Yearly Archives

2013

Men and Women Shop Differently on Mobile

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Compared to men, women are much more attached to their smartphones according to a study by Nuance Digital Marketing and Time Magazine called Women+Mobile: The Unbreakable Bond. As this infographic from Adweek displays, 60 percent of women say their mobile is the most important device in their lives, nearly 20 points higher than for men.

 

When it comes to shopping, men and women are using mobile devices more than ever, but taking divergent approaches. For men, smartphones get shopping done quickly and efficiently. They use their mobiles to find the closest store (58 percent), search for products (50 percent) or scan QR codes (50 percent, compared to 38 percent of women).

 

Women, on the other hand, embrace the entire digital shopping experience and dig for deals. They start with apps that create product wish lists (32 percent), then make shopping lists (46 percent) and clip digital coupons (23 percent versus 14 percent of men).

 

When they buy, women check in to stores using location apps like Foursquare to get discounts (17 percent). And post-purchase, they are more likely share photos of their new buy (52 percent, versus 35 percent of men).

Teen ‘Likes’ Can Turn into Sales

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Nearly half of teens expect today’s brands to interact with them on social media. But do those interactions translate to sales? The answer is mostly yes, according to a study by Forrester about social media marketing to 12- to 18-year-olds.

 

“These young people grew up with social media; they depend on their parents for their spending; and they’re incredibly connected,” Forrester analyst Gina Sverdlov writes. “They also have a completely different set of expectations when it comes to social media marketing.”

 

On average, a teen “likes” 15 brands on Facebook and follows 16 brands on Twitter—one more than adults in each category. The study found that 12- to 18-year-olds that engage with a brand on social media have a higher probability of having made a past purchase, considering a future purchase, and recommending the brand.

 

For instance, nearly 9 in 10 teens who “like” Starbucks’ Facebook page will recommend the coffee brand, compared to about 3 in 10 teens that aren’t fans.

 

At Disney, 62 percent of teen Twitter followers made a purchase in the past year, compared to 18 percent of non-followers. While the study didn’t find a strong link between social media interactions and future purchases, the data strongly correlated being a fan with making a past purchase—suggesting that most fans are already avid customers.

More TV Viewers Are Tweeting

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If you’re favorite television show is sporting a hashtag, it’s because Twitter means big business for networks and the advertisers trying to reach consumers.

 

According to a report from The Media Audit, the number of primetime TV viewers who use Twitter is north of 13 million, more than double what it was two years ago. Many of them tweet during a show or sporting event, transforming the viewing experience from passive to participatory.

 

“Networks are utilizing Twitter to create ‘buzz’ and moderate online discussions about programs that are being watched simultaneously,” the report says.

 

What may be surprising about this group is their purchasing power.  A national survey of more than 7,000 Twitter users revealed they are a third more likely to shop for a new car in the next year, 62 percent more likely to buy electronics and 11 percent more likely to trade on the stock market.

 

Twitter is also helping television advertisers reach younger viewers, an increasingly difficult task as Gen-Y abandons broadcast TV for online video. The average age on Twitter is 35, compared to 40+ on Facebook.

 

“The data suggests that TV broadcasters and cable networks have good reason to utilize Twitter and will continue to be a driving force in the TV/digital/social media convergence,” the report says.

Dudes Don’t Discuss Puppies on Facebook

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How stereotypical can we be? In a study of the different words used by various demographics of Facebook users in their status updates, women talked most about shopping and their hair, while men posted about sports, video games and war.

 

This is according to a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, who analyzed 700 million words, phrases and topics pulled from the Facebook status updates of 75,000 volunteers.

 

They were looking for the words or phrases that could best predict, for example, whether someone was male or female, which explains why many of the results are pretty stereotypical (i.e. shopping vs. Xbox). Still, why don’t more dudes talk about puppies? Some other insights they found:

 

  • Women used more emotion words, like “excited,” and more of the first-person singular. They talked about love more often.
  • Men used the possessive “my” when talking about their girlfriend or wife more often than women used the words “my” together with “boyfriend” or “husband.” Women tended to use words like “her” or “amazing” with mentions of significant others.
  • Men used more swear words, and referenced more objects, like “Xbox.”

 

Excerpted from The Different Ways Men and Women Talk on Facebook by Shaunacy Ferro, Popular Science, October 1, 2013.

Savvy Millennials Share Deals

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Marketers, take note; Millennials share more coupons and deals than any other age group, according to the sixth annual RedPlum Purse String Survey by Valassis Communications. “The 18-34 group knows a good deal when they see one—and 9 out of 10 share their great find—via word of mouth, socially and texting,” writes Valassis.

 

Millennials are about 10 percent more likely than other adults to share coupons via social media or text. They also share more deals via word of mouth (71 percent versus 56 percent).

 

“Millennials are just as highly promotion sensitive as their older counterparts,” Lisa Reynolds blogs for Valassis. “What is most surprising is that Millennials use many of the same sources to get coupons and deals.” In fact, Millennials are just as likely to clip a physical coupon as they are to use coupons via email (45 percent)—even edging out the over-40 set with coupon clipping.

 

The results show that there’s no single way to reach Millennials. Reynolds suggests engaging them from multiple angles, online and offline, print, digital and social.

Mobile Web Use Sees Rapid Gains

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For the first time, nearly 6 in 10 American adults go online using mobile phones, according to a recent study by Pew Research—a rate that has doubled since 2009.

 

“The steady increase in cell phone internet usage follows a similar growth trajectory for smartphone ownership. Over half of all adults (56 percent) now own a smartphone, and 93 percent of these smartphone owners use their phone to go online,” the report says.

 

There is also a growing group of super-mobile web users. One-fifth of cell phone owners go online more often with their phones than with computers, laptops or tablets.

 

The scales have tipped with email as well, with 52 percent now reading email on their phones, demonstrating that email marketers can’t afford to ignore mobile optimization.

Millennials Ditch TV for Online Video

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Walk into the homes of younger adults today and you’ll find their computer screens alit, but maybe not their TVs. One in three Millennials (age 18-34) watch mostly online video or no broadcast TV at all, Poynter reports; this compares to 1 in 5 Gen-X’ers (age 35-49) and 1 in 10 Boomers (age 50+). The data comes from a New York Times survey of 4,000 online adults.

 

A Pew Research study concurs stating, “Those most likely to watch online video tend to be young, college educated and wealthy, but the behavior is growing across all online adults.”

 

In order of popularity, humorous clips are the most watched (52 percent), followed by movie clips (46 percent), music videos (39 percent) and then the news (35 percent).

 

The New York Times study took particular interest in why people choose to watch video versus read content such as news stories. The answer? Videos mean entertainment. More than half of people said they stream videos to be entertained—even if it’s the news. However, respondents agreed that it’s worth reading a news story for accurate and trustworthy information or when they want a more complete story.

 

As for where people stream video, YouTube is still king. Six in 10 respondents said they watch content on video hosting sites, followed by social media sites (44 percent), TV network sites (29 percent) and news sites (28 percent).

 

Another finding: 6 in 10 respondents said they’re more likely to sit through commercials if a countdown timer makes it clear the ads are short.

Teen Shopping Slumps

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Teens are experiencing mall fatigue; they’re shopping less overall and shifting what they do spend to the online channel, according to the recent Taking Stock with Teens study by Piper Jaffray. About 8 in 10 teens already shop online and the trend is expected to continue with increased teen smartphone use.

 

The shift is causing brands to rethink how to reach their youngest customers in the apparel, beauty products, food and entertainment categories. Fashion is bearing the brunt of the change. While teens still apply $4 of every $10 of their spending money on apparel, outlays in this category have declined slightly from last year and the number of shopping trips have dropped by a quarter. Clothing labels still matter to teens, but they’re looking for deals to make smaller allowances go further. Single-brand stores like Abercrombie and Fitch are losing in popularity, while multi-brand stores and discount outlets like TJ Maxx are gaining ground; 6 in 10 boys and 7 in 10 girls shop at these off-price stores.

 

Because the opinions of their friends matter, more than half of teens said social media impacts their purchases. Twitter was rated the most important, followed by Facebook and Instagram. It’s notable that the popularity of Facebook continues to wane among Gen-Z, with only 23 percent calling it the most important social site, a huge drop from 42 percent a year ago.

Men More Likely to Live With Parents

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As more adults decide to live with mom and dad, young men appear to be less willing to fly the nest than women, a new study finds. This, experts say, could be an early sign of larger economic problems.

 

Millions of young Americans are living at home, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The number of “millennials”—adults aged 18 to 31—living at home rose to 36 percent last year. That represented the highest percentage in the last four decades, and a significant increase from 32 percent just five years earlier. However, millennial males (40 percent) were significantly more likely than millennial females (32 percent) to live with mom and dad.

 

There are some demographic reasons for the gender gap. On average, men tend to marry later than women, says Zhenchao Qian, chair of sociology at Ohio State University. Sons may also have an easier time at home. Even in 2013, parents expect their sons to do less housework than their daughters, he says.

 

“Parents give their sons more freedom than their daughters,” says Kit Yarrow, chair of the psychology department at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Calif. and co-author of “Gen Y.”

 

But there are more worrying factors in play than a taste for the comforts of home. Young women tend to outperform men in post-secondary education. Some 71.3 percent of female high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college versus 61.3 percent of males, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, men who had earned bachelor’s degrees in 2011 had an unemployment rate of 16.1 percent in October 2011, compared with 11.2 percent among females, a separate Bureau of Labor Statistics report found.

 

Regardless of sex, children living at home longer put a bigger financial burden on their parents and the economy. Hosting a son or daughter after 18 can cost $8,000 to $18,000 a year, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. And the fact that around 22.6 million young adults are still living at home also means there are fewer renters and potential buyers of first-time homes in the property market. Only 450,000 new households are being created annually versus 1.1 million before the recession, according to real-estate marketplace Trulia; 18- to 34-year-olds make up half of that demand.

 

Excerpted from Women Leave the Nest, Men Stay with Parents, by Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch, August 5, 2013.

Online Shopping Sets the Sexes Apart

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The same male and female shopping habits that play out in malls and grocery stores across the U.S. also play out online, according to the ecommerce agency Redstage.

 

Women dominate online retail in nearly every category, spending 20 percent more time browsing shopping sites than men. Women also spend more money online in almost every area except sports, electronics and outdoor goods.

 

Guys, however, dominate mobile shopping. Armed with their smartphones, they tend to focus a singular shopping mission, delving deeply into product information. In contrast, women tend to scan and browse many products. “This often leads to more impulse purchases from women than from men.”

 

Other differences: Women are more likely to use coupons online (68 percent vs. 60 percent for men) and shop when there are sales (49 percent vs. 36 percent). Women are also more likely to share products on social networks.

 

What do these tendencies mean for ecommerce sites? Retailers catering to men should ensure their mobile site is dialed in, with detailed product information and customer-backed reviews. In contrast, retailers catering to women online should make it easy to browse many products, with the ability to filter and sort results and share finds with social networks.