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Archive for June, 2012

Social Loyalty Programs Reward Customers and Retailers Alike

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eMarketer analysis suggests several steps for successful marketers

NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2012)—The ability to combine traditional loyalty programs with social media holds great promise for retailers and brands trying to strengthen retention, says a new report by eMarketer. But there are several key steps retailers must take in order to be successful—or they’ll risk simply becoming another forgotten “like.”

The new report, “Social Loyalty: From Rewards to a Rewarding Customer Experience,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, outlining several best practices for marketers looking to improve customer loyalty.

Why? Because many traditional loyalty programs are not highly effective, eMarketer notes. While loyalty programs have been popular in the US for years—with the average American consumer belonging to 18 loyalty programs according to loyalty marketing publisher COLLOQUY—whether these members are active is another story.

“Points, coupons and freebies are great for grabbing initial attention,” eMarketer says. “But in the long run these promotions can’t make up for a lackluster customer experience. Through the use of social media, retailers and brands can identify and interact with the most profitable internet users.”

The full report examines the benefits social loyalty programs provide consumers and brands, as well as the challenges they create for marketers.

“Loyalty can be won through encouraging word-of-mouth and creating advocates, by raising a user’s social status, by surprising and entertaining shoppers in unexpected ways and also by listening to customers’ needs and suggestions and responding in a mutually beneficial fashion,” eMarketer says.

Key Takeaways from “Social Loyalty: From Rewards to Rewarding a Customer Experience”:

  • Brands that most often succeed typically encourage sharing, raise customers’ social status, develop highly entertaining loyalty programs, and listen and respond to feedback quickly.
  • Loyalty programs are only as effective as the overall 24/7 customer experience.
  • Using social media as part of a loyalty strategy is still a relatively new practice. Many brands and retailers are testing the waters and attempting to add a social layer to an established program while building upon already proven principles of customer relationship management.
  • Social loyalty programs provide brands with an unprecedented amount of customer data, but turning that abstract information into meaningful results is a challenge.

Major challenges for loyalty marketers addressed in the report include:

  • Data overload
  • Customer segmentation
  • Measurement
  • Privacy and permissions

About eMarketer
eMarketer is the authority on digital marketing, media and commerce, offering insights essential to navigating the changing, competitive and complex digital environment. By weighing and analyzing information from different sources, eMarketer provides businesspeople, marketers and advertisers with the most complete view of digital marketing available.
www.eMarketer.com

Media Contact:
Clark Fredricksen
Vice President, Communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6056
Twitter

Posted on June 28, 2012.    

Order Online, Pick Up In-Store Services Bring Consumers Best of Both Worlds

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Retailers experiment with innovative options

NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2012)—Buy online, pick up in-store services are highly popular with online consumers because they combine the convenience of ecommerce with the pleasure of shopping in stores. Yet retailers have generally been slow to offer this service because it is difficult and costly to implement, according to a new report by eMarketer.

“As stores lose customers to Amazon, traditional retailers are coming to see pickup programs as a powerful way to win back customers,” eMarketer notes in its new report, “Innovation in Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Services.” “People who pick up orders at a store often make additional purchases. And converting a single-channel shopper into a multichannel shopper results in a significantly more profitable customer.”

This report explores some of the increasingly innovative ways brick-and-mortar retailers enhance the online shopping experience with in-store pickup options, such as Wal-Mart’s Pay with Cash service launched earlier this year, or the UK’s House of Fraser department store, which has opened click-and-collect locations that are designed as a space for placing and picking up online orders.

Key Takeaways from the full report, “Innovation in Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Services,” available exclusively to eMarketer corporate subscribers:

  • Online consumers have embraced retailers’ buy online, pick up in-store services, because they merge the best of digital commerce and in-store shopping
  • Retailers benefit significantly, both in terms of profit and customer service, from multichannel shoppers who pick up in-store
  • Despite popularity with consumers, retailers have been slow to embrace in-store pickup, but that is changing
  • A push to offer in-store pickup is driving some web-only retailers to establish physical pickup points

As the popularity of order online, pick up in-store increases among consumers, retailers are going to have to follow suit. While some big chains are creating in-house pickup solutions, other retailers are looking to a growing number of third-party pickup services that can provide a nationwide network of pickup points overnight.

eMarketer evaluated executive interviews and hundreds of third-party research findings for the report, eventually selecting data from several vetted sources, including Retail Systems Research, Boston Retail Partners, Argos, the e-tailing group, Home Retail Group, The Property Network, Mondial Relay, Shopping Centers Today, Javelin, eNova Partnership, Ace Hardware, Best Buy, ShopRunner, Simpson Carpenter, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, McMillan|Doolittle, Shopatron, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Shopatron, and Newegg.

About eMarketer
eMarketer is the authority on digital marketing, media and commerce, offering insights essential to navigating the changing, competitive and complex digital environment. By weighing and analyzing information from different sources, eMarketer provides businesspeople, marketers and advertisers with the most complete view of digital marketing available.
www.eMarketer.com

Media Contact:
Clark Fredricksen
Vice President, Communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6056
Twitter

Posted on June 28, 2012.    

eMarketer Webinar: Social Media Marketing for Verticals—What Works for Key Industries

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Marketers across industries are increasingly using social media to connect with their customers and prospects. But each vertical has different goals and faces different challenges.

Please join us for this free webinar featuring eMarketer analysts Victoria Petrock and Krista Garcia as they discuss social media strategies and tactics used in the automotive, travel, retail, pharma and financial services sectors.

    

Speakers: Victoria Petrock and Krista Garcia, eMarketer Analysts

What: Social Media Marketing for Verticals—What Works for Key Industries

When: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 1 pm ET

The webinar will address these key questions:

  • How are marketers in travel, automotive, pharma, financial services and retail using social media to achieve specific goals, and why?
  • How can marketers in regulated industries get the most out of social media marketing?
  • What can marketers in different verticals learn from each other’s strategies to increase engagement, build loyalty and convert sales?

About the Analysts

Victoria Petrock is eMarketer’s lead analyst responsible for coverage of vertical industries, including healthcare, automotive, financial services and travel. Her reports provide detailed industry-specific analysis and insight into all facets of digital marketing.

Krista Garcia researches and writes on topics including ecommerce, food and beverage and consumer products for eMarketer. Her focus is how brands and retailers can increase sales using a variety of digital marketing tactics.

Sponsored by Vitrue.

Posted on June 28, 2012.    

Despite Doubts, Marketers Find Some Facebook Ads Really Do Work

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Consensus of Multiple Data Sources, Studies and Interviews Show Marketplace Ads Deserve a Second Look

NEW YORK, NY (June 26, 2012)—When General Motors pulled its advertising from Facebook, many took it as an indication that the social network’s ad products didn’t work. But in reality, the pullout tells a different story, says a new report by eMarketer.

The report, “Facebook Advertising: Why the Marketplace Ad Platform Deserves a Second Look,” analyzes more than a dozen third-party research studies and interviews with industry executives that demonstrate consensus on a number of issues, including the effectiveness of Facebook’s ad products.

According to the report, doubts persist over the effectiveness of Facebook’s Premium ad products. However, Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform, Marketplace, is gaining new prominence as a result. In May 2012, Facebook announced that it would start allowing advertisers to place Premium ads in users’ news feeds by tapping the technology that supports Marketplace. The change is expected to inspire marketers with bigger budgets to begin using the automated system. This month, Facebook said it would launch Facebook Exchange, a real-time bidding platform for Marketplace inventory.

“The importance of Marketplace is often underestimated,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “Because the clickthrough rates on these ads are minuscule and because their limited creative palette will never win them awards, Marketplace ads get little respect.”

In eMarketer’s recent conversations with digital agency executives and marketers and analysis of available survey data, there was a common theme: The first part of 2012 got off to a slow start when it came to planning Facebook ad spending—particularly as a result of questions about Premium ads.

For example, at one digital agency, client spending on Facebook was flat year over year. A number of this agency’s clients had made annual deals with Facebook for 2011, but most decided not to make a similar upfront commitment for 2012. Instead, they planned to buy throughout the year.

Capstone Investments, an investment bank, said in an April 2012 research report on Facebook that “in many cases large CPG advertisers are seeing comparable ROI on self-serve ads [to those] they were achieving on premium ads and are allocating spend that otherwise would go to premium ads to self-serve ads.”

While that doesn’t bode well for Premium, it has meant that some marketers have returned to Marketplace advertising with increased fervor.

Historically, eMarketer has estimated that Marketplace accounts for 60% of Facebook’s total ad revenue. That translates to $1.89 billion in 2011 ad revenue from Marketplace ads and $1.26 billion from Premium formats.

“The reality is that when Marketplace targeting and bidding are done correctly, advertisers can be highly successful,” Williamson added. “Several ad-technology startups use tools provided by Facebook to maximize the effectiveness of these ads; other digital marketing firms have taken notice and they too are entering the market.”

In addition to evaluating the reasons behind Facebook’s first quarter revenue decline, the full report outlines several keys to success for marketers using Facebook ads:

  • Let the technology do the heavy lifting
  • Test, learn and change
  • Place high value on speed
  • Combine Premium and Marketplace ads for the biggest impact
  • Use the data gained from a campaign to improve the next one
  • Use targeting technology to gain the right fans
  • Look beyond clickthrough rate

It also identifies three things Facebook needs to do in order to grow:

  • Break down more walls between the two sides of its ad business
  • Prove that adding social features to ads works
  • Deliver a consistent message to advertisers
Posted on June 26, 2012.    

eMarketer Webinar: Retail Ecommerce Forecast—Challenging Economy Drives Online Shopping

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To listen and watch playback of the webinar, Retail Ecommerce Forecast—Challenging Economy Drives Online Shopping, click here. You can view the PowerPoint deck below.

View more presentations from eMarketer

Key takeaways will include:

  • How mobile and tablets, online deals and consumer packaged goods are driving growth
  • The shifting demographics of online shoppers and buyers
  • Which product categories are the largest, fastest-growing and most successful

About Jeffrey Grau

Jeffrey Grau covers retail ecommerce in North America for eMarketer. In addition to building ecommerce forecasting models for these markets, he writes on topics such as multichannel retailing, online holiday shopping, social commerce and mobile commerce. Jeff is quoted frequently in the press and is in demand as a speaker at digital and industry conferences.

Sponsored by Bronto.

Posted on June 22, 2012.    

eMarketer in the News: June 15, 2012

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The Wall Street Journal – Days of Wild User Growth Appear Over at Facebook
June 11, 2012: Approximately 56% of Facebook’s 2011 ad revenue of $3.1 billion came from the U.S. alone, according to the company’s regulatory filings. “The U.S. is a dominant source of revenue for Facebook,” said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, who estimates that this year the nation will account for 51% of Facebook’s revenue. Read more.

The Wall Street Journal – Ad-Tech Companies Seize Rivals as Winners and Losers Emerge
June 13, 2012: Revenue generated by graphical, interactive and video ads—a category called display—is expected to reach $15.4 billion this year in the U.S., up 24% from $12.4 billion in 2011, according to research firm eMarketer. Read more.

The Wall Street Journal – Silicon Valley Faces Private Sanity Check
June 11, 2012: Twitter certainly has plenty of traffic, what with 140 million monthly active users. But it is still a big challenge to increase revenue quickly enough to justify the $8.4 billion valuation at which the company raised money last summer. That is already 32 times this year’s expected revenue, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer. Read more.

Advertising Age – Facebook to Launch Real-Time Bidding for ‘Marketplace’ Ads
June 13, 2012: “It’s opening up ad inventory to performance-type advertisers like Amazon and Ebay who want to direct advertisers back to their websites to make a purchase,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “We bash the marketplace side, but clearly they think there are legs to it. This business we love to hate maybe is more important than we thought.” Read more.

Agence France Presse – Yahoo!, US Cable Station Team Up for Finance News
June 13, 2012: Yahoo’s share of overall US online ad revenue dropped from 15.7 percent in 2009 to just 9.5% last year, according to industry tracker eMarketer. Read more.

Fast Company – Map Wars: Why Maps Are Apple’s New Killer Feature
June 11, 2012: “When you think about mobile use cases, maps are at the center of the actions that we take,” Noah Elkin, an analyst at eMarketer, tells Fast Company, “whether you’re using a map to search for directions or using other functionality on the phone that will drive people into the maps.” Read more.

Bloomberg – Facebook to Debut Real-Time Bidding On Advertising Prices
June 14, 2012: “Facebook’s been having challenges coming up with effective advertising,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at New York-based eMarketer. The company “is hoping to use that inventory on the right side of the page to deliver advertising that is more targeted,” she said. Read more.

Crain’s New York – Everyday Health Closes in on WebMD’s Online Dominance
June 10, 2012: Despite the loss of patent protections for some blockbuster drugs like Lipitor, online ad spending by U.S. healthcare and pharma companies is expected to grow 23% this year, to $1.58 billion, and another 18% in 2013, according to eMarketer. Read more.

Forbes – Why–And How–I Became an Entrepreneur
June 13, 2012: We knew mobile was an untapped market; we knew it would grow fast and hard. eMarketer predicted that mobile ad spending would surpass $1 billion in 2011, and reach $2.5 billion in 2014. Read more.

Los Angeles Times – Facebook About to Launch Facebook Exchange, Real-Time Ad Bidding
June 13, 2012: “The more that Facebook can open up to different types of advertisers with different types of goals and make it easier for them to deliver targeted advertising, the better for Facebook,” eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson said. Read more.

Mashable – Online Advertising Revenue Sets Record High in First Quarter
June 11, 2012: Separate studies suggest that mobile, social and video are driving the growth. Mobile advertising is already a $5 billion market worldwide, a third of which is spent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to PwC. eMarketer forecasts that social networks will generate $10 billion in revenue in the U.S. next year. Read more.

Posted on June 19, 2012.    

Tablet Shopping Grows as Consumers Browse in Bed

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Most Shopping Done Between 5pm and 9pm

NEW YORK, NY (June 18, 2012)—The explosive growth of tablet usage in the US is fueling the tcommerce market; tablet users are spending more money and time shopping online, according to a new report from eMarketer.

“The good news for retailers is tablet commerce appears to be additive, increasing total revenues by extending shopping hours rather than shifting sales from one channel to the other,” eMarketer notes in the new report, “Tablet Shopping Fuels ‘Couch and Pillow’ Commerce.”

Despite their portable nature, US tablet owners use the device most often at home in the living room and bedroom, according to multiple research studies included in the report. Tablet shopping typically starts to climb at 5pm and peaks at 9pm, at which point nearly 10% of all online shopping sessions originate from iPads, according to RichRelevance.

Retailers interviewed by eMarketer in April and May 2012 reported the same findings.

“We’re seeing really big spikes on nights and weekends—especially Saturdays and Sundays,” Matt Jones, general manager of mobile for Home Depot, told eMarketer in an April 2012 interview.

The full report examines the state of the US tablet commerce market, covering consumer usage patterns and best practices for how retailers can capitalize on the one in five Americans who now use a tablet device. Key Takeaways:

  • Millions of consumers are flocking to tablets, according to eMarketer’s June 2012 forecast.
  • “Couch and pillow” commerce has extended shopping hours for tablet owners.
  • Immersive shopping experiences can differentiate tablets.
  • Many retailers are missing the mark.

“Tablet adoption by consumers and retail marketers is occurring at a record pace—yet the immaturity of the market leaves retailers with big questions about where it will move next,” said eMarketer spokesperson Clark Fredricksen. “eMarketer believes the only way for marketers to have a comprehensive understanding of this market is through analysis of information from multiple research studies.”

About eMarketer
eMarketer is the authority on digital marketing, media and commerce, offering insights essential to navigating the changing, competitive and complex digital environment. By weighing and analyzing information from different sources, eMarketer provides businesspeople, marketers and advertisers with the most complete view of digital marketing available.
www.eMarketer.com

Media Contact:
Clark Fredricksen
Vice President, Communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6056
Twitter

Posted on June 18, 2012.    

eMarketer in the News: June 8, 2012

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The Wall Street Journal – Shop.ca Aiming to Bag Canadian Online Sales
June 7, 2012: This year, the average Canadian online shopper will likely spend about $1,527 online, matching their US shopping peers, who are expected to spend about $1,497, according to ecommerce research firm eMarketer. Read more.

The Wall Street Journal – Facebook Seeks to Boost Revenue From Mobile Ads
June 5, 2012: That presents a challenge for Facebook, as well as an opportunity, said eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson. “Facebook is going to have to make sure the quality of the advertising remains high,” she said. “You will see a greater depth and breadth of advertisers than you might have seen than just being sold to premium advertisers.” Read more.

The Wall Street Journal – Ad Networks Bypass iPhone Privacy Rules
June 5, 2012: The cat-and-mouse game comes as advertisers try to replicate the tools they have for tracking consumers online for mobile phones, where the ad market is far more nascent but growing quickly. US mobile advertising revenue is expected to reach $2.61 billion in 2012, almost double from last year, according to eMarketer. Read more.

Reuters – Analysis: In Scare for Newspapers, Digital Ad Growth Stalls
June 7, 2012: Overall, however, the newspaper industry’s share of online advertising dollars is shrinking. US online advertising revenue is forecast by research firm eMarketer to rise 23.3% to $39.5 billion this year, on growth in video advertising and web search ads. Read more.

Reuters – Facebook Comments, Ads Don’t Sway Most Users-Poll
June 4, 2012: While the survey did not ask how other forms of advertising affected purchasing behavior, a February study by research firm eMarketer suggested Facebook fared worse than email or direct-mail marketing in terms of influencing consumers’ decisions.

“It shows that Facebook has work to do in terms of making its advertising more effective and more relevant to people,” eMarketer analyst Debra Williamson said. Read more.

Reuters UK – Facebook Allows Bespoke Mobile Ads, Shores up Achilles Heel
June 6, 2012: Debra Williamson, an analyst at eMarketer, said that some companies which committed to large advertising purchases on Facebook last year are now evaluating the performance of those ads and buying new ads on an as-needed basis.

“There’s been a general acknowledgement by marketers that last year they spent a lot of money acquiring ‘likes’ and now they want to know what to do with them,” said Williamson. Read more.

Advertising Age – Facebook Mobile Ads Now Open to Masses
June 5, 2012: eMarketer projects that 60% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes through its self-serve tool and companies like TBG. “That’s probably going to increase as we see Facebook opening up more ad slots to [these sales tools],” said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. Read more.

Crain’s New York – Video Boom to Help NY Websites Grab Pharma Ads
June 8, 2012: Despite the loss of patent protections for some blockbuster drugs like Lipitor, online ad spending by US healthcare and pharma companies is expected to grow 23% this year, to $1.58 billion, and another 18% in 2013, according to eMarketer. Read more.

Forbes – For B2B Marketers, the Zero Moment of Truth Is Also Mobile
June 4, 2012: In her report about mobile and B2B marketers for eMarketer, analyst Lauren Fisher writes “By establishing a mobile web presence and optimizing that presence to provide business professionals greater efficiency, B2B companies can more effectively reach and resonate with this decision-making audience.” Read more.

Forbes – Why Is Twitter Soaring While Facebook’s Slowing?
June 4, 2012: The revenue estimates for Twitter that eMarketer issued in January still stand: $260 million this year, $400 million next year and $540 million in 2014. “I’m not saying they can’t get to a billion, but we’re a long way from that,” says Williamson. Read more.

Bloomberg – Google Advertising Service Tracks Success Of Digital Marketing
June 5, 2012: This year, Google will account for 16.5% of the US display-ad market, which includes banners and videos, according to eMarketer. By next year, Google is expected to grab almost 20%, unseating Facebook as the market leader. Read more.

paidContent – Search Beats Display by Large Margin in Mobile Ad Spending, Study Shows
June 6, 2012: Research firm eMarketer predicts US mobile advertising will grow five fold to $10 billion by 2016 and the spending split between search and display will be about equal. Read more.

Los Angeles Times – Facebook App Center Officially Opens for Business
June 7, 2012: “We know that social recommendations from our peer network and people we trust are as important for the apps that we download as they are for the products we buy,” said Noah Elkin, eMarketer’s principal analyst for mobile. “Facebook is obviously huge in terms of its scale and number of users. It will very quickly become a very important player in the recommendation game.” Read more.

Posted on June 12, 2012.    

eMarketer Webinar: Digital Travel Outlook

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To listen and watch playback of the eMarketer webinar, Digital Travel Outlook, click here. You can view the PowerPoint deck below.

View more PowerPoint from eMarketer

Questions addressed in the webinar include:

  • How does the ratio of “lookers to bookers” play out online?
  • To what degree are consumers using mobile to research and book travel?
  • What is the forecast for online travel sales and ad spending through 2015?
  • In what ways will the digital age influence travel shoppers in global markets?
  • How will eMarketer’s travel coverage change in the coming months?
  • In what ways is eMarketer’s comprehensive digital coverage a key resource for travel marketers?
Posted on June 8, 2012.    

eMarketer in the News: June 1, 2012

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Financial Times – Carmakers Find Social Media Hard to Steer
May 30, 2012: The trends are in their favour. Global ad revenue at Facebook, by far the largest recipient of social media budgets, should reach $5.06bn this year, up from $3.15bn in 2011, eMarketer estimates. Mobile ad spending in the US will jump from $1.45bn in 2011 to more than $10bn by 2016, eMarketer forecasts. Read more.

USA Today – Mobile Ads’ Promise Eludes Facebook, Other Businesses
May 30, 2012: The market for the ads that dot smartphone and tablet screens is expected to soar to $10.8 billion in U.S. sales by 2016, from $2.6 billion expected this year, according to research firm eMarketer. That’s a tiny slice of the $169.5 billion market for media ad spending in the U.S. Read more.

Reuters – How to Play It: Media Plays Beyond Facebook
May 30, 2012: According to eMarketer, companies are expected to spend $39.5 billion on online ads this year, compared with $33.8 billion for ads in newspapers and magazines. Online spending reached $32 billion in 2011, compared with $36 billion for print, according to the company. Read more.

CNN – Travel Agents: Hong Kongers Prefer the Real Thing
May 29, 2012: But while eMarketer forecasts online travel sales in the United States to grow 11 percent to $119.2 billion in 2012, offline travel agents show signs of returning. Read more.

Bloomberg – Twitter Said To Expect $1 Billion In Ad Revenue In 2014
June 1, 2012: Researchers at eMarketer Inc. have said that in 2014, Twitter will reach $540 million in ad sales, which make up virtually all of its revenue, up from $139.5 million last year. Read more.

Forbes – Why Facebook Won’t Just Give Advertisers Like GM What They Want
May 29, 2012: The problem is that marketers often lack the tools to evaluate these unfamiliar formats. “Facebook needs to continue to offer more metrics that enable advertisers to compare how their Facebook advertising performs versus their other advertising,” says Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer. Read more.

Mashable – Pepsi to Provide Free Music Downloads on Twitter
May 30, 2012: Twitter, which makes most of its money from advertising, is poised to post ad revenues of $259.9 million this year, according to eMarketer. Read more.

Posted on June 4, 2012.