UK Biggest Users of Messaging Apps; Biggest Cyber Monday Ever

ExchangeWire Research’s weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world, with additional insight provided by Rebecca Muir, head of research and analysis, ExchangeWire. In this week’s edition: UK biggest users of messaging apps; Biggest Cyber Monday ever; Trust for user generated content; and UK’s favourite Christmas retailers.

UK biggest users of messaging apps

The UK accounts for almost a fifth of all users in Western Europe, research by eMarketer suggests. Mobile phone messaging apps will be used by more than 149 million consumers in the region throughout 2016.

Next to the UK, France and Germany have the highest numbers of users, with France reporting the highest level of growth in the region. In 2016, 21.4 million people will use a chat app in France, an increase 16.5% year-on-year. That represents more than 60% of mobile phone internet users.

This has led to eMarketer increasing their projections for France since their last forecast because of the growth in Facebook and mobile social network users, which in turn drives chat app adoption.

In Germany, there will be an estimated than 24 million chat app users in 2016, a year-on-year increase of almost 14%, representing around half (49.8%) of mobile phone internet users.

Worldwide, mobile phone messaging apps will be used by more than 1.4 billion consumers in 2016, an increase of almost 16% on last year. By the end of the forecast period, in 2019, more than a quarter (26.7%) of the global population will use a chat app.

Biggest Cyber Monday ever 

Cyber Monday is on track to hit a new record with USD$3.4bn (£2.7bn) spent online, a 10% increase year-on-year, according to research by Adobe.

This will mark the largest online sales day in history, surpassing Black Friday (USD$3.3bn or £2.6bn) by a narrow margin. Cyber Monday is expected to generate slightly less mobile revenue than Black Friday at USD$1.2bn (£1.5bn), a 48% year-on-year increase.

Mobile continues to drive the majority of visits to retail websites on Cyber Monday at 53% (44% coming from smartphones, 9% from tablets), while accounting for 35% of sales (25% smartphones, 10% tablets).

Mobile conversions beat holiday averages, with smartphones at 1.9%, tablets at 3.7%, and desktops at 4.3% (compared to holiday averages of 1.3%, 2.9%, and 3.2%, respectively). Amazon lost out to eBay as the most mentioned online retailer on Cyber Monday, followed by Macy’s, Walmart, H&M, Target, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Home Depot, and Gap.

Trust for user-generated content

Six percent of people in the UK, aged between 16 and 49, trust traditional advertising, while over three-quarters prefer looking at user-generated images (UGC), according to earned content platform Olapic.

The study finds that photos featuring ‘real people’ are trusted seven times more than traditional advertising. It shows that trust has a significant impact on CTR and sales. In fact, over half (56%) of respondents are more likely to click on an ad that features a user-generated photo, and the same amount are more inclined to buy the product after seeing this kind of ad.

The report’s findings highlight that, in the UK in particular, user-generated photos play an instrumental role across the customer journey. Over a third (35%) of surveyed Brits are interested in looking at social media photos while browsing products, and 24% turn to user-generated content while shopping online or in-store. British respondents also showed a particular fondness for brand engagement on social media. Almost half (48%) have uploaded photos featuring a brand’s hashtag.

UK’s favourite Christmas retailers

Marks & Spencer is the nation’s favourite Christmas shop, with nearly a third of Brits planning to spend the most there this December, finds research by Rakuten Marketing.

Consumers placed Boots in second position and John Lewis in third place, citing that they will spend the most on gifts at these stores. The findings also show that despite top retailers including John Lewis spending around £7m (USD$8.7m) on Christmas TV campaigns this year, only 27% of people will make purchases based on the brands’ TV adverts.

Over a third of consumers (33%) said that they are more likely to make a decision about where to buy gifts by browsing on brands’ websites to source information, so driving traffic from publishers is essential. Word of mouth is also still one of the most important sources of information for consumers, with over a third of respondents (31%) listening to advice from friends and family about where to purchase gifts. In addition, a fifth (20%) of shoppers are influenced by window displays, suggesting that location-targeted display ads could help to drive potential customers in store to a sale.

Following the vote for Brexit, over half (51%) of respondents said that they care about ‘buying from British brands’ and will prioritise them over other non-UK brands. British brands should ensure that they target the ‘grey pound’, as loyalty to buying British increases to nearly 60% amongst the over 60s.