Performics Weekly Digital Research Recap

Posted by Cristina Lucero & Christina Mannarino, Performics Research & Insights Team

United States

Performics Authored

-Engaging the 2012 Back-to-School Shopper

  • During the 2011 back-to-school season (Q3), Performics saw:
  • Q3 2011 clicks were up 28 percent over Q2 2011
  • Paid search spend (and consequently, CPCs) peaked in August
  • September was the biggest month, by far, for back-to-school sales. September sales were up 36 percent from August.
  • The 2012 back-to-school shopper is quite different from 2011.  For instance:
  • She’s more likely to own a tablet; She’s more likely to shop on a smartphone, and even use it in-store; She’s on Pinterest pinning the hottest styles and getting recommendations from friends
  • This year’s back-to-school shoppers are savvier than ever.  Keep up with them on mobile, tablets, Pinterest, Google+ and comparison shopping engines.
  • Learn more on how to engage with the Back-to-School Shopper on the Performics Blog

Channel Insights


-Facebook begins rolling out Timeline for pages on mobile devices (Facebook)

  • The design now includes a page’s cover photo, more information from the About section, and new icons to view a page’s photos and details about its fan base. In the iPhone app, pages also feature a larger Like button, spanning across the width of the screen.
  • On the mobile web, some pages have a smaller Like button because the page also includes the Message button, which hasn’t been brought to the native app yet
  • These changes make the Facebook experience more consistent and could help improve conversions for mobile Sponsored Stories
  • Pages should be aware, however, that the cover photo and profile photo are not aligned the same way as on desktop, so designs that integrate the profile image into the cover art will not appear as intended on mobile
  • Read the full article here

-American Customer Satisfaction Index Report: Google+ tops all social sites in user-satisfaction survey

  • Facebook users not as satisfied as Google+ users
  • Facebook's rating drops 8 percent to 61 on a 100-point scale, while Google+ makes its index debut with a 78, putting it in line with Wikipedia
  • According to the report, Google+ does well because it doesn't have traditional advertising, has more focus on privacy, and provides a better mobile experience
  • Facebook users, on the other hand, complain about ads and privacy concerns, with the most frequent complaint being changes to the interface, with the most recent one being the introduction of the Timeline
  • Other social media sites scored were LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter, all with scores that were 69 and lower, but higher than Facebook's 61
  • Read more about the report here


-Tablets & Smartphones Generate Strong Ad Engagement (IAB)

  • IAB recently released “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day,” an in-depth research report that reveals how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by device, time of day, and location. Report highlights include:
  • There is a strong degree of ad interaction among tablet users, with nearly half (47%) saying that they engage with ads on that device more than once a week
  • One in four (25%) smartphone users also said that they interact with ads at that same frequency
  • Once these mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80% smartphone users, 89% tablet users)
  • Read the full report here

-The Rise of the “Connected Viewer” (Pew Internet)

  • Half of all adult cell phone owners now incorporate their mobile devices into their television watching experiences, according to a new survey from Pew Internet
  • 38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
  • 22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
  • 20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
  • 11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
  • Read the full report here


-Yahoo! Names Google Exec Marissa Mayer as New CEO (AdAge)

  • In appointing Ms. Mayer, 37, the board passed over Ross Levinsohn, former exec VP of the Americas
  • Mr. Levinsohn had been handling the CEO position on an interim basis since shortly after the board's last pick, former PayPal exec Scott Thompson, resigned over a resume scandal
  • At Google, Ms. Mayer ran the consumer search experience but was not directly involved in the search ad business
  • As an exec from the product side of Google, those are relationships Ms. Mayer has yet to build
  • Read the full article here

-Study: Clicks On Google Ads Are Nearly Double Organic Clicks For Commercial Searches

  • Sponsored results represented 64.6% of clicks on SERPs for commercial searches, while organic clicks only accounted for 35.4%
  • “High commercial intent” is defined by Google’s own standards, including keyword searches that trigger a Google Shopping box or Google Product Listing ad
  • High click-through rate on paid ads on commercial searches is attributed to Google’s continual addition of new ad products
  • These include product listing ads, click-to-call, bottom of page ads, site links, social extensions and local extensions
  • Read the full article here

Seasonal Events


-42 percent of participants surveyed plan to increase spending on apparel and school supplies (Journal of Commerce Online)

  • The survey indicated the top back-to-school purchase by participants this year is school supplies, 88 percent; followed by apparel, 79 percent
  • Participants plan to buy that merchandise at discount stores, 83 percent; office supply stores, 46 percent; and traditional department stores, 44 percent
  • The average household expenditure on back-to-school items will be about $300 this year, which would be an increase over last year for 42 percent of those surveyed
  • Read the full article here

-Back-To-School Spending Grows As Parents Restock, Replenish Children’s Needs (NRF)

  • The average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $688.62 on their children, up from $603.63 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $30.3 billion.
  • More people plan to shop for sales more often (51.1% vs. 50.0% last year) and cut back on their children’s extracurricular activities (11.0% vs. 10.2% last year)
  • Savvy shoppers looking to save some money will shop online more often (17.9% vs. 15.3% last year) and comparison shop online (32.1% vs. 29.8% last year)
  • Teens, pre-teens chipping in a bit more this year; men spending significantly more than women
  • Men are expected to spend an average $739.75 on their children in grades K-12, compared to women who will spend an average of $640.42
  • Read the article here

-Back-To-School with Yahoo!

  • $70 billion – Total projected spending for back to school merchandise including apparel, supplies and computers
  • Back-to-School search activity starts in June, peaks in August and continues through September
  • Ensure your campaigns are up and running by end of May
  • Per 2011 trend, volume of traffic generated by search terms with 4 words followed by 5 words had the highest clicks
  • It is a best practice to have keywords with 4 and 5 words under exact match type to generate more relevant traffic

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