By The Numbers: Mobile Commerce Made Up 1/3 Of Black Friday Online Sales

What Happened
Mobile shopping continues to rise in prominence as reports on this year’s Black Friday sales start to roll in. According to a report from Adobe, this past Black Friday set a new record in online sales with $3.34 billion, a 21.6% growth year-over-year. Mobile shopping accounted for $1.2 billion, about one third of the total online volume, a 33% y-o-y increase. Major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target reported that mobile traffic and sales were on the rise, with Target saying that 60% of its Thanksgiving sales were done on mobile devices.

While the total sales number from brick-and-mortar retail still dwarfs that of ecommerce, data from multiple reports suggest that it is in decline. Analytics firm RetailNext says net sales at brick-and-mortar stores fell 5.0% over the Black Friday weekend, while the number of transactions fell 7.9%. According to retail research firm ShopperTrak, physical store visits fell 1% during Thanksgiving and Black Friday when compared with one year ago.

What Brands Should Do
As ecommerce, especially mobile commerce, continues to grow and erode physical retail, brands and retailers can no longer simply rely on traditional distribution and sales channels to effectively reach a migrating consumer base. As the numbers show, retailers and brands operating physical stores will need to learn to properly utilize tools in mobile, email and social promotions to boost sales and update their retail strategies with a mobile-powered, omnichannel approach.

The Lab has extensive experience working with retail and CPG clients to develop and implement digitally-enhanced retail experiences. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in crafting a digitally enhanced, innovative retail experience. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop an omnichannel retail strategy and mobile-driven retail solutions, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Sources: TechCrunch & Reuters

By The Numbers: More Than 25% Of U.S. Internet Users Are Blocking Ads

What Happened
By the end of next year, about a third of internet users in the States will be blocking ads, up from 20% in 2015, according to a recent eMarketer study (paywalled link). The study, which defines an ad-blocker user as “an internet user who accesses the internet at least once a month via any device that has an ad-blocker enabled,” also estimates that 26.3% of U.S. netizens are using an ad blocker this year. The silver lining here, however, seems to be that the growth rate of ad-blocker users is gonna slow down a bit, declining from 35% to 24% next year.

U.S. Ad Blocking Chart
source: eMarketer, June 2016


What Brands Need To Do
Here at the Lab, we have been keeping a close eye on the rise of ad-blocking since last May. In fact, it is a fundamental part of the trend of Ad Avoidance that we highlighted in our Outlook 2016 report. This eMarketer study is evident of ad-blocking’s continued prevalence and the growing consumer demand for a better online experience.

For brand advertisers, this means two things. First, brands need to work closely with agencies and media owners to take full advantage of the digital tools available to create leaner ads, deliver a less clustered ad experience, and ensure the viewability of their ads. Second, brands should also try exploring some non-conventional ad formats such as event sponsorships, branded content, or native advertising to reach consumers who have opted to block ads.


Source: AdWeek

By The Numbers: Mobile Purchase Habits

As mobile usage continues to rise, mobile spending is correspondingly increasing, growing 42% annually over a four-year period. Therefore, it is important for brands looking to conquer the mobile space to understand how and when average users are making purchases on mobile devices and hopefully discover some behavioral patterns that can help inform brands’ mobile commerce strategy.

1- Applovin_RevenuebyHour

Whether in games, retail, travel or other commerce apps, users are much more likely to make purchases before and after work, according to a study from AppLovin and TUNE. The study found that, on an hourly basis, mobile revenues and usage spikes to a daily high around both 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during weekdays, discrediting the myth of “lunch break shopping”.

2 -Applovin_RevenuebyWeekdayjpg

Similarly, on a day-to-day basis, mobile spending peaks over weekends, while Wednesday marks the lowest. Although it is generally established that Mondays are generally the best revenue for online retail, Fridays and Sundays take the top spots for most in-app purchasing and spending.

3- Applovin_UsagebyWeekday















It is also important to note that mobile spending revenue pattern doesn’t necessarily correlate to mobile usage. While Wednesdays, the lowest day in terms of revenue, do register the lowest mobile usage of the week, Friday, second slowest day in terms of usage, is also the second highest in terms of revenue.

4 - Applovin_UsagebyHour

Likewise, on an hourly basis, evening is when usage and spending both hit their daily peaks, whereas the morning hours post similar spending but less usage. The bottom line here is mobile commerce is not the same as general ecommerce, and marketers need to find ways to programmatically increase win rates during peak hours and weekends that fit the mobile spending patterns.

All featured charts courtesy of AppLovin Blog.


By The Numbers: U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015

A new survey from Pew Research Center revealed some interesting insights into mobile user behaviors of US consumers.

PI_2015-04-01_smartphones_01 - 1

Nearly one in five American adults now use mobile as primary source of Internet access, a group that, as the survey reveals, tend to skew younger, non-white, and lower income. Overall, 64% of US adults own a smartphone, but its usage varies by generation.

PI_2015-04-01_smartphones_03 - 2

More than half of the US adults have used a smartphone to get heath information and handle online banking. This signals the great potential that mobile has to disrupt the healthcare and payment industries.

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Texting, Internet browsing, and emailing rank among top features for mobile users across all age groups. Younger generations, however, show a clear inclination towards video and audio consumptions on smartphones.

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Furthermore, the survey also uncovered some insights into smartphone owners’ emotional connection to their devices. As we pointed out in our Outlook 2015, mobile is ushering in a new era of intimate computing that brings the consumers both the Internet of Thrills (happy and grateful) and Peak Distraction (distracted and frustrated).

All charts from the Pew Research Center

By The Numbers: Digital Ad Spend Concentrates Into Mobile

According to a new eMarketer study, mobile advertising is set to take over digital ad spending in the States, surpassing spending in desktop advertising as early as next year. And its growth is not showing any sign of slowing down, as mobile is predicted to account for 72% of the US digital ad spend by 2019.


Why Mobile Is Winning The Ad Dollars

The shift to mobile ad spending is being driven mainly by the change in media consumption as users move towards mobile devices. In 2014, US adults spent an average of 2 hours, 51 minutes with mobile devices, while desktop time fell to 2 hours, 12 minutes daily last year.


Apps Are Where The Money Is Going

The growth rate stays uneven even within mobile ads, as app spending is projected to outpace mobile web browser ad dollars at a ratio of nearly 3-to-1. Advertisers will spend $20.79 billion to reach consumers via mobile apps in 2015, compared with $7.93 billion on mobile browsers.



All charts courtesy of eMarketer.


By The Numbers: Peak Distraction In The Mobile Age

Have you ever physically bumped into someone when you’re busy looking at your phone? According to a Pew Research survey, 53% of all mobile users have experienced such “distracted walking” encounters, which is just one of many manifestations of “peak distraction.”


The rapid proliferation of mobile devices in recent years has ushered us into the mobile age, where access to information and content is always just one click away. Along with such modern conveniences, however, it has also brought us a new level of distraction, which makes it harder and harder for brands to be heard.

Frequency of checking phones

People are especially distracted when they are watching TV, as 63% of TV ads are ignored by consumers who look away to check their smartphones. According to a recent study, 43% of smartphone users check their device more than 25 times per day, with nearly 10% checking over 100 times per day.

Deloitte Device Obssession

On average, we spend nearly 3 hours each day on our mobile devices.  Yet as more and more of our time is taken up by smaller screens, we’re losing our ability to truly focus on everything else. To cut through the clutter and capture the attention of your audience, brands need to start deploying improved technology that can help to find the right moment to deliver an impression.

For more information on how to beat peak distraction and other market trends, check out our brand new Outlook 2015.

By The Numbers: Quantifying Consumers’ Fear About Connected Devices

As we pointed out in last week’s By-the-Numbers, privacy concerns are holding back mainstream consumers from embracing connected home devices. This holds true for all connected devices, as the following AdWeek infographic perfectly illustrates.

Fears about personal privacy and data security, either through company misconduct or malicious hacking, rank as the top challenge for the IoT industry. In addition, a lack of perceived value in connected devices and associated pricing concerns don’t help the industry’s case.

Unsurprisingly, consumers prefer convenient devices, with fitness devices receiving an approving nod.  Meanwhile, the products in the least-wanted basket all share the trait of low practical value—most of the connected functions they offer can be achieved by simply looking at or smelling the items.


fear of connected devices


(Infographic Source: AdWeek)

By The Numbers: Google And Facebook Fighting Over Social Logins

According to recent research by Statista, in the past year, Google has been narrowing its gap on Facebook in the fight over third-party social logins. Back in the last quater of 2013, Facebook had a 10% lead on Google in social logins, an advantage that shrank down to a mere 3% by the end of last year.

Social logins are incredibly valuable to companies like Google and Facebook because it extends their reach into other web domains other than their own, collecting more data about their users’ interests and habits cross websites and platforms and ultimately building a more comprehensive profile of their consumers.

By The Numbers: The Shifting Market Of OTT Streaming Devices

According to a new report by Parks Associates, Google’s Chromecast has surpassed Apple TV as the No.2 most popular media streaming device on the U.S. market. Despite a considerable slip, Roku’s lineup is still the most popular this year, with a solid 29% of market share, while Apple TV fell to third place with 17%.


Apple TV sales have always been lukewarm for an Apple device, and its recent slide in market share could be reasonably attributed to its comparatively hefty price tag, as well as its closed ecosystem. The Cupertino company needs to add more value to their set-top box if they wish to continue competing with the likes of Roku and Chromecast, boasting accessible prices and better compatibility.

Moreover, the recently introduced Amazon’s Fire TV box and stick came in fourth place with an impressive 10% share.  As new media streaming devices, be they dongles or set-top boxes, continue to emerge, the market for OTT devices will maintain its grow amid swiftly shifting competition.

By The Numbers: What Consumers Want Out Of Connected Cars

It’s estimated that by 2015, more than half of global vehicles sales will be made up of connected cars. As the connected car is still a relatively new concept for buyers, it will be crucial for manufacturers and brands to determine which features truly interest them.


Not surprisingly, the “driving assistance and safety” category is top of mind. The “infotainment” features that the auto industry is attempting to upsell, however, are not as important in comparison.


Looking closer at the infotainment features, it is clear that in-car music streaming, which replaces traditional car radio, enjoys high popularity among connected drivers. (No wonder Pandora has been aggressively vying for the market.) Downloading media content, in comparison, is most likely hindered by the high cost of data plans in connected cars, which remains a major obstacle for connected car adoption.


A look at the big picture, though, reveals that the majority of U.S. car owners don’t really understand the full capabilities (and possibilities) of the connected car. The auto industry will need to do a better job at familiarizing car consumers with the great benefits of connected cars if they wish to stay ahead of the curve.