues to power ahead

The growth of table, seems to continue to roll on growing 52% in 2013, and uptake has grown faster than PCs ever did however penetration globally remains low. The low levels of penetration and high levels of growth indicate there is still significant upside for tablet growth in the years ahead. Locally however it is quite a different story. According to Telstye, sales of tablets in Australia reached 4.8 million in 2013, and it is now estimated that tablet penetration stands at 40%. Telsyte estimates that 29 per cent of units sold in 2013 were Low (<$200) or Medium ($200 – $450) cost, and anticipates these segments to grow to over 50 per cent of sales by 2018, given current trends – which demonstrates Apple share will soften in the coming years in Australia.

TV

TV Channels7. The evolution of TV a key space to watch

A solid portion of the report focussed on the evolution of TV – which demonstrates the significant amount of change occurring in the space.

Some of the key trends include;
• Traditional TV is being replaced with mobile apps as broadcasters seek to provide consumers with new ways to consume content on the go
• Millennial’s are leading the charge in online TV consumption shunning traditional TV viewing.
• The growth of new premium channels on YouTube can’t be ignored providing consumers with more choice – much of which is being consumed via mobile (approx 40%)

ECOMMERCE

Same-day Delivery Online Shopping8. Instant gratification drives same day delivery

As free shipping moves towards the norm globally, with approx 47% of online transactions coming from free shipping – the next big horizon is same day delivery to satisfy consumers need for instant gratification. As geographical constraints have led to slower adoption of free delivery by retailers in Australia (due to cost), it is anticipated that same day local delivery will fail to become the norm locally for quite a number of years yet as logistics prove too difficult for most retailers to master.

To view the full report click here

 

Watch: Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report 2014

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13 Valuable Australian Digital Resources For Marketers

Digital Resources

Australian publishers, agencies, industry bodies and bloggers are pumping out a raft of valuable resources which can support strategy / business case development or to simply get up to speed with the digital landscape. This article is a compilation of some of the best infographics, case studies, reports and more that I have come across on the Australian digital market. If you have come across any other valuable resources please share them via the comments field below.


Content Marketing Resources

Mobile Commerce Australia1. Report: Content Marketing in Australia: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends
Published: November 2013
Overview: Compiled by the content institute, ADMA and KingContent – this presentation takes a look at the state of content marketing in Australia vs the UK and US. The presentation covers statistics related to investment in content marketing by marketers, key challenges faced and more.

Download here

2. Blog Article: 17 excellent examples of content marketing in Australia
Published: January 2014
Overview: This article is a great compilation of brands both large and small in Australia leveraging content marketing to achieve key marketing objectives. Case studies covered include Intrepid Travel, MYOB, kikki.K, Telstra, Netregistry and more.
View here: http://www.expermedia.com.au/17-excellent-examples-of-content-marketing-in-australia/

Digital Media Resources
3. Diagram: MediaScape – Guide to Australian Digital Media & Advertising Trading Landscape
Published: December 2013
Overview: If you are new to the digital media space, this useful diagram provides a detailed overview of all the options that exist within the digital media trading market in Australia. It serves as a useful cheat sheet for discussions with your media buyer.
View here: http://www.mediascope.com.au/guide-digital-advertising-sales-agencies-networks-exchanges

Mobile Resources

4. Infographic: mCommerce & Mobile Shopping in Australia
Published: May 2013
Overview: This infographic combines data from an array of sources to provide insight into the mobile shopping landscape in Australia. The infographic details statistics on showrooming by Australians, popular mobile shopping categories and more.

View here: http://www.marketingmag.com.au/news/infographic-m-commerce-and-mobile-shopping-in-australia-40000/#.UvYpsPmSyOh

Social Customer Care5. Report: AIMIA 9th Mobile Lifestyle Index
Published: October 2013
Overview: You might need to get yourself comfortable before reading this report as it is 99 pages. The AIMIA Mobile Lifestyle Index is a yearly study now in its 9th year. The report contains a host of valuable statistics related to mobile usage in Australia – from smartphone market-share to key activities consumers engage in via their mobile device.
Download here: http://www.aimia.com.au/ampli

6. Report: Telstra’s How Mobility is Changing the Rhythm of Australian Retail
Published: 2013
Overview: This detailed report provides insight into the Australian mobile shopper – including analysis of the role mobile plays in influencing consumers at various stages of the path to purchase. This is a great resource for any marketer operating in the retail space.
Download here: http://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/download/document/business-enterprise-teg1398_mobility_retail_white_pages_v08_hr_singles.pdf

Social Media

7. Report & Infographic: State of Social Media in Australia
Published: May 2013
Overview: This report / infographic explores both Australian consumers consumption of social media along with how businesses are leveraging social media (with a focus on small businesses). From a consumer perspective the report provides a host of statistics on consumer social usage in Australia including the portion of consumers using social media when viewing TV, the portion of consumers accessing reviews via social channels and more. Whilst from a business perspective, the report looks at business uptake of social, budget allocation to the channel and other key statistics.

8. Report & Infographic: Social Customer Care
Published: November 2013
Overview: Social Pulse released a comprehensive report detailing how customers use social media to make enquiries. The report also details what customers expect from companies and how companies are responding to social media queries.

View the infographic here: http://www.marketingmag.com.au/tags/customer-service/#.Uvcq0_mSyOg
For a copy of the full report contact Social Pulse here http://socialpulse.co/social-customer-care-report

eCommerce / Multi-Channel


9. Report & Infographic: NAB Retail Sales Index

Published: Monthly & Quarterly
Overview: Over the past few years NAB has published monthly and quarterly retail sales indexes. The index provides insight into eCommerce growth in Australia, domestic vs international share of online purchases and more.

View the October quarterly infographic here; http://business.nab.com.au/online-retail-sales-index-indepth-special-report-october-2013-5126/
View all available reports / infographics here: www.nab.com.au/onlineretailsales


10. Report: Optus Future of Business Report

Published: 2013
Overview: The Optus Future of Business 2013 research report offers detailed insights into how the retail industry is adapting to succeed in an omni-channel environment. The research also reveals what consumers expect of service channels now and in the future.

Download here

11. Infographic: Online Gift Purchasing – Christmas 2013
Published: January 2014
Overview: Hot off the press this infographic summarises Australians online buying behaviour during December 2013 – detailing key reasons consumers shopped online at Christmas, types of gifts purchased online and a host of other valuable statistics.
View here: http://cdn.marketingmag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Infographicfinal2.jpg

Other

12. Infographic: Nielsen Australian Connected Consumers
Published: November 2013
Overview: This infographic compares Australians digital usage and consumption behaviour 10 years ago vs today. This infographic demonstrates the growth / change in device ownership overtime, uptake of social media, online advertising spend investment and more.

View here: http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/au/en/images/infographics/Nielsen-ACCR-Infographic-Final.jpg

13. Infographic: Australian Baby Boomers Online Media Usage
Published: April 2013
Overview: Mi9s Baby Boomer infographic puts the spotlight on the over 50s Australian consumer. The infographic details weekly consumption of the internet statistics, multi-screen ownership data and online purchasing behaviour.
View here: http://cdn.marketingmag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Mi9-Baby-Boomers-infographic-2.jpg

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2014 Digital Predictions From the Experts

Digital Trends and Marketing Predictions 2014

It’s that time of year again – tinsel, lights, too much food and digital predictions for the year ahead. With a host of digital experts touting what we can expect in the year ahead, I have curated what I believe to be the most interesting predictions for 2014.

1. Pay to play becomes crucial in social media

Augie Ray, former Forrester analyst suggests a focus on paid media will eclipse earned media in marketing strategies. As Facebook and Twitter continue to monetise their social platforms and brand noise continues to rise – it is going to be harder to succeed in the social space unless you pay to play. Thus in 2014 brands will leverage paid as an important part of their social strategy more than ever before.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/12/17/2014-digital-trends-and-predictions-from-marketing-thought-leaders/

Curated Content2. Content attracts media spend

According to Adam Vincenzini from Kamber, an Australian content agency, 2014 will be the year where content promotion takes a bigger chunk of media spend. As brands have been heavily investing in content production in recent years, brands are recognising that this great content is often not gaining the reach / visibility to gain maximum impact. Thus in 2014 we will see more and more publishers creating content solutions to enable brands to work their content assets harder.
http://www.slideshare.net/AdamVincenzini/social-media-trends-2014?from_search=14

3. The internet of things (IoT) will accelerate

According to Quartz, 2014 will be the year the internet of things takes off. Quartz suggests until recently, connecting a device to the internet was expensive and difficult. But in the past year or so, companies like Qualcomm, Intel and Texas Instruments have created inexpensive, power-efficient chips that enable pretty much anything to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, or to a mobile phone via a standard called Bluetooth Low Energy. As a result innovation by big corporates as well as start ups will accelerate in 2014.
But what does this mean for marketers?
One of the most notable outcomes of the IoT, is that these smart technologies gather a tremendous about of data and for marketers trying to already grapple with the tremendous amount of data already available the IoT adds another level of complexity. Although this challenge will probably not be one marketers need to tackle in the year ahead given the IoT is still emerging.
http://news.msn.com/science-technology/will-the-internet-of-things-be-a-thing-in-2014-1
http://qz.com/154064/2014-is-the-year-of-the-internet-of-things-no-seriously-we-mean-it-this-time/

4. Location-Based Mobile Commerce

According to ExactTarget, location based mobile commerce will begin to flourish driven by technology and application innovations like iBeacon.
Kyle Vanhemert in his inWired article described the potential of iBeacon;
“You step inside Walmart and your shopping list is transformed into a personalized map, showing you the deals that’ll appeal to you most. You pause in front of a concert poster on the street, pull out your phone, and you’re greeted with an option to buy tickets with a single tap. You go to your local watering hole, have a round of drinks, and just leave, having paid—and tipped!—with Uber-like ease. Welcome to the world of iBeacon.”
http://www.exacttarget.com/blog/5-marketing-technology-trends-to-watch-in-2014/#!

Online TV5. Social TV opportunities expand

Whilst second screen usage is not new, few brands have taken advantage of it – particularly when it comes to tapping into the social TV trend. Millward Brown believes 2014 will bring a host of new social TV opportunities. According to Millward Brown “the social TV opportunity will be expanded as Twitter introduces additional audience-based targeting opportunities. Millard Brown writes “based on their data connecting TV to social media usage on the second screen, Twitter will be able to define like-minded communities organized around TV viewing habits. Eventually this will lead to more sophisticated psychographic targeting when those audiences are further segmented based on other interests and habits. For brands that are title sponsors of a show or an event, this means they will be able to continue targeting their show-specific audience long after the event itself, and not necessarily just when those people are tweeting or reading about show-specific content.”
http://www.millwardbrown.com/ChangingChannels/2013/Predictions/index.html

6. Privacy concerns give rise to disappearing data

In an era of Big Data, marketers equally need to grapple with disappearing data. In 2014, David Berkowitz, Chief Marketing Officer of MRY believes marketers are going to have to come to terms with disappearing data in the social space with new social applications like Snapchat gaining momentum. Such a trend will make it more difficult for marketers to track and target consumers. Equally as companies seek to capture more data than ever before consumers will increasingly prioritise privacy, which puts pressure of law makers to legislate against the capture and storage of various pieces of information. Search marketers already have to come to terms with disappearing search query data from Google – expect much more of this in the year ahead.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/12/17/2014-digital-trends-and-predictions-from-marketing-thought-leaders/

Watch: Game-Changing Digital Predictions for 2014

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End of Financial Year Performance – Digital Style

There has definitely been staggering growth in the Australian digital space during the 1st 6 months of the year. With a new financial year upon us I have no doubt that companies in Australia will continue to shift funding from offline to online. Thus I felt it timely to release a compilation of general digital statistics from the first half of 2010 to assist marketers and agencies alike to build their business case for online marketing initiatives. Enjoy!

eCommerce & General Internet Usage

1. Online Internet Usage in Oz – According to Nielsen, Australians spend an average of 17.6 hours a week online, making up 33 per cent of their total media time.
2. Online retail spend in Australia – eBay-owned payment company PayPal predicts online retail spending to reach $33.8 billion in Australia by 2012 – a significant increase on the $24 billion generated during 2009.
3. Loss of online sales to international providers – 40% of Australians online spend is going to overseas stores. Compare this to the US who are losing 10% to overseas counterparts and this crystalises the impact of delayed online investment by Australian retailers.
4. Average consumer online spend Australia – According to Frerk-Malte Feller, Managing Director, PayPal – in the last six months alone the average consumer spent $1,223 online, an increase of $130 from the second half of 2009.”
5. Retailer online investment in 2010 – According to a Forrester report released in July “online retailing in Australia 2010: Marketing, merchandising and customer service”, 69% of retailers are planning to invest in improved site content and 66 per cent will spend more time on online marketing to drive sales & growth.
6. Online purchasing frequency – According to the ACRS’ latest report: “Value and Optimisation in Multi-Channel Retailing”, approx 36% of Australians are making purchases online at least once a month and 6% are buying online once every week.
7. Online / Offline Channel Effect – According to the ACRS by 2012, nearly half of all retail transactions are expected to be executed by consumers crossing channels – making multi-channel retailing essential.

Social Media

8. Social Network & Forum Usage – According to Hitwise Australia social networking and forum usage increased 36.1% in the past year and overtook search engines as the most visited industry by Australian Internet users in March 2010.
9. The power of online WOM – According to a survey conducted by RightNow 16% of Australian consumers said they had stopped doing business with a company because of a social media discussion they had seen about how the company treats customers. Another 16% stated they had also seen a positive consumer discussion about a company and had gone on to make a purchase.
10. Influence of Online Reviews – A study by RightNow found more than half of respondents (58 per cent) deemed customer reviews and feedback online to be the most important source to influence decision making, of least importance was advertising in any shape or form.
11. Online Community Usage – Australians look to communities of interest such as parenting or sports sites as a key channel for social media discussion – 62 percent of Australian Internet users visited a message board or forum in 2009.
12. Online Video Usage – Australians have a huge interest in online videos and this continues to grow. In January 2010 alone, Australians consumed 33 million videos online daily.
13. LinkedIn Members – LinkedIn has seen one of the fastest growth trends amongst social media sites in Australia, with unique audience numbers increasing by 99 percent from July 2009 to May 2010.
14. Twitter Users – According to Tribalytic Twitter subscribers in Australia are estimated to stand at 2.5 million.
15. FourSquare Members – According to socialmedianews.com.au Sydney FourSquare users have reached the 60,000 mark.

Mobile Statistics

Mobile Internet Usage16. Australian Mobile Internet Usage – Australians’ ownership of internet enabled phones now sits at 43 per cent, with 29 per cent regularly using it to search, email, find maps and share their lives on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
17. Mobile Internet Behaviour – Internet searches are the most popular online activity on the phones. Some 73 per cent of mobile internet users users conduct online searches by mobile now, compared with 30 per cent a year ago.
18. Mobile Device Share – Nokia has 35% share of handsets in Australia vs Apple’s at 28%. Apples share is expected to reach 61 per cent this year, according to MediaSmart.

Search

19. Search Engine Market Share – According to Hitwise for the week ending the 10th of July 2010, Google’s market share in Australia equated to 92.52%, Bing was 3.44% and Yahoo was 2.39%.
20. Political Term Search Growth – Given the upcoming election this last one is a timely. Political related search terms are on the rise – Yahoo recorded a 6829.44% rise on the search term ‘Julia Gillard,’ a huge 8164.49% increase on the term ‘Julia Gillard biography’ and a 2600% increase on ‘Julia Gillard pics,’ from Wednesday 23 June until Friday 25 June. Additional search terms on the rise at Yahoo! included, ‘Australian Labor Party’ (2597.72%), ‘Tony Abbott’ (3107.65%), ‘Kevin Rudd’ (3106.67%), ‘Kevin Rudd biography’ (2042.72%) and ‘Julia Gillard MP’ (1334.60%).

Watch: The growth of eCommerce and eBusiness in Australia in 2010?

References

http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=C9356544-1A64-67EA-E489E8D76F64ADA4
http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/aussie-advertisers-yet-to-take-bite-of-apple-20100708-102ej.html
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/australians-take-to-mobile-internet-20100429-tszn.html
http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/foursquare-has-60000-users-in-sydney-business-urvey/

Consumer-Electronics


http://www.insideretailing.com.au/Latest/tabid/53/ID/8517/Australia-reaches-customer-experience-impasse.aspx
http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/articles/articles-news/online-retail-grow-40-percent-by-2012-1785.html
http://blog.tribalytic.com/2010/05/13/how-many-australian-twitter-users-are-there-and-where-are-they-from/
http://www.hitwise.com/au/datacentre/main/dashboard-1706.html
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/351204/search_engines_running_hot_gillard_krudd/
http://www.buzznumbershq.com/2010/australian-social-networks-and-forums-usage-increased-36-1-in-the-past-year/
http://www.marketingmag.com.au/news/view/consumers-go-multi-channel-for-retail-2238

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SEO Roundtable / Conversation Cafe in Melbourne

SEO Marketing

If you currently working in an SEO role or in the digital space and are interested in joining a discussion about the state of the search market in Australia then this event could be for you. As one of the facilitators at the SEO roundtable in Melbourne being held by Internet Retailing, it would be great to see a range of client side and agency SEO / marketing professionals at the event!

Running for a 2 hour period (from 6 – 8pm), this event aims to bring people together to discuss the latest techniques being used to improve organic search results. If you are interested in coming along please visit the URL below.

Hope to see you there.

http://www.internetretailing.com.au/learn-about-seo.html

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Coles vs Woolworths – Round 1 On The Digital Court

The 2 biggest supermarket chains in Australia have been battling it out for years. Over the past few years we have definitely seen Woolworths / Safeway go from strength to strength but digital may change this. Over the past year or so the supermarket chains have shown interest and investment in the channel, but just who is winning the digital war. This article puts the 2 head to head on the digital court to see who is winning the online grocery war.

Search Marketing

Whilst Woolworths seem to rank for some important terms in number 1 position, Coles seems to rank for a larger range of broad volume terms. In addition it seems that Coles is actively combining its organic search strategy with paid search activity to provide them with greater share of voice in the SERPs.

Coles 15 / Woolworths love

Onsite Experience

Coles Digital MarketingMy user experience on Woolworths was unpleasant from the get go. I tried to locate my suburb, by typing in my postcode but the suburb drop down remained empty. When I was finally able to find my suburb I landed on the online shopping home page. Amongst other elements, the page had a banner stating “Our Great Weekly Specials”, so I tried to click on it to check them out however the page didn’t go anywhere. Locating items was also not an easy task, with sub menu’s a little invisible initially. Overall a disappointing site, one that does not match Woolworth’s in-store experience.

The Coles online store proved far more enjoyable. The express shop is a great tool allowing consumers to type in what they are looking for and then the system returns relevant matches. This combined with the product navigation menu’s provide consumers with different ways to shop. The site’s navigation make it easy to locate products in various categories however my only gripe is that the specials sit at the bottom of the search results rather than at the top of the page. Grocery chains spend a lot of money trying to promote specials – why would they not want to promote them online to increase impulse purchases?

Coles 30 / Woolworths love

Mobile Marketing

Coles Online have delivered a great iPhone application to provide shoppers with the ability to create shopping lists to reference in-store, search for recipes on the move, and identify local in-store specials. What I like about the application is that Coles has not just replicated its site, but rather considered what shoppers need on the move. Coles still seem to be however serving up their regular site to my blackberry so there is still some work to do on this front (as their site didn’t work well on my handset) but at least the mobile strategy elements that they have delivered are to be commended.

Woolworths don’t have an app that I could find but I was able to access their mobile site. At first glance I was pleased to see a mobile site – until I clicked on local specials at which point it served up specials in NSW, as my location was set to the Town Hall in Sydney. After resetting my location the site served up more relevant information. Overall I still think Coles have a very slight advantage in this area (you could almost say the ball was on the line and the call could have gone either way.)

Coles 40 / Woolworths love

Social Media

Woolsworth Digital MarketingIf all of the above wasn’t enough, it also seems ColesOnline is providing customer service help and responding to general feedback via Twitter (positive and negative) and promoting their latest competitions. At present they have over 1000 followers and the discussion seems to be thriving so they are obviously seem making an impact.

Game Coles

With a fresh new brand and pleasant in-store experience, Woolworths have some work to catch up online. Although recent statistics suggest online sales for Woolworths have grown 40%+ I think their onsite experience is probably hindering higher volumes of sales. I anticipate that Woolworths is probably working on its site and digital strategy so it will be interesting to see if there are any interesting developments in this space.

One thing however is for sure the match is not over – there is still a lot of game time. As a Woolworths shopper I do hope to see them move quickly in the space to compete on a level playing field with Coles.

Got any thoughts on Coles vs Woolworths online? Share them below.

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The Who, When & What of Xmas Retailing in Australia

Online Christmas Sale

With just over 6 weeks until the fat man makes his way down the chimney most retailers are in the thick of the promotional season. But are you maximising the online retailing opportunity? This article looks at the when, who and what of online Xmas retailing in Australia to help you ramp up your promotional efforts.

Who?

Online Shoppers During Christmas SeasonNielsen research group says that 38% of Christmas purchases last year were made online, with each internet-connected Australian spending an average of $224 via the web. However who is spending the dosh? A Christmas gifts survey conducted by http://www.itsinthestarsonline.com found 45% of Australian men have never shopped for gifts online, compared to 23.9% of women. From the limited statistics on offer in Australia we are able to draw conclusions that online shopping is a prominent channel for purchasing Christmas gifts and probably is more so for women.

What is however more important to consider is the role that online plays in the entire Christmas shopping process. Whilst 1 in 3 are buying online, many more would be researching their gifts prior to completing the purchase in-store thus it is important to have a presence online over this key season.

When?

Hitwise Electronics Search Trends
Hitwise Electronics Search Trends

Statistics from 2008 show that whilst retailers see the last 6 weeks as the Christmas frenzy, online retailing for Christmas starts to pick up at the start of November – this reinforces the point above that many shoppers hit the net to do their research prior to heading out.

Other popular electronics categories include; Mobile, Computers (notebooks and MP3 players) and Cameras. Headphones, Navigation and Set Top Boxes.

But electronics is not the only lucrative channel. According to Mastercard toys are another popular online category in Australia and if we look at Google Insights we can see search volumes for toys have increased significantly over the past 90 days as we move into the peak retailing period.

 

Google Search Insights, Toys

Further to this, Australia’s National Retailer Association has revealed that 1 in 5 Australian consumers will buy gift vouchers for Christmas – up by 7%. Google’s Insight search shows that one of the hottest places for consumers to look for this is online – with the growth in search obvious from the below graph.

Gift Voucher Google Search

Other important information: Statistics show that this year Australians plan to spend less at Christmas. A survey from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute revealed 35% of consumers are not willing to spend as much money this Christmas period compared to last year. With consumers being very cost conscious retailers need to consider to tailor their product offerings and messaging to suit those looking to save some money this Xmas.

Here’s Getprice CEO Chris Hitchens talking about 2009’s Christmas and summer trends in online shopping…

Got any insight or advice for online retailers? If so share it below.

 

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It’s Time To Get Serious About Online Retailing in Australia

Online Retailing in Australia

With Australians spending more time online than ever, the cost of broadband falling and speed improving something big is going to happen. The digital industry and in particular online retailing is about to explode in Australia, but not before some of the big retailers get serious about the opportunity.

This article reviews 3 sub-sectors of online retailing – groceries, consumer electronics and fashion – to identify the true opportunity for these segments in Australia.

Groceries

Current State of Play;
According to Aus Food News approximately 5 per cent of Australians will purchase groceries and food online, making it the second least likely category – only ahead of furniture and homewares. Compare these figures to the UK, which is at 19%, and it is easy to see how far this segment is behind other global markets. What’s more in the UK, grocery shopping is now the largest online shopping sector – representing 31% of total online sales.

The opportunity
Whilst the portion of Australians purchasing groceries online is small, the opportunity is a lucrative one. However spending time on both Woolworths and Coles sites demonstrates some of the issues with the current online offerings. In particular delivery times of up to 4 hours, site loading times and the general user experience is hindering the growth of this market. And for the grocery market, usability will be a critical success factor. Those between the ages of 44 and 54 are the most likely group to purchase groceries online, with about 10 per cent willing to do so. However as this age group have not grown up with technology an interface that is simple to navigate is key.

Additional barriers which need to be considered are those pertaining to concerns over quality and freshness which is a deterrent for online grocery shopping. This is of particular importance for Woolworths whom prides itself on quality of produce.

Consumer Electronics

Consumer ElectronicsCurrent State of Play;
If there is one sector which should have smiles ear to ear about its online potential it is the consumer electronics sector. A survey by Deloitte found that 23% of Australian would buy consumer electronics online. In addition year on year growth in search volumes (refer below) for related categories demonstrate that consumers are spending an increasing amount of time searching for consumer electronics online.

Search Volumes
• Laptop-related queries were 54% higher in March 09, compared with March 08.
• Consumer Electronics-related queries were 54% higher in March 09, compared with March 08.
(Stats from Google, Mar 09)

The opportunity
Despite the statistics at least one big brand is yet to be convinced about the potential of the online channel. In a recent interview, JB Hi-Fi’s CEO stated that the online store only contributes 1% of total sales and this will not change anytime soon. Thus although there are many positive signs does this sector have potential if one of the largest players is not able to monetize the online channel?

The JB Hi-Fi example is one online store of many that will in the coming years not live up to expectations. This is not because the online channel is not a lucrative proposition but the online experience lacks strong execution to provide the user with a unique online value proposition and user experience.

In the current economic downturn, consumers more than ever are looking online to secure the best price for electronics thus now more than ever the consumer electronics sector should be experiencing growth online. However to be successful brands need to provide valuable content to allow consumers to compare and contrast prior to making the decisions and review their experience post purchase. Without this, these high involvement decisions will continue to drive consumers in-store or to competitor sites so they can obtain the information they desire to make decisions.

In addition, there is a growing global trend which sees many consumers put the item on-hold online and pick it up in store. This trend is one which could significantly benefit both consumers and the brand in the electronics sector. This strategy provides consumers with the reassurance they need instore before making the final transaction and enables brands to understand the true value driven through their online store.

Fashion

Current State of Play
In the UK, online clothing and fashion represents 21% of all online purchases and in the past year online sales have grown 17% despite the overall sectors decline. Closer to home though, statistics about size of market or consumers intent to buy online are more difficult to come by. If however Google search volumes combined with overseas success provide any indication about the market potential, the clothing and apparel segment is set for solid growth.

Online ShoppingAustralian Search Volumes
• Shopping-related queries were 22% higher in March 09, compared with March 08
• Apparel-related queries were 34% higher in March 09, compared with March 08
• Queries for Clothing labels and designers were 29% higher in March 09, compared with March 08
(Stats from Google, Mar 09)

The opportunity
For clothing labels to be successful online there are some hurdles that must be overcome and if done effectively, the organisations that do so could reap the rewards.
The big difficulty for online clothing retailers is the inability for consumers to touch or try on the product. To combat this one of the critical success factors is return policies to enable consumers to minimise the risk. However that said, some items should be easier to retail online than others. Items such as night ware or repeat purchase lingerie should benefit from the opportunity if the online experience is a good one. That said even in this category, some of the major retailers a missing a trick.

Above all else, my personal belief is that the potential of the Australian online retailing industry lies in the hands of the retailers themselves. Without a range of online stores from the larger/trusted brands across the online retailing segment, Australians are not empowered to shop online. So before organisations judge the true potential it is important that the appropriate investment is made in both the website and online promotion and that the critical success factors are clearly defined. Get this right and for most brands – online retailing will add another profitable channel to the existing bricks and mortar establishment.

Do you have an opinion on the opportunity of online retailing in Australia, if so please add your comment below.

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