This week the CJ Blog welcomes a new contributor from our client development team, Mike Halloran. Mike's blog posts will bring interesting online digital and marketing stats and trends so you can stay on top of the most relevant information impacting our business.
Q2 Numbers Are In!
This week I got my hands on some reports put together by the best and the brightest in the industry. ComScore states that online spending went up 15.5 percent this past quarter. In real dollars, that means we spent $49.84 billion this year--quite a jump from the $43.15 billion we spent between April and June 2012. Mobile sales increased as well--$4.7 billion was spent in Q2 2013, compared to the $3.8 billion spent in Q2 2012. This is the 15th quarter in a row with positive online spending according to comScore Inc's findings. E-tail rises 16 percent in the second quarter.
Do we see this trend ending soon? Barring a major economic, political, or natural disaster, or a major cultural habit shift, it shouldn't. More and more people are growing up and entering the workforce accustomed to buying things from the comfort of their home (or office). If there are people growing up today who still only buy from the store, there aren't enough of them to stop this positive trend.
Q4 Sales Predictions
These double digit numbers point to a positive Q4. The E-tailing Group talked to a number of retailers and the majority (60 percent) believe that their Q4 online sales will be 10 percent higher than last year. Of that 60 percent, almost a quarter (23 percent) have even higher expectations: 11 - 15 percent growth. These are the guys that are going to help us meet the U.S. Commerce Department's 15.8 percent Q4 growth prediction! That would be a decent jump over last year, where we saw 14 percent growth. Remember that last year the Q4 numbers ended up being softer than the predictions. Most retailers expect their holiday online sales to grow at least 10 percent.
Another interesting point: 53 percent of the companies interviewed expect mobile to play a large role in their Q4 numbers. Physical stores will have to fight extra hard this year as smart phones are their new enemy. They bring the competition right into their store.
In case you were concerned about last month's update to the Gmail inbox (a good summary of the updates can be found in this Quartz.com article by Rachel Feltman), there's good news. The update appears to have had little impact on the opening of retailer e-mails. Readers who never opened promotional email still aren't. Those who did open promotional email are opening again. They appear to have figured it out! Gmail's new tabs for filtering email have done marketers little harm.
A recent eMarketer report looked closely at how people engage with email and it seems we're more likely to open emails from brands we've purchased before. Also, mobile devices have added a new twist—73 percent of mobile phone users say a promotional email opened on their mobile device did not lead them to buy via their mobile phone. It will be interesting to watch and see if this behavior changes over time. For emails, name recognition drives opens.