Performics Weekly Research Recap

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

Highlighted below are emerging trends and insights from the week of July 11, 2011:

United States

Channel Insights


– Mobile Social Media Usage Affects Shopping Habits (eMarketer).

  • A Knowledge Networks and MediaPost Communications study found that 27% of US mobile internet users turned to social media to compare or check prices before, during or after shopping.
  • 37% of US social media users trust what their friends and family members say about a brand or product on social media, compared to only 10% who trust what strangers say.
  • This is an added challenge for retailers and marketers, as they must focus on keeping customers happy on the go and remember how much influence a customer’s social media posts can have on their friends and family members.


– Netflix Hikes Pricing Plan by 60 Percent (Netflix).

  • “[Netflix recently announced a change in business and pricing models by] separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into separate plans to better reflect the costs of each and to give [their] members a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan or the option to subscribe to both.”
  • The price hike has spiked an outrage amongst Netflix customers, and press reports that many current users are threatening to cancel their membership because of this decision.
  • We anticipate that this will encourage many customers to start re-evaluating better options, and for video focused competitors to take advantage and capture market share.
  • Several in-market competitors who we feel are likely to capitalize on this change are:  Redbox, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster by Mail, Vudu, YouTube Rentals, CinemaNow, GreenCine.


– Mobile SEO: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Search Engine Land).

  • “Mobile SEO” doesn’t truly exist but creating great mobile content should still be part of your SEO strategy.
  • With mobile, we have to be looking to the near future and thinking how the search engines will adapt to cater for this quickly developing niche within an industry that is developing at a million miles per hour.
  • Read the full story here.

– WhitePages Gets “Localicious” With Android Search App (Search Engine Land).

  • To further simplify neighborhood search, Localicious has analyzed millions of businesses searches across WhitePages web and mobile platforms to create 25 highly relevant categories to help users quickly narrow their search to find relevant local businesses based on their specific interests, including a “Popular” view which automatically suggests popular businesses nearby.
  • Read the full story here.



– Cosmopolitan Magazine, a Popular Women’s Magazine, Launches App for Men (AdWeek).

  • More retailers are beginning to understand the value of truly understanding all participants in their purchase funnel. Breaking out of the common response, “we target 18-45 yr old women”, we see more brands engaging with smaller age groups, gender specific and ethnic specific campaigns.
  • The app will contain fashion advice, gift-giving ideas, and of course, sex tips, all from a woman’s point of view.
  • The app was created for the “silent male” cosmo reader who is interested in what the magazine has to offer and who may be interested in a male version of the magazine.
  • Read the full story here.


Financial Services

– How Banks Plan to Compete with Groupon (CNN Money).

  • Many of the nation’s leading banks and card issuers are selling information about consumers’ shopping habits — how much they spend, where they shop and what they buy — to make money.
  • Retailers are using the data to offer targeted discounts via text, email and online bank statements.
  • Aite Group, an independent Boston-based research firm specializing in financial services, forecasts that these merchant-funded incentives will drive $1.7 billion in annual revenue for card issuers by 2015.
  • Here’s how it works: Say you use your debit card to go shopping at Nordstrom. A competitor like Macy’s may ask your bank to send coupons to customers who typically spend more than $200 a month at Nordstrom. As a result, you then receive a 20% discount to Macy’s from your bank.
  • Read the full story here.


Back to School

– As Back to School Approaches, Economy is at the Top of Mind for Americans (National Retail Federation).

  • Nearly half of survey respondents say they’ve become more practical in their purchases, up from May and the highest June reading in the survey’s history.
  • 90-day Outlook – Almost all retail spending categories are up in June from the previous month, but challenges lay ahead thanks in part to high food and energy costs and high unemployment.
  • Read the full story here.

– Hitwise “Back To School” Webinar Key takeaways:

  • Peak months for back to school buzz is July through mid-September, with a peak interest around August 14th.  Apparel – email open rates are highest in July but click rates are highest in September.
  • In September 2010, there was a spike in click through rates for supplies, whereas apparel trends stayed constant from July to September.
  • When searching for apparel, in order to stay relevant, participants often include the retail name as well as the current year (reason being is that they want this season’s hottest trends).
  • Back to school computer searchers are focused on the “best” laptop for college students as well as the “best” deals on laptops. Tablets are another growing interest among entering college students.

Global Insights

Market Insights

– Insights from Emerging Markets – Teens, Tourism, the African Consumer, Education, and More (TNS).

  • Teens around the globe are developing a shared outlook on life and a unified way of seeing the world, through common media usage and the availability of global experiences to all.
  • A recent TNS study shows that one of the biggest worries a woman has in life is the fear of not being able to provide her children with a good education.
  • Read the full story here.


– Payment Infrastructures and Cultures Differ Significantly by Region and Country – Payment Acceptance May Not Always Parallel the U.S. Experience (eMarketer via CyberSource).

  • In Asia, a majority of customers use credit cards for online purchases in many countries, with the notable exception of China.
  • Mexican customers prefer to use bank cards, with a very high percentage consisting of POS-only cards requiring a PIN. Similar to Brazil, there is a sizable proportion of local cards. Approximately 60% of the cards in Mexico cannot conduct cross-border transactions.
  • Read the full story here.


– Smartphone Penetration in Asia is Set to Boom (Nielsen Wire).

  • While fewer than 20 percent of Asia Pacific mobile users currently have smartphones, interest in upgrading is high: nearly half of consumers intend on buying a smartphone in 2011, according to Nielsen research.
  • In developed markets, generous and unlimited data plans have played a critical role in the surge of data application usage.
  • Read the full story here.

-Other developing trends that will have an impact on data usage:

  1. Tablets: Sales in the U.S. and Western Europe have been surpassing expectations, and there is no reason for this trend to be different in Asia Pacific. Most tablet owners will also own a smartphone. This creates an attractive niche group of “super consumers” who can be reached through an additional high-engagement screen, but who will also have an additional need for seamless service and content mobility in order to remain satisfied and loyal.
  2. Multimedia phones: Phones with touchscreens but lacking open, high-end operating systems provide an opportunity for other players in the mobile ecosystem to ride on the excitement generated by smartphones. In Latin America, the market share of multimedia phones is growing dramatically as they satisfy consumers who want the features offered by smartphones but are unable to afford them. In India, local brands such as Spice and MicroMax are already making huge splashes in the market.

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