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4 Things to Know about Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a major problem in ecommerce.

According to a bespoke study we carried out in July, more than three-quarters of internet users in the UK and U.S. had added items to their online shopping cart in the previous month, but didn’t complete the purchase.

In both markets, at least 15% of these abandoned carts contained goods worth over £100 or $100.

This is a huge source of potential revenue that retailers are missing out on, but, thanks to our data, we’re able to shed a light on why it happens, and what can be done about it.

Flexible delivery options are crucial to consumers.

So how can retailers convert these abandoned carts into returns?

Free delivery is consistently highlighted as the most important purchase driver by our respondents, and this bespoke study echoes that.

Three in 10 of those who abandoned a purchase did so because shipping was too expensive.

16% opted out because the shipping was too slow or inconvenient.

Free delivery is clearly the major consumer preference, but if this isn’t feasible, there are other ways of ensuring that consumers don’t see delivery costs as a surprise barrier to completing a purchase.

Transparency on any potential shipping costs early on is needed, so they’re not shown a shopping cart total that is more than expected.

The majority of the respondents say discounts via email would motivate them to return and complete a purchase, but this tactic should be approached with caution.

Beyond presenting problems with margins, follow-up emails with discounts may create an environment where consumers feel like leaving a checkout incomplete is a way of scoring a better deal.

Most consumers are happy with the current user experience.

One encouraging conclusion from our survey is that consumers don’t tend to abandon their carts because of technical glitches.

Fewer than 1 in 10 say that they didn’t complete the purchase because the checkout wasn’t user-friendly, because of technical problems, or because their preferred payment was declined.

This is true even among older age groups who are considered less tech-savvy than those who are younger.

Technical issues remain a minority concern when we account for the devices consumers shop on.

It’s still 1 in 10 who say they have abandoned a checkout because of technical problems, regardless of device.

Mobile optimization for retail sites is clearly paying off and should remain top-of-mind.  

Time to think and personal finance are top reasons.

The main reasons our respondents selected for why they abandoned a purchase were so they could sleep on it, or because of personal financial reasons.

This means transparency about delivery costs and a user-friendly process can reduce cart abandonment, but this is only part of the picture.

While some consumers abandon their carts for cost reasons, others leave their carts to continue researching.

For these use cases, the shopping cart is actually used for other reasons than simply making a purchase. They’re using the shopping cart as more of a wish list or bookmark.

Although retailers may offer their own wish list functions, our survey shows there’s an established behavior whereby consumers prefer to use the shopping cart instead.

There are practical ways retailers can use this as an opportunity, the most direct one being to make sure that consumers can easily load their shopping baskets from earlier sessions.

13% said this would motivate them to complete a purchase.

This can be successfully combined with other solutions, such as email prompts. However, only 4% say a text message prompt would motivate them to return to their shopping cart, so it’s important retailers aren’t too invasive when they message customers at this final stage. 

More expensive products require more time to consider.

When it comes to sleeping on a buying decision, there’s an interesting disparity between devices.

Buyers on mobile are less likely to sleep on it, which shows how small-screen devices lend themselves to buying on impulse.

The propensity to leave a purchase in order to sleep on the decision scales up with the value of the product as well, with buyers of travel products being the most likely to want to sleep on their decision.

In these product categories, keeping communication with the consumer open during this extra thinking stage, and making sure they can easily access a saved cart, is vital.

Retailers spend a lot of time and effort keeping consumers engaged along the purchase journey from discovery to purchase, but there’s less discussion about consumers’ motivations at the final stage, despite the fact that so many purchases are left unfinished.

It’s clear that consumers want thinking time at the point of purchase, and that the checkout stage is often used as an opportunity for more research.

Free delivery or transparent delivery costs will stop some consumers dropping off, but this is only half the story.

It’s crucial for retailers to make abandoned carts accessible for users whenever they log on, and they should keep in close contact with customers during or after this stage with offers, discounts or vouchers, so they can stay consistently top-of-mind.

Got a question about our insights? Ask in the comments section below and get featured in next week’s chart.

5 Trends to Know for Influencer Marketing Success

The popularity of influencers as a marketing medium shows no signs of slowing. They give brands the opportunity to reach consumers through more authentic, experiential marketing forms, while offering entertainment value and a personal connection beyond traditional advertising.

But where does this kind of marketing have the most potential?

In a bespoke survey, we asked 3,352 internet users across the UK and U.S. these questions. Here are our top findings.

1. Males are more likely to relate to influencers.

There’s a common misconception that most internet users who follow celebrities or well-known personalities online are female, but our research paints a different picture.

We uncovered an almost 50:50 gender split among the consumers who follow influencers online. Men were not only more likely to say they like to seek expert opinion before making a purchase, they were also more likely than women to say they can better relate to the opinions of these influencers than product experts.

This has an important implication:

The impact of influencer marketing may actually be greater among male followers.

Men were also more likely to agree that celebrities or well-known personalities actually influence their purchase decisions. But these influencers still need to work hard to be relatable among both genders, particularly as the influencer space gradually becomes more crowded.

2. Instagrammers are most impacted by influencers.

Facebook and YouTube take the lead when we look at where influencers are followed, but if we look at how influential they are on these platforms, we see something different:

Almost 1 in 2 Instagram users with influencers in their feeds say their purchase decisions are impacted by them.

This is compared to 41% of YouTube visitors and 37% of Facebook users.

Instagram’s format naturally lends itself to this type of marketing, and is clearly the hottest place for it. Its swipe-up feature lets influencers direct followers straight to purchase options, while ‘Stories’ provides a window into creators’ worlds – helping to make them more relatable.

And with the launch of IGTV for long-form video content, the platform continues to add to its formats that make the space an ideal ground for the type of influencer marketing consumers actually want.

3. Food influencers are most popular, but finance and travel are most influential.

When we asked consumers which categories of celebrities or personalities they follow online, food stood out as the top option at 45%, followed closely by beauty and fashion. When you think of influencer marketing, these are likely to be the first categories that come to mind as areas that are relevant to many consumers.

But it’s actually among the more niche, research-heavy topics like personal finance and travel where influencers appear most impactful; around a half of those who follow influencers in these areas say that their purchase decisions are affected by this type of content.

At the other end of the spectrum for this purchase influence is food and fitness. This is likely because influencers in these areas act more as sources of inspiration for recipes or exercise routines, for example, rather than sources of product discovery.

Influencers are then not only a useful way to sell products to consumers, but are most effective as a source of advice around important and costly topics – but authenticity and trust are key.

4. A “follow” doesn’t guarantee consumer trust.

One of the greatest barriers to the success of influencer marketing is trust. Although 40% of internet users who follow celebrities or well-known personalities on social media believe they make unbiased and trustworthy recommendations, 30% actually disagree with this statement.

These followers in the U.S. (43%) are considerably more trusting than those in the UK (32%). And considering that men are more likely to relate to the influencers they follow, it makes sense that they’re also more trusting of them.

As consumers don’t always trust the influencers they follow, brands need to choose their partners carefully.

5. Influencers and brands need to be honest about paid partnerships.

Being transparent with consumers will help to build trust and influence with them, particularly around the nature of the partnership between the brand and creator.

1 in 2 strongly agree that followers should be informed if celebrities or well-known personalities are being paid to promote a product or brand, and only 6% disagree.

There shouldn’t be any reason to hide this, and being open will only help to bring consumers on side.

This transparency is also important to ensure the future of influencer marketing.

And this is serious business: the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has introduced ad guidelines to regulate the process and make it clear when promotions are paid-for posts, while in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has enforced similar rules.

There are many reasons why marketers are being lured into influencer marketing, but there’s far more to its success than a mass following. Done right, influencers can provide great returns and a direct route to consumers that other advertising types don’t offer, but the what, where and how are crucial to maximizing its potential.

Got a question about our insights? Ask in the comments section below and get featured in next week’s chart.

Programmatic Ad Buying: 6 Examples of Brands Getting it Right

Today’s consumers can fast-forward, block or avoid ads completely, making it harder for brands to reach their intended audiences.

Our latest research shows 44% are now blocking ads each month, with ad-overload and ad-frustration being the most important drivers behind this trend. Yet, digital continues to drive further ad spend.

One place where this ad spend is going is programmatic – using audience data and technology to tailor your marketing to the right person, at the right moment, in the right context.

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, global programmatic is set to account for 28% of digital media spend this year, up from 17% last year, despite growing fears over the impact of GDPR on its revenue.

Done well, programmatic ensures brands are only ever delivering helpful, relevant and timely content that has the desired effect. Done badly, however, it can have a detrimental impact on a brand.

Here, we take a look at six examples of brands who have leveraged consumer data to drive successful programmatic campaigns.

1. O2

In 2016, O2 wanted to make its ‘tariff refresh’ TV ad relevant and engaging for a mobile audience. The brand repurposed the ads for mobile and used mobile usage data, such as device type and location, to tailor messaging to users.

This data meant O2 could advise its audience on the current recycling value of their phone, the best offer for an upgrade, what people “like them” generally preferred upgrading to, and where their nearest outlet was.

More than 1,000 versions of the video ad were created, and these were integrated in real-time with the user’s device and location.

An ideal example of a brand achieving creativity through data, the programmatic campaign saw its personalized ads achieve a Click-Through Rate (CTR) 128% higher than generic video.

2. The Economist

When The Economist wanted to target ‘intellectually-curious’ readers who had previously been reluctant to try the publication, it tapped into its wealth of subscriber data to identify the most relevant and engaging content to deliver, tailoring stories to its audience.

This included analyzing web/app usage of subscribers to The Economist, identifying reader preferences (what type of content was consumed and when), matching cookie, subscriber and other data sets to build seven segments reflecting the publication’s key sections – finance, politics, economics, doing good, careers, technology and social justice – and creating lookalike audiences.

Page context and viewer profile were then assessed in real-time, enabling the brand to serve an appropriate ad to each consumer.

The ads linked to The Economist’s content hub which presented the relevant article and invited the user to subscribe. More than 60 executions were created, many in near real-time from the company’s live newsroom.

Results included the generation of 650,000 new prospects, while 3.6m people took action and a campaign ROI of 10:1 was achieved on a £1.2m media budget.

In the U.S., where The Economist is less well-known, ‘awareness’ jumped 64%, ‘consideration’ rose by 22% and ‘willingness to recommend’ rose 10%.

3. Turner Sports

Turner Sports wanted to extend the reach of the NBA’s Season Tip-Off 2016 events, which are aired on Turner’s US cable channel, TNT.

The company worked with Google to build audience lists based on previous AdWord campaigns, before using algorithms from Google’s advertising subsidiary, DoubleClick, to identify the most relevant audiences.

The brand then gathered real-time video from Tip-Off events in Oakland, Cleveland, Chicago and Portland before launching a programmatic video advertising campaign. Content was delivered as YouTube TrueView ads to six million unique viewers across the U.S.

The campaign complemented Turner Sports’ live broadcasting, amplifying the story around the NBA Season Tip-Off events to optimize their marketing budget.

The activity drove a 17% lift in ad recall and a 7% lift in brand awareness for the NBA on TNT.

4. Audi

When Audi was preparing to launch its new customizable vehicle, the Q2, the company wanted to personalize its marketing. The goal was to create a campaign that would live up to the brand’s slogan: ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ – or ‘Advancement through Technology’.

Audi worked with Google to join the dots and analyze its key touchpoints in relation to analytics. Data included floodlight tags (or image pixels) on the Audi site, enabling the creation of remarketing lists of previous website visitors, as well as in-market segments, which helped Audi discover new users whose online behaviors showed their intention to make a car purchase.

A car configurator on the brand website allowed consumers to digitally customize their dream car, enabling Audi to collect information about users’ tastes. This was used to dynamically drive ad creatives.

A user’s position in the sales funnel – from someone with no previous contact with Audi, to someone who had completed a configuration of the new Q2 – coupled with insights into their preferences (such as model and color), informed the ad that would be served, ensuring it was highly relevant.

Buying ads programmatically led to an average conversion rate four times higher than those bought using traditional methods.

In the last phase of audience qualification, using dynamic creative ads with the visitor’s individually configured car (chosen from over 6,000 combinations) delivered more than double the efficiency of standard ads.

5. ScS

Home furnishings retailer, ScS, used various data sources such as search, web analytics and store visitor data to target customers when they were most likely to visit their local store, using programmatic to deliver product offers and location-based messaging on social platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

The company worked with search agency, Epiphany, while data was supplied by MediaIQ and Google Analytics. Store visitor data and the retailer’s own internal sales database was also used. These data points were combined with GPS data to enable the ads to be targeted to each customer’s location.

The campaign resulted in a 57% increase in store footfall during March and June 2016 compared with the same period the previous year.

6. Amanda Foundation

A great example of a brand taking programmatic in a new direction is the non-profit organization, Amanda Foundation, who partnered with Saatchi&Saatchi to create a highly personalized programmatic campaign.

‘Digital Pawprint’ is all about matching people with real animals up for adoption in the charity’s shelters, based on their hobbies and characteristics.

Chris Mead, one of the minds behind the campaign, said, “Pets are proven to improve quality of life. But they aren’t one-size-fits-all. Factors like age, activity level and family status mean some animals are a better fit than others.

“Modern display ads use information like a person’s location and browsing behavior to serve them hyper-relevant messages. So Amanda Foundation decided to use the same data to serve that person a hyper-relevant pet.”

The result is a striking campaign, fully targeted and personalized, which shows the true potential of programmatic advertising.

Taking control of programmatic

As programmatic continues to grow, more brands are taking the discipline in-house in the quest for increased control and greater visibility into how their budget is allocated.

Unilever, for example, who has a dedicated unit within its agency, Ultra; Reckitt Benckiser, has built an internal programmatic team, while now has its own in-house trading desk.

For those brands looking to take a similar approach, there are some key things to consider:

5 Tips for Brands to Master Programmatic Buying:

1. Invest in the right skills.

Whether employing specialists or upskilling existing staff, ensure you have people who truly understand the logistics of programmatic technologies and can combine knowledge of data and analytics with an understanding of human behaviors.

2. Rely on more than analytics.

To make programmatic work, it takes far more than a reliance on website analytics that tracks cookies or devices. Instead, there is a more pressing need than ever for this to be paired with survey data that reflects real people, to get a deeper understanding of your audience and the touchpoints that matter.

GlobalWebIndex is home to the world’s largest study on the digital consumer, giving brands ready access to the insights they need, when they need it.

3. Optimize for the right channels and devices.

Use the insights you gather from GlobalWebIndex, paired with your real-time analytics, to find out which channels and devices will prove most effective for your campaign, ensuring your tactics have the desired impact.

4. Capitalize on your first-party customer data.

Make use of the data you already have on user and customer behaviors to deliver personalized messages to the right people and in the right context.

5. Test your campaigns.

Use advertising effectiveness solutions to test the impact of your campaign on the objectives and brand metrics you want to measure. This will ensure no budget is wasted, and you know where to focus your efforts next time around.

Insight for SMEs: How 5 Brands Optimized their Social Media Strategy

For SMEs, it’s crucial to get the most out of their spend.

And by leveraging deep consumer insight, ensuring they know the whole story behind their target audience’s actions, SMEs can know exactly how to allocate their budget, driving engagement and brand awareness through social media.

Here are some brands doing it right.

1. Letterfolk

The true essence of an SME, this husband-and-wife-run company specializes in creating beautifully-made felt letter boards. They come with a full set of characters, which the consumer can use creatively to spell out a message and decorate their home in a highly personalized way.

In a bid to achieve the greatest ROI possible, the team has focused primarily on Instagram.

And it makes sense.

The image-centric social platform allows the brand to not only show off their product, but also create fun, relatable images that will entice social media users to tag others and share posts.

2. Bloom & Wild

This flower subscription service knows how to work social media to its benefit.

Across its social channels, the brand consistently puts the consumers in focus, encouraging its customers to share photos of the flowers they receive.

This, along with engaging competitions and beautiful seasonal content, makes its social channels a joy for consumers, proving a huge budget isn’t always necessary to have a strong social presence.

3. is the epitome of a successful SME powering their marketing beyond a big budget.

By knowing its consumers’ style and product needs, the brand works with over 5,000 relevant partners that fill the site with unique products.

Specializing in thoughtful gifts you can’t find elsewhere, the site showcases everything from jewelry-makers to chocolatiers, and incorporates stunning photography throughout.

Beyond its own site, the brand also nurtures a highly engaging, consumer-centric social media presence, consistently jumping on relevant, trending topics and touting its consumers’ product images and reviews.

4. Canva

Graphic design tool website, Canva, was born in 2007 when founder Melanie Perkins, a former graphic design teacher, found students often struggled to learn the basics. The site is now used by nearly 300,000 marketers, bloggers, and small business owners around the world.

For its marketing efforts, the brand has stuck with its initial mission to educate.

For example, its popular posts on Instagram aim to not only showcase beautiful imagery, but also show what lies underneath the surface, and how to make good use of colors and fonts.

The success of these efforts lies in the brand being confident in what its users want to see.


Modernist craft beer. Who saw it coming?

AND UNION works with small Bavarian brewmasters to create craft lagers and ales. The brand has a strong identity in its modernism and its purity, rationality and simplicity, claiming to “love, live by and follow this philosophy.”

But while its methods are traditional, its product design and social media aesthetic are striking.

The craft beer market is crowded at the moment, yet AND UNION firmly extricates itself from the crowd by combining a great product with an innovating brand message that’s infinitely shareable on social media.

Using consumer insight to optimize your social strategy

When you have a limited budget, it’s crucial to know how to allocate it right to get the maximum ROI.

SMEs in particular need to make the most of their marketing, which is why in-depth consumer research is so crucial.

With consumer data that goes beyond the ordinary, you can go far past traditional demographic data to find out the why behind the what, and get a true picture of your target audiences’ social media usage.

In the past, having this kind of research at hand was only possible for large corporations and media organizations with the budgets that allowed for extensive time and resource.

Now, all you need is a single source for all your consumer data needs.

GlobalWebIndex conducts a global survey that’s fully opt-in, leveraging a panel of 22 million consumers (the largest in the world), to give SMEs a true, granular representation of their target audience.

Being able to access this research as and when it’s needed means knowing not only who and where your target consumers are, but the motivations behind their actions.

This is how you optimize a social media strategy, consistently placing your brand in the right spotlight.

7 Things You Need to Know about Online Arts and Culture Enthusiasts

Online channels and communities constantly create new movements, cultures and ideas. This means brands need to stay on top of audiences’ changing interests in order to keep them engaged.

And due to this ever-changing online world, online Arts and Culture Enthusiasts are an elusive audience for marketers.

Here’s what you need to know in order to reach this cohort effectively.

1. They’re young.

Nearly a third of 16-24s are Arts and Culture Enthusiasts, proving the importance of targeting the right people with the right messaging.

As a whole, this is an audience that skews heavily young. 33% of them are 16-24, compared to only 13% being 45-54 and 8% being 55-64.

2. They’re cosmopolitan.

At 40%, Arts and Culture Enthusiasts are 42% more likely than average to fall within our cosmopolitan attitudinal segment, meaning they have a keen interest in other countries, people, ideas and lifestyles.

3. They love traveling.

Taking into account their prominent interest in other countries, this naturally means they’re keen travelers.

Almost 70% are strongly interested in travel and exploring new places, with nearly 40% saying they travel abroad at least once a year.

4. They’re online activists.

Arts and Culture Enthusiasts care deeply about social issues. More than a fifth discuss charities, good causes or environmental issues online each month, and almost 90% say they donate to charities.

Nearly 40% also feel strongly about buying natural/organic products or paying more for sustainable/eco-friendly products, highlighting their dedication to the environment.

This bleeds into their brand expectations, as this cohort are well over 20% more likely to want their favorite brands to produce eco-friendly products (31%) and support charities (16%).

5. They value traditional channels.

While Arts and Culture Enthusiasts are naturally a digitally-savvy bunch, primarily due to their age, they also have a strong attachment to traditional channels.

Their daily online time is nearly an hour longer than average at 7.5 hours. Despite this, they also devote nearly two hours per day to broadcast TV and 40 minutes to print press, making these channels crucial for brand discovery and advertising.

6. They prioritize their local community.

A look at their attitudes shows that while this group may have a global outlook, they also place a strong emphasis on local communities.

Over 80% think it’s very important to contribute to the community they live in, showing it’s crucial to think both globally and locally when targeting this audience.

7. They’re influenced by recommendations.

When asked how they discover new products, brands and services, print articles are key at 22%, again showing their affection for more traditional marketing channels.

That’s not to say the digital approach isn’t important. 24% of Arts and Culture Enthusiasts discover brands via online personalized purchase recommendations, making this a great opportunity for brands to approach this audience.

These findings illustrate why it’s so important to know how Online Arts and Culture Enthusiasts relate to brands, and how they do it differently from the general online population.

Their niche interests give brands the opportunity to diversify and segment their marketing strategies to become more targeted, and the insight to know where and how to engage this cohort.

Got questions about our insights? Ask in the comments section below and get featured in next week’s chart.

Campaign of the Month: NCDV – The Not-So-Beautiful Game

The 2018 World Cup was an emotionally-charged event, with no shortage of excitement and hype. But there’s a dark side to the sport that’s often overlooked.

In an effort to point out the horrifying link between domestic violence and football, the National Centre for Domestic Violence and agency J Walter Thompson London launched a hard-hitting campaign.

Using powerful consumer insight to raise awareness around the issue at the exact times domestic violence incidents are set to spike, here’s why we chose ‘The Not-So-Beautiful Game’ as our July campaign of the month.

[Image credits: AdAge]

The Insight

Reports of domestic violence in the UK increase 26% when England play, and 38% when the team loses.

This was the insight uncovered by JWT that highlighted a serious issue lying under the surface of national football.

Forcing the public to reimagine what the sport means for victims of domestic abuse, the finding formed the basis for a striking campaign, launched at a pivotal time for action: during the world’s biggest football tournament.

The Message

With powerful images spread across digital, OOH and print, the ads ran on every England, Switzerland and Japan match day, right through to the end of the World Cup.

Portraying the national flags in shocking depictions of abuse, each image was tailored to the country in question, with one message reigning:

“If England get beaten, so will she.”

Urging fans to remember victims amid the hype while highlighting the fact that there’s help at hand, the ads show there’s far more to the game than we might think.

“As fans across the world watch each game with trepidation, so too do the partners of some of those fans,” Jo Wallace, Creative Director at JWT told The Drum.

Why it Worked

As with every major sporting event, almost every brand tried to get a piece of the action and leverage the excitement around this year’s World Cup.

Thanks to this campaign’s unique and impactful insight, directly linking football and domestic abuse, the seasonal message was sure to resonate.

“The team saw these stats and immediately created this excellent work to help reach and support victims of domestic violence during the World Cup when they are in particular danger”, said Wallace.

Launching the campaign at the very moment victims are proven to be more vulnerable than usual, the NCDV could position themselves as a key source for help and support, when it’s most needed.