The Data Digest: Youth’s Scattered Social Mobile Behaviors

Recently, I was on a road trip in Morocco with my family, including three teenagers. While my interest in their phone usage at home mostly concentrates on the amount of time they spend on their devices, during the trip I got firsthand insight into how they use their phones. All three of them used it as a lifeline to their friends at home in the Netherlands, but it was amazing to see how each of them does that in a totally different way. My 16-year-old son was primarily “apping” (texting using Whatsapp) with his friends and sending the occasional picture; my 14-year-old daughter was trying to keep her Snapchat “streaks” alive while dealing with bad Wi-Fi signals and long road trips; while my 12-year-old daughter was vlogging all day about everything she encountered and uploading the videos when we had a signal. Part of these differences in behavior can be explained by their characters, but it’s mostly the result of the two-year age gaps between them. Even though they are all in their teens, they grew up with different digital platforms and capabilities.

The Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Youth Survey, 2017 (US), also shows this. More than half of US youth use YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook daily. But when we dive a level deeper, we see that the 14 and 15 year olds are more likely to post online than their 16- and 17-year-old peers.

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The Data Digest: Are Australian Companies Living Up To Their Clients’ Online Expectations?

Australians are often seen as laid-back, taking things as they come. However, this doesn’t translate to their need for great customer experience. When we analyzed the Australian results of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), we found that the vast majority of companies in Australia are still providing only mediocre CX.

In his report “The Australia Customer Experience Index, 2016,” my colleague Tom Champion shows how companies in more CX-mature markets in North America and Europe have turned their attention toward making positive emotional connections with their customers to drive loyalty. However, the focus in Australia is still very much on measurement.

So, what’s going on in Australia? How can companies live up to the changing expectations of their customers?

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The Data Digest: A Year Of Goodbyes (And Hellos)

As a music lover, this has been a year of goodbyes for me, with many of my teenage heroes like David Bowie, Prince, and earlier this week, George Michael, passing away. It makes you realize how fast time moves on, and nothing lasts forever. As I’ve shared before, I love this time of year: Thinking about what has been, and having a world of opportunities in front of us. And I can’t wait to see what next year will bring.

This year, there were a number of surprises and new developments that nobody predicted. And 2016 was the year of Pokémon. As my colleague Anjali Lai shared in an earlier blog post about this phenomenon: “The Pokémon Go phenomenon is not only about adopting technology or using new, cutting-edge features; it is also about designing a sticky experience that is enabled by the ways customers are changing.”

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The Data Digest: May The Force Be With You

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re probably aware that there was a new release in the Star Wars saga this week. I’m not a fan of science fiction and have somehow managed never to have seen a Star Wars movie in my life — so all of the discussion about what will happen to Luke, Leia, or the Jedi in ‘The Force Awakens’ is completely lost on me. But what I do find extremely interesting is the huge passion of my colleagues and friends to see this movie in a cinema — and as quickly as possible. In the US, Star Wars opens in 4,100 theaters and the movie is a leader in advance ticket sales around the world. And Star Wars is just one of the big blockbusters of 2015 — in fact, analysts expect this year to be Hollywood's biggest box-office year ever.

When we look at our North American Consumer Technographics data, we see that movies certainly have a place in US online consumers’ video behaviors; watching movies in theaters is just behind watching free and paid online video services like Netflix and Hulu.

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The Data Digest: WhatsApp And Facebook Messenger Wish Us A Happy New Year

As I’m writing this blog post on December 30, I don’t yet know how many messages will be sent on New Year’s Eve this year. But looking at the data from recent years, we can expect a huge number of good wishes to be shared digitally during the final minutes of 2014 and the early hours of 2015: WhatsApp processed 18 billion messages on New Year’s Eve 2012 and 54 billion on December 31, 2013!

However, it’s not just the number of messages I’m interested in this year: I’m also keen to see the influence on these numbers of Facebook Messenger’s rollout earlier this year and its subsequent uptake. Our European Consumer Technographics®Consumer Technology And Telecom Survey, 2014 clearly shows that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp dominate the messaging landscape in Europe, with Skype in third place.

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp show similar levels of uptake at the European level, but we see surprising variations at the country level. For example, WhatsApp clearly dominates the messaging landscape in Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, while Facebook Messenger leads in the UK, France, and Sweden.

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The Data Digest: Online Video Advertising

This week, Facebook announced its rollout of auto-play advertising videos – starting with a teaser for the upcoming movie Divergent. The video ads automatically start playing, without sound, when they appear. Users can click on the video to view it with sound or scroll past it if they aren't interested.

Video definitely has the future. In a blog post by my colleague Michael O’Grady last year, he revealed that video was the fastest-growing digital content category. The Forrester Research Online Display Advertising Forecast, 2013 To 2018 (Western Europe) shows that European Internet users spent 68% of their online time in 2012 watching online videos, and we expect more than 90% of the online population to watch online video regularly by 2017. As a result, video advertising will account for a third of total display advertising spend in 2018.

But, screen size matters. Data from Forrester’s European Technographics® Benchmark Surveys 2013 shows that mobile is lagging, with only 12% of European online adults who use a mobile phone watching video on their device at least weekly. 

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The Data Digest: Consumers’ Holiday Shopping Journey

Last week, my colleague Sucharita Mulpuru published Forrester’s annual US online holiday retail forecast. In her blog, she shared that Forrester expects this year’s holiday season to generate $78.7 billion in US online sales, a 15% increase on 2012's total. This optimism is largely due to ever-increasing numbers of consumers choosing the Web over physical stores as well as the rise in mobile commerce.

To better understand consumers’ attitudes and behaviors regarding shopping during the holiday season, my team conducted a qualitative research project last year with our ConsumerVoices market research online community, starting before Thanksgiving and ending the first week of January. We found that consumers are always on the hunt for holiday deals, not just during the holiday season. Most consumers have an idea of what they are willing to spend on holiday gifts, and while most stay within their budget, they will gladly spend the extra money if it comes down to staying on budget or giving the ideal gift.

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The Data Digest: Black Friday - Old Traditions; New Routines

by Anjali Lai

On Tuesday at 8 a.m., I received a call from my mother. Instead of driving to her office, as she’s faithfully done at that time for more than a decade, my mother was caught between shelves of cashmere. Macy’s was having a pre-holiday one-day sale, and my mother was thrilled to be part of the early-bird crowd getting first dibs on cardigan colors at 50% off. I was struck — not by my mother’s rare excitement about the discount but by Macy’s success in changing her behavior. My mother traded her comfortable weekday rhythm for a detour to the mall, thanks to Macy’s timely, exclusive promotion.

This example is representative of a major potential shift in which consumers break traditional habits thanks to strategic sales and effective marketing. My mother’s impromptu spree is only a precursor to the behavior that could play out next week when Thanksgiving Thursday becomes the new Black Friday. For the first time in its history, Macy’s will open on Thanksgiving itself to compete with retailers like Target and Best Buy, which open their doors moments after the pie crumbs and coffee cups are cleared away. For Wal-Mart, Black Friday 2013 will start one full week early.  

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The Data Digest: Happy Birthday, Groupon

by Anjali Lai

Earlier this week, Groupon celebrated its fifth birthday — and its party was certainly hard to miss. The countdown to the big day began last week, when my daily deal emails arrived with pomp and circumstance — images of crowns in the subject lines, extra exclamation points in the text, and heavy promotions based on the need to celebrate. On November 4, Groupon gave out $5 million in “Groupon Bucks” to thank its customers for fueling its five-year evolution from daily deal provider to searchable marketplace.

But the party isn't stopping there. The company continues to identify marketplace opportunities and engage its consumers in a seamless, meaningful way. Groupon’s recently redesigned mobile application and website aim to enhance user experience and allow the company to start optimizing its audience potential. Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that Groupon's US online customers are a particularly valuable target, as they spent around $200 more shopping online in the past three months than the average US online consumer:

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The Data Digest: Mobile Travel Bookers

This week, I’m on holiday. As a follower of my blog, you know that I quite regularly take a couple of days off. I live in Europe, where we have more holidays (on average) than some other regions. So with my head already "on" my next trip, I was intrigued by the results of the recently published report US Mobile Travel Bookers.

Data from the North American Technographics®Travel And Auto Online Benchmark Recontact Survey, 2013 reveals that mobile travel bookers — consumers who have booked at least one trip on a mobile device — are taking more trips and spend more on travel than their non-mobile-booker peers. And about two-thirds are willing to pay above-average prices for a noticeably better travel product or service.

Mobile bookers are tech-savvy travelers who are willing to share their experiences by creating travel-related online content, like blogs and reviews, or uploading videos. In fact, four out of 10 online travel-related content creators are mobile travel bookers. Travel companies need to cater to this advanced group and support them in their travel journeys across devices. As my colleague Tony Costa shares in his report Build Seamless Experiences Now, "customers don't see individual touchpoints. Rather, they perceive the quality of a firm's services through their overall experiences. When disconnects occur, customer satisfaction takes a nose-dive."

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