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Retail ecommerce sales grew 13 percent in Q1

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Digital shopping cartEcommerce sales keep rolling up record numbers.

Q1 2013 U.S. retail e-commerce sales. Q1 2013 sales grew 13 percent year-over-year to $50.2 billion, marking the fourteenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to digital measurement service comScore.

It was also just the second quarter on record to surpass $50 billion in spending.

Retail E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates

Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations (excl. Mobile)

Source: comScore, Inc.

Quarter E-Commerce Spending ($ Millions) Y/Y Percent Change
Q1 2007 $27,970 17%
Q2 2007 $27,176 23%
Q3 2007 $28,441 23%
Q4 2007 $39,132 19%
Q1 2008 $31,178 11%
Q2 2008 $30,581 13%
Q3 2008 $30,274 6%
Q4 2008 $38,071 -3%
Q1 2009 $31,031 0%
Q2 2009 $30,169 -1%
Q3 2009 $29,552 -2%
Q4 2009 $39,045 3%
Q1 2010 $33,984 10%
Q2 2010 $32,942 9%
Q3 2010 $32,133 9%
Q4 2010 $43,432 11%
Q1 2011 $38,002 12%
Q2 2011 $37,501 14%
Q3 2011 $36,308 13%
Q4 2011 $49,698 14%
Q1 2012 $44,282 17%
Q2 2012 $43,153 15%
Q3 2012 $41,936 15%
Q4 2012 $56,781 14%
Q1 2013 $50,180 13%

“The first quarter of 2013 was fairly strong for online retailers, with total e-commerce sales surpassing $50 billion for only the second time on record,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni . “While the year-over-year growth rate of 13 percent remained healthy, it was a point or two below that of the preceding quarters.

One potential explanation for this mild deceleration is the payroll tax increase, which went into effect in 2013 and which removed some disposal income from Americans’ wallets. That said, as long as job growth continues and consumer sentiment remains positive, the outlook for e-commerce in 2013 remains bright.

However, one wild card is the possible enactment of legislation requiring state sales taxes to be collected on every e-commerce transaction — which would reduce the Internet’s traditional price advantage and possibly dilute the channel’s growth rate.”

Personally, we’re not so sure that not paying sales taxes is why people shop online. We shop online for just about everything except groceries and fast food and we do it for convenience. Also, Internet discounts are often better than in-store even without sales tax breaks.

The real deal-maker for many Internet sales is free-shipping, according to many studies we’ve seen here at the TechJournal.

comScoreOther highlights from Q1 2013 include:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Apparel & Accessories, Sport & Fitness, Consumer Electronics, and Consumer Packaged Goods. Each category grew at least 20 percent vs. year ago.
  • E-commerce accounted for 10.6 percent of discretionary dollars spent, the highest share on record.
  • comScore’s new m-commerce spending estimates revealed that Apparel & Accessories was the highest grossing mobile (i.e. smartphone & tablet) product category with nearly $1 billion in Q1 sales.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of time spent in the Retail category occurred on mobile devices, with smartphones (34 percent) outpacing tablets (14 percent).

Local mobile search growing at rapid pace

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

mobile devicesLocal search via non-PC devices continues its significant pace of growth, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, according to a report by the Local Search Association and prepared by comScore, Inc.

The continuing shift of mobile usage signals an opportunity for local businesses to evaluate where they devote their online ad spending.

Specifically, the report shows:

  • Traffic to online directories and other local resources from non-PC devices more than quadrupled in 2012, reaching 27 percent share of total web traffic in December 2012 from 6 percent share in December 2011. The percentage growth of page hits on online directories and other local resources from non-PC devices grew at more than double the 8 percent growth rate in total web traffic on non-PC devices in 2012.
  • 48 percent of U.S. mobile users used their devices to access local content in December 2012, up from 42 percent in December 2011.
  • When compared to all smartphone users, Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) app users are more attractive to advertisers based on their age, income, average monthly spending and typical exposure to ads.

The Local Mobile Search report looks at the evolving mobile environment in the U.S. and the growing role of smartphones, tablets and other connected devices in the local search experience, highlighting trends in online directory and IYP usage and demographics. The report is based on December 2012 data from several comScore digital and mobile metrics databases.

Internet Yellow Pages Accessed by Highly Desirable Mobile Users
The comScore data found that IYP app users represent a desirable demographic for local businesses looking to attract new customers:

  • More than half of all IYP app users (53 percent) are age 25-44.
  • IYP app users are 51 percent more likely to have an income greater than $100,000 versus all smartphone users.
  • IYP app users are more prolific shoppers than average smartphone users. 41 percent of IYP users make at least one on-phone purchase per month, versus 19 percent of all smartphone users.
  • IYP app users spend considerably more in on-phone purchases than all smartphone users, with 10 percent of IYP app users spending a monthly average of more than $500 on on-phone purchases, versus 4 percent of all smartphone users.

Tool for businesses

Approximately 8 percent of smartphone users accessed IYP apps in the fourth quarter of 2012, while a larger portion – 12 percent of users – leveraged IYP mobile sites via their browser.

“IYP mobile apps are a powerful tool for local businesses to reach ready-to-buy consumers,” said Neg Norton , president of the Local Search Association. “As the market continues to evolve, IYP mobile apps represent an easy first-step for local businesses to expand their integrated advertising efforts into the mobile space.”

Local Searchers Prefer Apps to Browser
As a growing number of consumers use mobile to access local content such as business directories, classified ads, maps, and movie information, they are showing a preference for applications over browsers.

mobilephonesApproximately 77 million smartphone owners relied on applications to visit local content in December 2012, up 22 percent since December 2011. About 69 million users relied on browsers in December 2012, up 12 percent since December 2011.

“Growth in local mobile engagement, particularly via online directories and other local resources, presents a clear opportunity for local search companies to promote their innovative tools to connect businesses and consumers,” said Norton.

“While consumers are showing a preference for apps over browsers, offerings on both platforms deserve attention and investment.”

Online Traffic Patterns Rapidly Changing
The report shows that rapid growth of connected devices is drastically changing how consumers access the Internet. In 2012, growth in the number of PC users accessing the Internet flat-lined for the first time. By contrast, the share of web traffic from non-PC devices including smartphones and tablets more than doubled to 15 percent in December 2012 versus 7 percent in December 2011.

More than one in three (37.3 percent) of all U.S. smartphone users also owned other connected devices at the end of 2012, including tablets (28.8 percent), eReaders (10.0 percent) and other handhelds like portable gaming devices (4.1 percent), providing consumers with additional ways to access the Internet.

“The media landscape continues to diversify as more consumers begin using smartphones, tablets and other connected devices in their daily lives,” said Norton. “Local businesses should pursue mobile advertising strategies and introduce smartphone and tablet-friendly websites to reach consumers increasingly accessing the web from non-PC devices.”

Car, tax, flower, gifts and greeting sites top gainers in February

Friday, March 29th, 2013

comScoreAs Valentine’s Day approached in February, millions flocked to Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites to search for special gifts for their loved ones. Americans were drawn to Automotive Manufacturer sites during the month as Super Bowl commercials and national auto shows piqued consumer interest in the category, according to the comScore Media Metrix service.

“Valentine’s Day had consumers searching for gift ideas at Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites, making it one of the top-gaining categories for the month,” said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore.

“Cars were also at the forefront of Americans’ minds in February, between high-profile Super Bowl ads, auto shows around the country, and an improving economy that has many consumers back in the market for their next car purchase.”

Americans Log on to File as Tax Day Nears
As Tax Day inched closer in February, many Americans looked to the web for help in filing their annual returns. The category grew 45 percent to 36 million visitors to rank as the fastest-growing category during the month.

Movers & Shakers
With taxes on the minds of millions, ranked as the fastest-growing property for the second consecutive month, up 78 percent to 22.6 million visitors in February.

Gearing up for the beginning of Spring training, 8.4 million baseball fans visited to get the latest news and information on their favorite teams. General Motors, despite having skipped a Super Bowl ad buy in 2013, generated a traffic boost of 19 percent to 7.2 million visitors on the heels of auto shows around the country.

Top 50 Properties
Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in February with 189 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 186 million, Microsoft Sites with 164 million and Facebook with 144 million. Sites that jumped significantly in the rankings included Adobe Sites (up 7 positions to #25), Tribune Interactive (up 5 positions to #30) and The Washington Post Company (up 5 positions to #45).

Top ad networks

For Advertising Networks and Buy Side Networks, Google Ad Network ranked #1 with a 93.3-percent reach, followed by Specific Media (84.5 percent), AOL Advertising (83.7 percent), AT&T AdWorks (82.4 percent) and Genome from Yahoo! (81.1 percent).

For the full release and comScores top 50 properties list see:

Take a holistic view to succeed in the digital marketplace

Friday, February 15th, 2013

comScoreThe digital world is maturing and moving toward successful business models in social media, search, online video and digital advertising, according to comScore’s 2013 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report. Marketers need an understanding of the whole digital landscape to navigate it successfully, the report says.

“2013 is poised to be digital’s most exciting year yet as the growing ubiquity of digital platforms presents marketers with nearly endless opportunities to connect and engage with consumers,” said Linda Abraham , comScore CMO and EVP of Global Product Development.

“It’s clear that the dynamics of the marketplace have fundamentally evolved through the adoption of smartphones and tablets and the increasingly ‘digital’ nature of all media. Navigating this changing landscape requires a holistic understanding of the key trends, underlying drivers and new opportunities that the digital ecosystem will bring in the year ahead.”

To download a complimentary copy of the 2013 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report, please see:

Key insights from the 2013 U.S. Digital Future in Focus include:

Social Media Market Matures 

social media logosAmericans’ usage of Social Networking sites continued to be dominated by Facebook, which accounted for 5 out of every 6 minutes spent online on these sites. Facebook’s 2012 IPO signaled a maturation of the social media market with a renewed focus on building strong business models and monetization streams.

Several other social media players also made waves in the public markets this year, including LinkedIn, Yelp, Zynga and Groupon. Several other notable social media players like Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram (now part of Facebook) have all posted strong user growth as they begin to ramp up their revenue engines.

Google Leads While Bing Grows Share in Search Market

GoogleGoogle continued its strong lead in the U.S. search market, while Bing managed to gain ground as the #2 search engine in 2012. The desktop-based U.S. core search market saw its first signs of flattening as an increasing number of searches shift to vertical-specific searches and mobile platforms.

Online Video Brings TV Dollars to Digital as Consumers Become More Platform Agnostic

The U.S. online video market also shows signs of maturing from a consumption standpoint, but monetization is picking up steam as YouTube ramps up advertising efforts while traditional media players find success with TV commercial content. Because the demand for high-impact video advertising exceeds the available inventory, look for continued momentum on the advertising side – particularly as targeting improves.

Digital Advertising Improves Accountability in Quest for Print and TV Ad Dollars

Nearly 6 trillion display ad impressions were delivered across the web in 2012 as brand marketers have become increasingly comfortable with a medium capable of delivering strong marketing ROI.

Despite delivering so many impressions, comScore research showed that an average of 3 in 10 ads are never rendered in-view, leading to significant waste, weaker campaign performance and a glut of poor-performing inventory that imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs.

Through the continued adoption of a viewable impressions standard, the market is beginning to embrace a digital scarcity model that better aligns monetization with the value created by the inventory.

Smartphone and Tablets Carve Out Space in Multi-Platform Digital Media Landscape

smartphonesSmartphones continued to drive the mobile landscape in 2012, finally reaching 50-percent market penetration in 2012. The Android platform also hit a 50-percent milestone as it captured the majority of the smartphone market for the first time. Meanwhile, tablets continued to gain traction, with 52.4 million U.S. tablet owners as of December 2012.

The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, and consumers’ increasing use thereof, has resulted in a fragmented digital media landscape where the typical consumer now shares his time across multiple screens.

E-Commerce Gains at Expense of Brick-And-Mortar While Consumers Experiment with M-Commerce

Despite the backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, 2012 was a strong year for retail e-commerce. Throughout the year, growth rates versus the prior year remained in the mid-teens to outpace growth at brick-and-mortar retail by a factor of approximately 4x. Total U.S. retail and travel-related e-commerce reached $289 billion in 2012, up 13 percent from the previous year.

While e-commerce continues to gain share from traditional retail, the first signs of mobile commerce affecting the digital commerce landscape are starting to emerge. In Q4 2012, comScore estimates that m-commerce transactions (from both smartphones and tablets) now represent approximately 11 percent of corresponding e-commerce spending.

Online holiday spending grew 14 percent but swooned in December

Friday, January 4th, 2013

comscoreIn the final 2012 holiday season retail e-commerce spending totals, $42.3 billion was spent online during the entire November-December holiday shopping season, marking a 14-percent increase from 2011, according to digital measurement service comScore.

The latter portion of the season saw several days with particularly strong growth, including Free Shipping Day on Monday, Dec. 17 (up 76 percent to $1.013 billion) and Christmas Day (up 36 percent to 288 million), but they could not make up for the spending growth shortfall earlier in the month.

While the holiday season started off with strong growth rates on the upper end of the mid-teens through the heavy promotional period, a December swoon in consumer confidence gave way to softer than expected buying during the critical shopping weeks in early to mid-December, from which growth rates never fully recovered.

2012 Holiday Season Total Spending vs. 2011Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Millions ($)
2011 2012 Percent Change
November 1-December 31 $37,170 $42,286 14%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22)* $479 $633 32%
Black Friday (Nov. 23)* $816 $1,042 28%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 24-25)* $1,031 $1,187 15%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 26)* $1,251 $1,465 17%
Green Monday (Dec. 10)* $1,133 $1,275 13%
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 17)** $575 $1,013 76%
Christmas Day $212 $288 36%

*Individual day comparisons based on corresponding shopping days, not corresponding calendar dates
**Free Shipping Day comparison based on corresponding shopping day in 2011 (Mon., Dec. 19) and not Free Shipping Day 2011, which occurred on Fri., Dec. 16.

 Top 10 Heaviest Online Spending Days in 2012
The top ten heaviest days for online spending in 2012 all occurred during the holiday shopping period. The season was once again led by Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) with a record $1.465 billion in spending, followed by Tuesday, Dec. 4 with $1.362 billion and Green Monday (Dec. 10) with $1.275 billion. The 2012 holiday season saw 12 days with more than $1 billion spending, comfortably surpassing last year’s total of 10 individual days.

Holiday shoppers rack up ten top online spending days ever

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Shopping cartConsumers have spent $33.8 billion online so far this holiday season, up 13 percent over last year, reports digital measurement service comScore. While peak spending days may be past, Free Shipping Day (today, Monday Dec. 17th) may rack up some impressive numbers as well.

The most recent workweek saw four individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Green Monday with $1.275 billion.

2012 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2011
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.


Millions ($)
2011 2012 Percent Change
November 1-December 14 $30,031 $33,808 13%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) $479 $633 32%
Black Friday (Nov. 23) $816 $1,042 28%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 24-25) $1,031 $1,187 15%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) $1,251 $1,465 17%
Green Monday $1,133 $1,275 13%
Week of Dec. 8-14 $6,315 $6,992 11%

*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 3 thru December 16, 2011)

“This past workweek saw four days surpass the billion dollar spending threshold during the heaviest five-day online shopping period on record,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “With this most recent week in the books, the peak spending period may now be in our rear-view-mirror – but the online holiday shopping season is not over yet.”

He adds, “We should have one more headline day on Free Shipping Day this Monday the 17th as the procrastinators among us scramble to order gifts in time for Christmas next week. For the season-to-date, the growth rate based on corresponding days last year is 13 percent. But, with two extra shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, we still expect that the full season will realize a growth rate well north of 13 percent.”

Top Ten Online Spending Days in History

For the 2012 holiday season-to-date, eleven individual days have surpassed $1 billion in online retail sales, already surpassing last year’s record of ten shopping days.

Top Ten U.S. Online Spending Days in History (thru Dec. 14, 2012)
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Rank Date Spending in Millions ($)
1 Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 (Cyber Monday) $1,465
2 Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 $1,362
3 Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 (Green Monday) $1,275
4 Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 $1,263
5 Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 (Cyber Monday) $1,251
6 Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 $1,220
7 Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 $1,219
8 Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 $1,178
9 Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 $1,135
10 Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 (Green Monday) $1,133

About comScore

Cyber Monday spending hits $1.46B, biggest online spending day ever

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

comScoreCyber Monday reached $1.465 billion in online spending, up 17 percent versus year ago, representing the heaviest online spending day in history and the second day this season (in addition to Black Friday) to surpass $1 billion in sales, according to digital measurement service comScore.

2012 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2011
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.


Millions ($)
2011 2012 Percent Change
November 1 – 26 $14,114 $16,378 16%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) $479 $633 32%
Black Friday (Nov. 23) $816 $1,042 28%
Weekend (Nov. 24-25) $1,031 $1,187 15%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) $1,251 $1,465 17%

*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 3 thru November 28, 2011)

“Despite some news reports suggesting that Cyber Monday might be declining in importance, the day has once again set an online spending record at nearly $1.5 billion,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “However, it is also clear that the holiday promotional period has begun even earlier this year, with strong online sales occurring on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Now, we shall see the extent to which continuing and attractive retailer promotions are able to boost sales for the remainder of the week.”

Digital Content & Subscriptions and Consumer Electronics Post Strongest Cyber Monday Gains

Cyber Monday saw Digital Content & Subscriptions continue to set the pace among product categories with a year-over-year growth rate of 28 percent. Consumer Electronics, buoyed by gains in smartphone sales, ranked second at 24 percent, while tablet sales helped the Computer Hardware category post a 22-percent growth rate. Video Games, Consoles & Accessories (up 18 percent) and Jewelry & Watches (up 17 percent) rounded out the top five.

Cyber Monday: Top Gaining Product Categories
Cyber Monday 2012 vs. Cyber Monday 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Percent Change
Digital Content & Subscriptions 28%
Consumer Electronics 24%
Computer Hardware 22%
Video Games, Consoles & Accessories 18%
Jewelry & Watches 17%

Shopping at Work Accounts for Nearly Half of Cyber Monday Spending

Nearly half of dollars spent online at U.S. websites originated from work computers (47.1 percent), down slightly from last year. Buying from home comprised the majority of the remaining share (47.2 percent) while buying at U.S. websites from international locations accounted for 5.7 percent of sales.

Breakdown  of Cyber Monday Spending by Location
Cyber Monday 2012 vs. Cyber Monday 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Cyber Monday 2011 Cyber Monday 2012 Point Change
Home (incl. University) 43.2% 47.2% +4.0
Work 50.2% 47.1% -3.1
International 6.6% 5.7% -0.9
Total 100.0% 100.0% N/A

“The term ‘Cyber Monday’ was coined by in 2005 to refer to the significant jump in e-commerce spending that occurred following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as consumers got back to sitting in front of computer screens at work,” added Fulgoni.

“At the time and for several years afterward, Cyber Monday was often misconstrued as the heaviest online spending day of the year, when in fact it barely cracked the top ten days of the season.

However, with the passage of time, the day grew in importance as a result of an increasing number of retailers offering very attractive deals on the day and extensive digital media coverage making sure that consumers were aware of them.

As a result, Cyber Monday has assumed the mantle of top online spending day for the past two years – a trend we expect to hold once again in 2012.”

Black Friday hits a billion in online sales for the first time

Monday, November 26th, 2012

comscoreAlthough Black Friday usually conjures up images of people waiting in long lines at retail stores, this year it was also the heaviest online spending day to date, according to digital measurement service comScore.

In store sale, in comparison, were down as many shoppers avoided those lines to do their gift-hunting online.

For the holiday season-to-date, $13.7 billion has been spent online, marking a 16-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.

Black Friday (November 23) saw $1.042 billion in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012 and representing a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2011.

Thanksgiving Day (November 22), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 32-percent increase to $633 million.

“Despite the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world, we continue to see this shopping day become more and more prominent in the e-commerce channel – particularly among those who prefer to avoid crowds at the stores,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni.

“With Black Friday online sales up 26 percent and surpassing $1 billion for the first time, coupled with early reports indicating that Black Friday sales in retail stores were down 1.8 percent, we can now confidently call it a multi-channelmarketing phenomenon.”

Fulgoni added that Thanksgiving Day itself, usually a lighter online shopping day, is gaining steam as well.

Today, Cyber Monday, is expected to be the heaviest shopping day of the season with sales approaching $1.5 billion or more.

ComScore says Amazon led the online sales parade so far this year, followed by Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple.

We think this is a bit of a surprise: digital content and subscriptions were the top-growing online retail product category, up 29 percent from a year ago. The proliferation of smartphones, tablets and e-readers is driving the demand for digital books, audio & visual content, says comScore.

Toy are also doing well, gaining 27 percent,  followed by Consumer Packaged Goods (up 23 percent), Video Game Consoles & Accessories (up 18 percent) and Consumer Electronics (up 18 percent).

Travelers are frequent mobile shoppers, study says

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

SmartphonesWhen it comes to mobile usage habits, a new custom study from Expedia Media Solutions shows that travelers are increasingly comfortable and savvy at planning, researching and booking trips on the go.

Commissioned by Expedia and conducted by comScore, the study examines consumer behavior on mobile devices and sheds light on the role of mobile in travel research, planning and booking, as well as the unique attributes of the travel demographic.

Travelers frequently turn to mobile devices for travel planning – whether conducting aspirational research, planning an existing trip or booking a last-minute getaway.

With one out of every ten dollars spent online occurring on a mobile device, marketers who are ripe to target travelers should be adding mobile into their marketing mix.

Travelers frequently use smartphones and tablets to research and plan trips.

  • Forty-eight percent used a tablet or smartphone to plan their trip – while 44 percent used a mobile device to dream of their next trip
  • Eighty-six percent of mobile planners already knew their destination when conducting research on a mobile device
  • Forty-seven percent relied on friend and family recommendations and 40 percent relied on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) for destination ideas
  • Deals and promotions (64 percent), photos (55 percent) and recommendations (38 percent) are the most useful types of content for those seeking trip ideas

Travelers are comfortable making purchases on mobile devices.

  • Of travelers who own a mobile device, 61 percent have made a purchase on a tablet in the last six months while 51 percent have made a purchase on a smartphone, showing that travelers are more likely to purchase travel on tablets versus smartphones
  • Of those who have booked travel on a mobile device, 80 percent of smartphone users and 90 percent of tablet users would do so again

Travelers will continue to use mobile to plan travel, but easy-to-use apps will drive usage.

  • Of the 44 percent who plan travel on a mobile device, 44 percent used an app
  • Nearly 60 percent of mobile airline and 56 percent of hotel bookers used an app to book their reservation
  • Accessibility (43 percent), ease of use (35 percent) and app availability (33 percent) drive travel bookings for smartphone users

Advertisers can enhance the overall user experience

Advertisers can take advantage of accessibility and easy-to-use touchscreens to create effective mobile ad solutions and campaigns that enhance the overall user experience.

As mobile users continue to turn to apps for planning, there’s potential to provide incremental reach and increase engagement time with travel brands, thereby spurring higher category reach, as well as mobile purchase and booking conversion.

“With the steady growth of mobile adoption and content consumption, we’ve seen an increase in on-the-go travel planning – more than one-third of mobile device owners, according to the study,” said Noah Tratt, global vice president of Expedia Media Solutions.

“The findings also show a significant number of consumers rely on OTAs for destination ideas, and we’ve developed a mobile strategy to help our advertisers reach travelers during critical planning phases, allowing them to influence customer decisions and optimize the experience closer to purchase.”

Consumers dislike online marketing, but personalization may change attitudes

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Social Media MarketingIs digital marketing failing? Consumers think it is, according to a new report from Adobe Systems Inc., but the findings conflict with reports from sources such as comScore, which suggest that even online display ads have more power to move consumers to buy than many think.

Still, the findings from the study, Click Here: The State of Online Advertisingrevealed that two-thirds of consumers believe that television commercials are more effective than online advertising and that online banner ads do not work (54%).

Further, respondents prefer to view advertising in their favorite print magazine (45%) or while watching their favorite TV show (23%) compared to the stark 3% who state they prefer to view ads via social media and 0% who like ads in an app.

The research is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers and 250 professional marketers. You can view an animated infographic detailing the findings: here.

Consumers surveyed just plain don’t much like online advertising. A large percentage of consumers saying they found online ads to be “annoying,” “distracting” and “all over the place.”

One potential way address this the study does not address might be more use of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s new Rising Stars digital ad formats, which perform better and are better liked by consumers than static display ads and intrusive pop ups and pop unders.

User-generated content most effective

While advertising created by pros is widely seen as the most effective form of advertising, 27% of marketers and 28% of consumers believe that user-generated content is the best form of online advertising.

This study is a wakeup call for marketers. We know there’s a tremendous opportunity – online, on mobile, in social – in terms of where consumers are spending their time and money. But as marketers we’ve yet to really break through,” said Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer, Adobe.

“Serving customers relevant content, delivering experiences that are engaging instead of intrusive and, just as importantly, measuring what’s working and what isn’t so that we can improve our marketing are all critical. When marketers begin to master these things we’ll turn the corner – consumers will start to notice and we’ll start to capitalize.”

Consumers want a “dislike” button

Not surprisingly, the majority of the study’s respondents use social media. More than half of the respondents said they are communicating their personal tastes and interests when they “like” a brand or product and 43% explicitly state they are recommending that product to their friend and families. Yet, 53% wish there was a dislike button to express their unhappiness with a product.

Personally, we use a variety of social media and agree that a “dislike” button would come in handy. It might get the attention of marketers when they’re doing particularly dumb things.

Still, the “likes” get attention, with 29% of consumers commenting that “likes” encourage them to “check out” a product. Only 2% say it drives them to makes a purchase.

Companies investing in branded social media sites and activities are also facing an uphill battle, with just 2% of respondents believing information about a brand from a company’s social media site is credible.

While 90 percent of consumers and marketers say that marketing is strategic to business and necessary to drive sales, the profession of advertising/marketing ranked below nearly every other in the survey.

That includes banker (32%), lawyer (34%), and actor/actress (13%) as ranked by consumers. And when asked if marketing benefits society, only 13% of people agreed. Furthermore, the majority of respondents think that most marketing is “a bunch of B.S.” (53%).

Lewnes, however, thinks those attitudes will change. “Marketers are some of the most creative people in the world. Now that we have data insights to back up instinct, these outdated perceptions of marketing are going to change. When marketing is personalized for the consumer – and online experiences are rewarding – the impact on brands’ bottom line is going to be huge.”



Tablets redefining how people consume mags and news

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

Nearly 2 in 5 U.S. tablet owners read newspapers and/or magazines on their device in August, with 1 in 10 reading publications almost daily, according to digital measurement firm comScore.

Not only that, the demographics of people reading their magazines and newspapers on tablets should appeal to advertisers – they’re highly skewed, at least right now, toward affluent, younger adult users.

Analysis of readership activities across platforms revealed that Kindle Fire users displayed the strongest propensity for reading newspapers and magazines on their device.

Shifting to digital

Personally, we read several magazines and papers on our Kindle Fire. Despite some who think the 7-inch screen is too small, magazines such as Vanity Fair look great on the device – and often even more impressive on larger tablets. We’ve shifted several of our magazine subscriptions to all digital, eliminating those piles of old magazines yet retaining the digital ones for those articles we mean to get to later.

“Tablets are fundamentally redefining how people consume news and information, with the format more conducive to reading longer form content than PCs or smartphones,” said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of Mobile.

“In the case of online newspapers, tablets are now driving 7 percent of total page views, an impressive figure considering the relative infancy of the tablet space.

Publishers that understand how these devices are shifting consumption dynamics will be best positioned to leverage this platform to not only drive incremental engagement among current subscribers but also attract new readers.”

1 in 10 Tablet Owners Read Newspapers and Magazines Almost Daily on their Device

In the three-month average period ending August 2012, 37.1 percent of tablet owners read a newspaper on their device at least once during the month, with 11.5 percent of tablet owners reading newspapers almost every day. Kindle Fire users demonstrated the greatest tendency to read newspapers, with 39.2 percent doing so in August, slightly edging out iPad at 38.3 percent. NOOK Tablet owners boasted the greatest percentage of high-frequency newspaper readers with 13.4 percent doing so on a near daily basis.

Magazines/periodicals showed even higher readership rates than newspapers with 39.6 percent of tablet owners reading magazines on their device during the month. Kindle Fire owners once again showed the highest readership rate at 43.9 percent, followed by iPad users at 40.3 percent.

Newspaper and Magazine Readership Analysis Across Tablets*
3 month avg. ending Aug. 2012 
Total U.S. Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+
Source: comScore TabLens
% Share of Total Audience
Total Tablet iPad Android Tablet** Kindle Fire NOOK Tablet
Total Tablet Audience:
13+ yrs old
100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Read newspapers
Almost every day 11.5% 12.0% 12.1% 12.8% 13.4%
At least once each week 11.0% 12.2% 10.1% 12.3% 8.3%
Once to three times throughout the month 14.6% 14.2% 14.6% 14.1% 10.1%
Ever in month 37.1% 38.3% 36.8% 39.2% 31.8%
Read magazines or periodicals
Almost every day 9.7% 9.4% 10.4% 11.3% 9.4%
At least once each week 13.3% 13.8% 12.7% 16.0% 15.0%
Once to three times throughout the month 16.7% 17.1% 15.5% 16.6% 15.0%
Ever in month 39.6% 40.3% 38.5% 43.9% 39.4%

*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose eBook reader devices are excluded from this definition.
**For this analysis, Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet were excluded from the Android tablet total.

On-Device Readership Driven by Consumers Age 25-44

Analysis into readership demographics revealed that newspaper and magazine tablet audiences closely resembled one another in gender, age and household income distribution.

Across both newspapers and magazines, readers were significantly more likely to be male. Newspaper audiences were 17 percent more likely to be male compared to an average tablet owner (index of 117), while magazine audiences were 11 percent more likely to be male (index of 111).

That most readers are more likely male seems a bit surprising, although perhaps not, since males are more often early adopters of technology.

People between the ages of 25-34 represented the highest share of readers, accounting for 27.4 percent of newspaper consumers and 28.2 percent of magazine/periodical consumers, while people age 35-44 accounted for 1 in 5 readers in both categories.

More than half of readers had a household income of $75k or greater, while those in the highest income segment of $100k or greater skewed most heavily toward readership.

Demographic Analysis:Newspaper and Magazine Readership on Tablets*
3 month avg. ending Aug. 2012 
Total U.S. Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+
Source: comScore TabLens
Read newspaper Read magazines or periodicals
% of Audience Composition Index of Audience** % of Audience Composition Index of Audience**
Total Audience: 
13+ yrs old
100.0% 100 100.0% 100
Male 57.5% 117 54.6% 111
Female 42.5% 83 45.4% 89
13-17 4.0% 66 5.3% 87
18-24 14.1% 98 15.3% 106
25-34 27.4% 123 28.2% 127
35-44 20.1% 103 21.1% 108
45-54 18.4% 99 17.5% 94
55-64 9.5% 90 7.4% 70
65+ 6.5% 75 5.3% 61
Household Income:
<$25k 7.5% 83 7.8% 87
$25k to <$50k 16.7% 95 17.5% 99
$50k to <$75k 19.8% 100 19.4% 98
$75k to <$100k 16.7% 98 16.6% 97
$100k+ 39.3% 108 38.7% 107

*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose eBook reader devices are excluded from this definition.
**Index = % of Audience Segment/% of Total Tablet Audience x 100; Index of 100 indicates average representation

Digital East bringing more than 60 thought-leaders to DC area event

Friday, September 28th, 2012
Digital East

Digital East brings an impressive array of speakers and attendees to its annual events.

Would you like to go back to your office in the middle of next week with techniques, strategies and tactics you can put to work immediately to best the competition?

Digital East, the premier annual Mid-Atlantic digital technology and marketing conference, still has seats available and focuses on giving you the kind of timely insider information you can use to stay a step ahead of the pack.

The event includes more than 60 thought-leaders, speakers and panelists from top brands such as Google, Mashable, National Geographic, PBS, The Economist, IBM, comScore, The Travel Channel, Huffington Post/AOL, Slashdot, The American Red Cross, McAfee and many more.

Topics include social media, email, and search marketing to digital advertising, mobile apps, online fundraising, web analytics, customer engagement, online branding, ecommerce, online video, big data for marketers, design.

This year Digital East is just outside Washington DC at the Westin Dulles Airport in Herndon, VirginiaRegister for the event.

Interviews with just a few of the Digital East speakers

For just a sample of what you’ll experience, here are TechJournal interviews with a handful of the thought-leaders who will appear at this year’s event:

IAB Rising Stars units out perform traditional digital ads

Search and Social: SEO tips from AOL’s Simon Heseltine

Two changes that will boost your Facebook engagement numbers

A formula for social media success and 4 great content tips

Social media marketers need business sense, not just technical skills

Best Practices for building mobile apps start with targeted ideas

How to engage with Slashdot and other real time communities

Three tips for using Pinterest successfully

To measure engagement, you need more than numbers, you need context

Paid ad campaigns on social media need targeting strategy

Seek quality, not quantity when gathering social media marketing data

Americans turning to mobile apps and social media in emergencies

Digital East crowded room

A packed room for a morning panel at a previous Digital East event.

Speakers at Digital East include:

  • Anthony Melchiorri, Host & Exec Producer-Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible
  • Greg Robleto, Director of Community & Social Media -The Motley Fool
  • Jessica End, Industry Manager, Non-profits & Religion -Google
  • Criag Oldham, VP of Digital Engagement -American Red Cross
  • Melanie Phung, Director of New Media -PBS
  • Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Social Media Director -IBM
  • Michael Aldana, Sr Manager of Mobile Design -McAfee
  • Sean Murphy, EVP e-Commerce -CustomInk
  • Khurrum Malik, VP Product Marketing -comScore Inc
  • Steve Harris, Sr Director Web Analytics -Capital One
  • Simon Heseltine, Director of SEO -AOL/Huffington Post
  • Anthony Douzet, COO & Co-founder -TheLadders
  • Stephen Wellman, VP & Editor-in-Chief -Slashdot
  • Brian Dreseher, VP of Business Development -Mashable
  • David Plotz, Editor -Slate
  • James Kobielus, Big Data Evangelist -IBM
  • Nick Schaper, Exec Dir, Digital Strategic Comm -US Chamber of Commerce
  • Leigh George, PhD., Director of Digital Strategy -R2Integrated
  • Stanton Fish, VP of Customer Insights & Analytics -The Economist
  • Andy Wiedlin, CRO -BuzzFeed
  • Andrea Fishman, VP of Strategy -BGT Partners
  • Cory Siansky, Manager, Business Consulting -Sapient
  • Jeff Allen, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Analytics -Adobe
  • Miguel Monteverde, Vice President, Digital Media -Discovery Communications
  • Matt Peters, Co-Founder & Creative Director -Pandemic Labs
  • Daniel Maloney, CEO & Co-Founder -PinLeague
  • Susan Cato, Director of Business Development -Balance Interactive
  • Kevin Dando, Director of Digital Marketing & Communications -PBS
  • Matthew Shevach, Director of Product Marketing -TRUSTe
  • Chi-Chao Chang, President of Products & Technology -xAd
  • Jed Williams, Program Director, Social Local Media -BIA/Kelsey
  • Michael Renner, VP Solution Design -3Pillar Global
  • Robert Hancock, VP of Sales and Marketing -Smart Online
  • Jon Brendsel, VP Products -PBS
  • Joe Gizzi, Senior Strategy Manager -New Media Strategies
  • Bill Leake, CEO
  • Joel Sucherman, Senior Director, Digital Products -NPR
  • John Backus, Co-Founder, Managing Partner -New Atlantic Ventures
  • Teresa Spangler, Founder & CEO -Plazabridge Group
  • Ori Hoffer, Social Media Strategist -General Services Administration
  • Leo Dalakos, Vice President of Strategy & Analytics -Performics
  • Mark Cooper, Co-Founder and CMO -Offerpop
  • Cameron Brain, Co-Founder -XYDO
  • Stephanie Slobodian, Senior Information Architect -NPR
  • Adam Landrum, President & CEO -Merge
  • Matt Kaplan, Vice President, Sales -Mail Online
  • Sam Kimball, Exec VP, Advertising & Brand Sales -Livestream
  • Will Elliott, Vice President, Sales and Marketing -Contactology
  • Marc Shull, Sr. Director, Customer Insights -YesMail
  • David Favero, Southeast Sales Director -Shoutlet
  • Todd Marks, Founder -Mindgrub
  • Chris Brooks, Manager, Social Engagement -Hilton Worldwide
  • Ryan Steelberg, CEO and Co-Founder -Brand Affinity Technologies
  • Brian Dalessandro, VP of Data Science -Media6Degrees
  • Devon Smith, Director of Social Media -Threespot
  • Michael Goldberg, Director of Marketing Communications -Martini Media
  • Mick Winters, Creative Director -Threespot
  • Brandon Hess, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, ReadyTalk
  • Daniel Backhaus, Vice President, Marketing -Infuz
  • Eric Evans, SEO Specialist -Merge
  • Adam Figueira, Product Marketing Manager -Monetate
  • Alex Lustberg, Vice President of Marketing -Lyris
  • Justin Freid, Director of Digital Media -TPG
  • James Wong, Co-Founder & Partner -Empowered Ideas
  • Virginia Johnson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner -Empowered Ideas
  • Andrew Taylor, Vice President, Business Development -Grab Media
  • Justin Spring, Co-Founder of and Adept Marketing
  • Eric Shoicket, Director of Brand Partnerships -Kiip
  • Andrew Beranbom, VP of Business Development & Co-Founder -Extole
  • Christine Borgia, Senior Director, Email Intelligence Group -Return Path
  • Andrew Ray, Partner -Bingham McCutchen
  • Joseph Olesh, Emerging Media Director -Tier10 Marketing
  • Saya “Sally” Behnam, Creative Director -Design 4UX
  • Tom Grossi, Partner -NEA
  • Josh Freeman, CEO -TeamVisibility
  • Frank Reed, Director of Sales -Edgeworks Group
  • Gill Haus, SVP, Technology -RideCharge
  • Angela Hausman, Owner -Hausman and Associates

Register for the event.

What drives consumer tablet purchases? Price? Brand? Apps?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

tablet computersWhat drives consumer tablet computer purchases? In part it depends on the brand – which is important, along with the app selection, to those who buy iPads,  Or price – which is most important to those buying a Kindle Fire. Which points out that Apple and Android customers look for different things when they buy a tablet.

So says digital measurement service comScore’s monthly Tablens service.

The findings also note demographic differences in income, gender, and age among buyers of either Apple iPads or Android tablets.

iOS and Android Tablets Capturing Different Consumer Segments
Demographic analysis of tablet audiences by platform revealed distinct differences across iPad, Android and Kindle Fire audiences (Note: For the purpose of this study, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total and analyzed separately).

iPad owners skewed male (52.9 percent), slightly younger (44.5 percent under the age of 35) and wealthier (46.3 percent residing in households with income of $100k or greater) compared to an average tablet user during the three-month average period ending June 2012.

In comparison, Kindle Fire owners saw their audience skew female with 56.6 percent of its audience base represented by females. Both Android and Kindle Fire users saw household income below that of iPad owners, aligning more closely with household income reported by smartphone owners.

Demographic Profile: Tablet* and Smartphone Audience

3 month avg. ending June 2012

Total U.S. Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+

Source: comScore TabLens and comScore MobiLens

iPad Android**
Kindle Fire
     Male 51.9% 50.0% 52.9% 50.9% 43.4%
     Female 48.1% 50.0% 47.1% 49.1% 56.6%
     13-17 6.0% 5.5% 4.7% 6.2% 5.5%
     18-24 17.5% 13.0% 14.0% 12.9% 12.2%
     25-34 24.6% 24.2% 25.8% 22.5% 24.7%
     35-44 21.0% 20.6% 21.4% 20.1% 20.5%
     45-54 16.7% 18.1% 16.8% 19.7% 16.9%
     55-64 9.0% 11.0% 9.7% 10.8% 12.5%
     65+ 5.3% 7.6% 7.5% 7.8% 7.6%
Household Income
     <$25k 12.0% 7.8% 5.5% 11.7% 7.0%
     $25k to <$50k 19.6% 18.1% 14.4% 20.4% 20.9%
     $50k to <$75k 19.3% 19.1% 17.2% 20.0% 21.3%
     $75k to <$100k 15.6% 16.7% 16.6% 15.3% 17.5%
     $100k+ 33.5% 38.4% 46.3% 32.5% 33.3%

*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose eBook reader devices are excluded from this definition.

**For this analysis, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total.

Apps, Price and Brand Most Important in Purchase Decision, Having Same OS as Phone Not as Important
In the fast-evolving and highly competitive tablet market, understanding the factors that are driving consumers’ purchase decisions is critical for both providers of operating systems and OEMs.

Analysis of the top purchase consideration factors for an average tablet owner found that selection of apps and price of tablet led as the most important factors, both scoring 7.7 on a 10-point scale.

Brand name of tablet and tablet operating system followed as the next most important factors each with a 7.5-rating, while music/video capabilities ranked #5 in purchase consideration factors with a rating of 7.4.

A comparative look at the purchase consideration factors for iPad and Kindle Fire owners found significant differences between what these consumers deemed important. iPad owners found selection of apps most important in their purchase decision, scoring an 8.1, closely followed by brand name of tablet with a rating of 8.0.

Price most important to Kindle Fire owners

Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

Meanwhile, Kindle Fire owners placed the greatest weight on price of tablet (8.1), followed by selection of apps (7.5). Brand name of tablet and operating system were both scored as less important among Kindle Fire owners than among iPad owners.

Somewhat surprisingly, consumers did not place strong importance on having the same operating system across their tablet and smartphone, with this factor falling outside of the top five consideration factors for iPad, Kindle Fire and the average tablet owner.

This finding highlights the potential for brands, such as Microsoft with its recently announced Surface Tablet, to see consumer adoption in the tablet market even though they might lack strong penetration in the smartphone market.

Top Purchase Consideration Factors for Tablet*, iPad, Android OS and Kindle Fire Purchasers on
a 10-Point Scale

3 month average ending June 2012

Total U.S. Tablet Owners, Age 13+, U.S.

Source: comScore TabLens

iPad Android**
Kindle Fire
Selection of apps available for my tablet 7.7 8.1 7.3 7.5
Price of the tablet 7.7 7.2 7.9 8.1
Brand name of the tablet 7.5 8.0 7.0 7.4
Tablet operating system 7.5 7.8 7.4 7.2
Music and video capabilities 7.4 7.6 7.1 7.4
Recommended by friends/family 6.5 6.7 6.1 6.5
Tablet has same OS as my phone 6.4 6.6 6.3 6.1
Social networking features 6.2 6.3 6.0 6.3
Recommended by retail salesperson 5.3 5.3 5.3 5.2

*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose eBook reader devices are excluded from this definition.

**For this analysis, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total.

Tablet Satisfaction High Across the Board, Highest Among iPad Owners

iPad 3

The iPad 3

Device satisfaction is an important measure in understanding sentiment post-purchase, especially with consumers having a growing number of tablet options available to them.

New TabLens data showed that tablet owners were highly satisfied with their respective devices, with the average overall satisfaction rating reaching 8.6 on a 10-point scale.

In comparison, smartphone owners rated overall satisfaction with their device an 8.1. iPad owners experienced the highest level of satisfaction (8.8 rating), followed closely by Kindle Fire owners (8.7). Android tablet users (excluding Kindle Fire) had a slightly lower satisfaction rating of 8.2, but which was still very strong in absolute terms.

Overall Device Satisfaction for Smartphone, Tablet*, iPad, Android OS and
Kindle Fire Purchasers on a 10-Point Scale

3 month avg. ending June 2012

Total U.S. Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+

Source: comScore TabLens and comScore MobiLens

iPad Android**
Kindle Fire
Overall Satisfaction 8.1 8.6 8.8 8.2 8.7

*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose eBook reader devices are excluded from this definition.


Report shows how to use Facebook to boost buying behavior

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

FacebookExposure to earned and paid media on Facebook drives behavioral lifts in purchase behavior, according to the second white paper in The Power of Like series, The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works, from digital measurement firm comScore.

“Social media continues to emerge as an important marketing channel and major brand marketers are devoting more time and attention to understanding its impact on consumers,” said Andrew Lipsman, comScore VP of Industry Analysis.

“While marketers understand the importance of a channel that now accounts for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online, many are challenged to quantify its effectiveness.

“The Power of Like research sheds new light on how brands are able to deliver earned and paid media at scale, amplify its effects from Fans to Friends of Fans, and understand how exposure to these media can drive the desired consumer behaviors, including online and in-store purchase.”

Key insights from The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works include:

  • Brands can maximize the impact of their social marketing programs on Facebook by leveraging a framework that helps them move beyond Fan acquisition to delivering reach, impact, and measurable marketing ROI.
  • Using the Brand Page as a control panel for creating social marketing programs, brands should focus on benchmarking and optimizing on the following dimensions to deliver against their broader marketing objectives:
    • Fan Reach – Exposure in the News Feed
    • Engagement – Fans interacting with Brand Page marketing conten
    • Amplification – Viral delivery of marketing content from Fans to Friends of Fans
  • Most leading brands on Facebook achieve a monthly Amplification Ratio of between 0.5 and 2.0, meaning that they extend the reach of their earned media exposure of Fans to Friends of Fans by 50-200%. These ratios can be increased to improve brand reach by focusing on tactics to optimize Fan Reach and Engagement or by supplementing with paid advertising strategies.
  • Facebook represents a unique marketing channel that enables Paid, Earned and Owned Media to be leveraged to create a virtuous cycle of brand impact. Brands use display ads and other paid media (Paid) to attract Fans to the Brand Page (Owned), which serves as a platform for marketing communications that reach Fans and Friends of Fans (Earned) in the News Feed and other sections of the website. These communications can then be supplemented through paid display campaigns, such as Sponsored Stories and Promoted Page Posts (Paid), to maximize reach and brand resonance.
  • Concentrated social media campaigns, such as those performed during important marketing promotions, can significantly amplify the reach of earned media exposure. Such amplification may drive increased awareness and consideration that is manifested through higher brand purchase behavior among exposed Fans and Friends of Fans.
  • The causal effects of earned media exposure on Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans can be isolated using a test vs. control methodology. In the case of Starbucks, exposed Fans and Friends of Fans showed statistically significant lifts in in-store purchase incidence for each of the four weeks following earned media exposure.
  • The increasing cumulative lift in purchase behavior among exposed Starbucks Fans and Friends of Fans provides strong evidence of a latent branding impact of earned media exposure. This same latent effect was observed in the lift in purchase incidence among exposed Fans and Friends of Fans of retailer Target.
  • Exposure to Facebook Premium Ads also drove statistically significant lifts in both online and in-store purchase incidence for a major retailer over a four-week post-exposure period. This research highlights the importance of using view-through display ad effectiveness.

Tablets hit critical mass, especially with older, upper income users

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Tablets have quickly reached a critical mass in the U.S. with 1 in every 4 smartphone owners using tablets during the three-month average period ending April 2012, according to comScore’s new monthly service, TabLens.

The comScore study found that tablet users were nearly three times more likely to watch video on their device compared to smartphone users, with 1 in every 10 tablet users viewing video content almost daily on their device.

“Tablets are one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are poised to fundamentally disrupt the way people engage with the digital world both on-the-go and perhaps most notably, in the home,” said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of Mobile.

“It’s not surprising to see that once consumers get their hands on their first tablet, they are using them for any number of media habits including TV viewing.”

Tablets Used by 1 in Every 4 Smartphone Owners as Connected Consumer Becomes a Reality 
In just two years since the launch of the iPad, the first tablet to reach a meaningful market penetration, tablet adoption has exploded fueled by the introduction of new devices that appeal to various price and feature preferences.

In April 2012, 16.5 percent of mobile phone subscribers used a tablet, representing an increase of 11.8 percentage points in the past year.

Growth in market penetration was even more apparent among the smartphone population with nearly 1 in 4 using a tablet device in April, an increase of 13.9 percentage points in the past year. A lower 10.4 percent of feature phone owners use a tablet, suggesting that smartphone ownership is highly predictive of tablet adoption in the current market.

Tablet Users Among Mobile Audiences

3 month avg. ending Apr. 2012 vs. Apr. 2011

Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone), Ages 13+

Source: comScore MobiLens

% of Audience that Uses Tablet
Apr-11 Apr-12 Point
Total Mobile (Feature Phone & Smartphone) 4.7% 16.5% 11.8
Smartphone Only 9.7% 23.6% 13.9
Feature Phone Only 2.3% 10.4% 8.1

Demographic Profile: Tablet Users Skew Older and Toward Upper Income Households 
A demographic analysis of mobile device audiences indicated that tablet and smartphone audiences closely resemble one another in terms of gender composition, with tablet users just slightly more likely to be female than smartphone users.

However, the age composition of audiences showed that tablet users skewed noticeably older than smartphone users. For both devices, the heaviest overall audience concentration was between the ages of 25-44.

Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28 percent more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27 percent less likely to be age 18-24.

Tablet users also skewed toward upper income households, likely a function of the high price point of these devices still considered a luxury good to many consumers. Nearly 3 in 5 tablet users resided in households with income of $75,000 or greater, compared to 1 in every 2 smartphone users.

That makes sense to us at the TechJournal. The larger screens, convenience and generally intuitive tablet operating systems appeal to older users. But we suspect lower income households may turn to the less expensive tablets such as the Kindle Fire and many other Android models.

Demographic Profile: Tablet* and Smartphone Audience

3 month avg. ending Apr. 2012

Total U.S. Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+

Source: comScore TabLens and comScore MobiLens

% Share of
% Share of
Index of Tablet
to Smartphone
Total Audience 100.0% 100.0% 100
     Male 49.2% 51.6% 95
     Female 50.8% 48.4% 105
     13-17 7.3% 6.5% 112
     18-24 12.3% 16.9% 73
     25-34 24.4% 25.3% 96
     35-44 21.4% 21.2% 101
     45-54 17.8% 15.7% 113
     55-64 10.1% 9.2% 110
     65+ 6.8% 5.3% 128
Household Income:
    <$25k 7.4% 11.7% 63
    $25k to <$50k 17.7% 19.5% 91
    $50k to <$75k 18.9% 19.5% 97
    $75k to <$100k 18.3% 15.9% 115
    $100k+ 37.7% 33.4% 113
*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose eBook reader devices are excluded from this definition.
**Index = % of Tablet Audience/% of Smartphone Audience x 100; Index of 100 indicates average representation

Tablet Audience Nearly 3x as Likely to Watch Video as Smartphone Users
A closer look at content consumption on tablets found that more than half of tablet users watched video and/or TV content on their device in April 2012, compared to just 20 percent of the smartphone audience, with larger screen sizes making tablets more conducive to video consumption than their smaller-screen cousins.

Not only were tablet users more likely to watch video, but they were more likely to view video habitually with 18.9 percent of tablet users watching video content at least once a week, and 9.5 percent watching video nearly every day on their device.

Of those viewing video at least once during the month, 1 in 4 (26.7 percent) paid to watch content, highlighting the tremendous monetization potential this platform represents for content providers.

Video/TV Viewing on Device for Tablet* and Smartphone Audience

3 month avg. ending Apr. 2012

Total U.S. Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+

Source: comScore TabLens and comScore MobiLens

Share of Audience that Watched
Video/TV on Device
% of Tablet
% of
Ever in month 53.0% 20.0%
Once to three times throughout the month 24.6% 10.3%
At least once each week 18.9% 6.7%
Almost every day 9.5% 2.9%

Is clutter killing digital media? Clean pages perform better

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Say MediaClean Web pages have a more positive impact on advertiser and site perception compared to cluttered multi-ad environments.

According to comScore, the average time spent on a page of a website is steadily decreasing, with users spending only 40 seconds on a single page, making it imperative for brands to be smarter about advertising.

SAY conducted the research in partnership with IPG Media Lab and worked with four major brands across multiple industries: ACE, Macy’s, Microsoft and Purina.

“Clutter is killing digital media,” said Troy Young, president, SAY Media.

“Publishers keep adding more and more ads, because yield is becoming so low, and ads aren’t in view long enough to really drive results, leading to incredibly cluttered Web pages.  Clean layouts and premium ad environments are working better for brands and offering a better experience for the consumer.”

These new findings, using both eye-tracking technology and survey research, uncovered that consumers spend twice as long with ads on Clean pages, which feature one brand ad.

Clean sites also deliver higher ad recall and improved brand metrics than cluttered, multi-ad environments.

Key findings:

  • Clean Enhances Ad and Site Perception: Sites with an uncluttered ad layout were perceived as more useful, more trusted and better than similar sites. Likewise, ads on these sites were seen as more engaging and positively adding to the overall site experience.
  • Ads Are Always Seen in a Clean Setting: Based on eye-tracking data, the study found that 100 percent of respondents viewed the ads on Clean pages. Only 76 percent viewed ads on cluttered, multi-advertiser pages and 89 percent on sites with multiple ads for the same advertiser with complete share of voice. Content remained consistent across all test pages.
  • Time Spent With Ads Increased on Clean Sites: Those who saw ads in a clean environment spent 6.4 seconds with the ad, compared to 3.2 seconds on cluttered pages. More specifically, those who believed the site was uncluttered spent more than 13 seconds looking at the ad, four times more than time spent in a cluttered environment.
  • Less Clutter Means Higher Ad Recall: Both aided and unaided ad recall was highest in a clean environment compared to a cluttered multi-ad page and a page with 100 percent share of voice.
  • Improved Brand Metrics: With only one ad exposure, there was an increase in key message association for two advertisers on a Clean page vs. in a cluttered environment. More importantly, one advertiser saw a significant lift in purchase intent.

“In a fully mediated world, consumers have many more choices competing for their attention,” said Brian Monahan, IPG Media Lab.

“The amount of attention on a Web page is relatively fixed and Clean ads are garnering more attention than those on cluttered pages. Higher attention to ads is the gateway to better brand and engagement performance.”


Convenient return process critical to online shopping satisfaction

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Shopping cartWhile 86 percent of consumers are satisfied with the overall experience of shopping online, retailers still have significant opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and their competitive position by making the process of returning or exchanging items easier, a new study shows.

ComScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), the digital measurement firm, and UPS (NYSE: UPS) today released the Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, a report analyzing consumers’ online shopping behaviors and preferences pertaining to the post-purchase experience.

It draws its analysis from a February 2012 comScore survey of more than 3,100 U.S. online shoppers and an online focus group held in January 2012.

The report highlights which factors lead consumers to return items, to recommend online retailers to friends, their requirements for a smooth checkout process, and which shipping services they find most valuable. To download a copy of the report, see:

Convenient Return Process Critical to Customer Satisfaction

Few factors figure more prominently in improving customer satisfaction in online shopping than an easy-to-understand and convenient returns process.

A significant 63 percent of online shoppers look at a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase. Nearly half said that they would shop more often and recommend a retailer with a lenient returns policy, indicating its value in driving customer loyalty.

Hassle-free returns and exchanges rank above average in terms of importance for shoppers but rank low in terms of current customer satisfaction, showing a significant area of opportunity for retailers.

Free shipping not the only feature consumers want

“The Online Shopping Customer Experience Study provides retailers with the insights needed to enhance the post-purchase online shopping experience, focusing on the factors which lead to customer loyalty and growth,” said Susan Kleinman, comScore director.

“While free shipping has tended to dominate the discussion regarding what provides satisfaction to online shoppers, the study shows there are several other factors critical to a positive online shopping experience. Retailers need a holistic understanding of these drivers if they hope to stimulate sales while maintaining healthy margins in this competitive retail environment.”

“This is important intelligence that can be put to use immediately,” said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS’s chief sales and marketing officer.

“Online retailers of any size can win more business during this year’s holiday season if they prepare now to offer a better shopping experience. UPS recognized some time ago that online customers are expecting speed, convenience and flexibility after they click to buy.”

Two in Five Online Shoppers Abandon Shopping Carts Because of Delivery Timing

Consumers are currently most satisfied with the ease of checking out, the variety of brands and products available and online delivery tracking ability. They are least satisfied with the current level of flexibility in choosing delivery dates.

At least 42 percent of online shoppers reported abandoning their shopping carts because of delivery timing estimates.

While two-thirds of shoppers choose the most inexpensive shipping option, more than 40 percent expect to see the availability of 2-3 day delivery and nearly a third want the option to choose overnight shipping.

Delivery speed is important

The need for speed is also important, with 48 percent of online shoppers not willing to wait more than 5 days for packages to be delivered. A third of shoppers said they most often choose to pay a fee for faster delivery.

Online shoppers also said they valued having tracking capabilities to know when their packages would arrive. 46 percent said receiving their orders when expected would lead them to recommend an online retailer.

The ability to reroute a package and schedule a 2-hour delivery window is also important for shoppers in the delivery process.

Digital ads are as effective as TV but both work best together

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Online videoUsing short digital videos to enhance regular TV broadcast programming ad campaigns is more effective than using either alone, according to a new report from digital measurement firm comScore, Surviving the Upfronts in a Cross-Media World.

“With the digital upfronts in their second year, more advertisers are considering adding digital video to their media mix in long-form TV programming and short-form video,” said Judy Bahary, SVP, Marketing Solutions at comScore.

“Our research shows an incredible synergy between TV and digital video formats when used together in cross-media campaigns, driving effectiveness levels higher than either medium used on its own. As the online video market continues to develop, we should see it evolve from its current supporting role to an essential part of media planning in the annual upfronts.”

Key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • The online video audience has reached a point of near saturation at approximately180 million monthly unique viewers, but average engagement levels are rising as it continues to play a more prominent role in the online experience.
  • Adding a digital video component to a TV media plan can increase the effective reach of the campaign in a very efficient manner.
  • Digital video ad formats are just as effective as TV ads. But TV and digital video have a synergistic effect when used together, making this media mix more effective than either one on its own.
  • Multi-Screen consumers are a fast-growing segment and need to be marketed to on multiple screens in order for campaigns to achieve optimal reach and frequency levels.
  • Younger age segments are generally more receptive to digital advertising than TV, highlighting the importance of incorporating digital video into the media buying and planning process.

Android captures half the U.S. smartphone market

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Google Android continued to grow its share in the U.S. smartphone market, accounting for 50.8 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Apple captured 31.4 percent, during the first quarter of 2012, according to digital measurement service comScore’s MobiLens.

Samsung was the top handset maker with a 25.9 percent market share.

Smartphone Platform Market Share
More than 107 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in April, up 6 percent versus January. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 50.8 percent market share (up 2.2 percentage points). Apple’s share of the smartphone market increased 1.9 percentage points to 31.4 percent. RIM ranked third with 11.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (4.0 percent) and Symbian (1.3 percent).

Click to view table full screen
Top Smartphone Platforms

3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2012

Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+

Source: comScore MobiLens

Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Jan-12 Apr-12 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 48.6% 50.8% 2.2
Apple 29.5% 31.4% 1.9
RIM 15.2% 11.6% -3.6
Microsoft 4.4% 4.0% -0.4
Symbian 1.

Mobile Content Usage
In April, 74.1 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. Downloaded applications were used by 50.2 percent of subscribers (up 1.6 percentage points), while browsers were used by 49.0 percent (up 0.5 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.3 percentage points to 36.0 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 33.1 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.3 percentage points), while 25.8 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.3 percentage points).

Click to view table full screen
Mobile Content Usage

3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2012

Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+

Source: comScore MobiLens

Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Jan-12 Apr-12 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 74.6% 74.1% -0.5
Used downloaded apps 48.6% 50.2% 1.6
Used browser 48.5% 49.0% 0.5
Accessed social networking site or blog 35.7% 36.0% 0.3
Played Games 31.8% 33.1% 1.3
Listened to music on mobile phone 24.5% 25.8% 1.3


Online tax preparation filings up 11 percent

Friday, June 1st, 2012

comScoreThe volume of tax returns or units filed online grew 11 percent from the previous year, according to comScore, the digital measurement firm. Online advertising for tax preparation services, the report notes, is becoming an important part of the marketing mix for the category.

Among online do-it-yourself (DIY) tax preparation providers, comScore data showed that Intuit continued to lead the market with nearly 60 percent of all tax units filed online through the end of the tax season.

The three largest DIY online tax preparation providers (Intuit, TaxACT and H&R Block) accounted for more than 92 percent of DIY tax units filed online for the season.

“The sustained growth in the volume of tax units filed online in early 2012 shows that Americans continue to become more comfortable with filing taxes online and appear to be especially reliant on market leaders in the online tax prep category to meet their tax needs,” said Brian Jurutka, comScore Senior Vice President.

“The top three DIY online tax prep providers dominated the category with a combined 92 percent of all online filings, offering a strong indication that customers value trusted brands for such important financial undertakings.”

Top 3 Online Tax Prep Providers Continue to Account for 9 in 10 Online Tax Units Filed

An analysis of the share of online tax units or returns filed through online tax preparation services for the tax season through April 18, 2012 shows that Intuit’s TurboTax service led the way with 59.8 percent of all self-prepared units filed online.

The number of returns filed through TurboTax grew 11 percent vs. year ago – the second highest growth rate seen for this category.

TaxACT, recently acquired by InfoSpace, ranked second with 17.7 percent of tax units and a year-over-year growth rate of 9 percent in the number of returns filed online. H&R Block rounded out the top 3 with 14.7 percent market share while posting the strongest year-over-year growth rate in number of returned filed at 20 percent.

Online DIY Tax Preparation Provider Share of Online Tax Units Filed*
Season though April 18, 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Audience
Source: comScore Tax Benchmarker
Online Tax Preparation Provider Share of Online Tax Units Filed
Season through April 19, 2011 Season Through April 18, 2012
Intuit (TurboTax) 60.0% 59.8%
InfoSpace (TaxACT) 18.1% 17.7%
H&R Block 13.6% 14.7%
Other 8.3% 7.9%

*Non-Free File Alliance (FFA)

Top 3 Providers Also Dominate Display Advertising for Tax Prep Category

An analysis of display advertising in the Tax Preparation & Advisory category during Q1 2012 shows that the top 3 online tax prep providers accounted for more than 93 percent of all category display ads during the quarter.

Intuit led the category with 36 percent of display ad impressions, followed closely by H&R Block and TaxAct, each at nearly 29 percent.

Tax Preparation Advertiser Share of Display Ad Impressions
Q1 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Audience
Source: comScore Ad Metrix
Advertiser Share of Category Display Ad Impressions
Tax Preparation & Advisory 100.0%
Intuit Inc. 36.0%
H&R Block 28.7%
TaxAct 28.6%
Other 6.7%

“Online advertising is becoming a more important part of the marketing mix for the tax prep category, and we once again saw the top 3 providers dominate the landscape with more than 90 percent market share,” added Mr. Jurutka.

“However, while Intuit holds a strong leadership position in terms of share of online filings, it maintained that position without investing a commensurate share of online advertising.”