Key Insights from the 2015 OfCom Communications Market Report

In case you missed it, Ofcom has released its 2015 Communications Market Report, which contains data and analysis on broadcast television and radio, fixed and mobile telephony, internet usage and print.

Here are 10 highlights of interest to people working in digital. The report is a hefty 435 pages and in case you’re wondering, no I’ve not read every page in detail!

1) Better web connectivity

83% of UK premises are able to receive a superfast broadband service. Almost one in three fixed broadband lines are now ‘superfast’ (providing speeds of 30Mbit/s or higher), compared to 0.2% in 2009. This is a 13% increase YOY.

Superfast broadband connections are also increasing in the domestic market.

UK Superfast broadband uptake
UK Superfast broadband uptake

2) 4G has better coverage & different user behaviour

There has been an increase in the availability and take-up of 4G services. In May 2015, 89.5% of premises had outdoor coverage from at least one 4G mobile network, an increase of 18% since the prior year.

During 2014, the total # UK 4G mobile subscriber increased from 2.7 million to 23.6m, taking the proportion of total mobile subscriptions to 28% at the end of vs. 3% at the end of 2013.

Changing behaviours – 4G users are more likely to:

  • Go online more often, be more attached to their smartphones, do more ‘data-heavy’ activities online and do them more often
  • Use mobile internet outside the home
  • Use their smartphones to access audio-visual content
  • Use their smartphone to make online purchases or use online banking, compared to a third of those without 4G access
  • Access audio-visual content more often now that they have access to 4G.

3) Smartphones are more prevalent than desktops

The average amount of time spent online per user on smartphones exceeds that spent browsing on desktops and laptops. In March 2015 users spent an average of 58 hours 39 minutes browsing or using apps on smartphones, compared to an average of 31 hours 19 minutes on laptops and desktop computers.

In Q1 2015 smartphones were present in two-thirds of households (66%) vs. laptops (65%). For the first time, the smartphone has overtaken the laptop as the device internet users say is the most important for connecting to the internet.

Overall, smartphone users now spend nearly two hours (114 minutes) using the internet on their mobile phone, nearly twice as much time as the average adult spends going online via a PC or laptop (69 minutes).

Key smartphone activities:

  • Watching short video clips (42%)
  • Streaming television programmes or films (21%)
  • Making purchases (45%)
  • Online banking (44%)
UK household device adoption
UK household device adoption

4) Fewer people sending via the post

Almost a quarter of consumers (23%) in 2015 reported having sent no items of mail in the past month, a significant increase compared to 2014 (20%).

This is in stark contrast to the increase in volume of direct mail being sent by retailers, which has steadily increased since 2013 after being in freefall from 2007. For example, JC Penney in the US has recently reintroduced its catalogue having stopped print runs in 2010.

5) YOY declines in TV viewing

Since 2012, all age groups have had year-on- year declines in daily TV viewing, more pronounced amongst the under 45 age groups. BARB data suggests some of this decline is accounted for by a shift to catch-up TV and VoD via TV sets.

Also there has been an increase in # people viewing short form video via TV set e.g. YouTube via Netflix; 32% saying they watched either daily or at least weekly.

15% of respondents are using subscription on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video more than they did last year.

6) A younger generation hooked on mobile

Half of smartphone users say they are ‘hooked’ on their mobile phone; 48% score themselves at 7 or above when asked to describe how hooked they are on their mobile phone on a scale of 1-10, rising to three-fifths (61%) of people aged 16-24.

29% adults say they check their phones within five minutes of waking up, increasing to about half of 18-24 year olds (48%). The first thing people are most likely to access is text messages (35% of adults, 38% of 18-24 year olds).

Devices used to connect to Internet
Devices used to connect to Internet

7) The next generation will be socially active across many sites

People aged 16-24 have a more extensive breadth of use of social media and are adopting newer sites and services.

However, the majority (97%) of all adults aged 16+ with a social media profile say they use Facebook, and 48% say they only have one on Facebook.

There is significant take-up of social networking sites and apps among 12-15 year olds. Key sites used:

  • YouTube (81%)
  • Facebook (72%)
  • Instagram (55%)
  • Snapchat (53%)
  • WhatsApp (48%)

When asked which they used the most:

  • Facebook (30%)
  • YouTube (27%)
  • Instagram (17%)
  • Snapchat (13%)

Snapchat was cited by 19% of website users aged 12-15 as ‘their most recent addition’.

8) Greater awareness of internet security

The majority of internet users are using technical indicators such as padlocks and system messages to measure website safety. Use of these indicators has increased among all internet users from 43% in 2005 to 55% in 2014. The change has been driven by those aged 25 and over.

The majority of internet users say they would share personal information online, but there is evidence of added caution in doing this. 60% people say they would give out their home address online but have concerns about doing so, compared to 46% in 2005.

9) Online TV revenue is increasing quickly

Online TV revenue in the UK has increased rapidly in the past five years but still represents only a small proportion of total TV revenues. According to data from IHS, revenue from online TV grew by 38% in 2014 to £793m, with income from online TV subscriptions increasing by 53% to £317m, driven by the increasing popularity of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

10) Radio reach & advertising revenues are up

National advertising revenue for commercial stations has grown by 17% to £483m. The increase in commercial radio revenues has been driven by growth in national advertising revenue, from £207m to £243m. Commercial radio revenue per listener increased by 5.9% to £14.14 in 2014.

Community radio revenue has also increased year on year for the first time. Average income is up by 0.8%, and median income has grown by 6.9% since last year.

The reach of radio remains high but has fallen slightly. 89.5% UK adults listen to the radio each week, tuning in for 21.4 hours (an average of 183.4 minutes of listening per day, per listener). This is down by six minutes per week (average) year on year.

 

 

Brand Experience in Multi-Channel Ecommerce

#EcomChat on Monday 24th August will discuss “Brand experience in multi-channel ecommerce’.

We all know multi-channel is important, that customers shop across channels and devices and retailers need to find a way to make their brand work for all these touchpoints. But who does it well? What success stories are out there?

We’re teaming up with the lovely people at Blueleaf who have just published their new report #InspiringGreatRetail (free to download). The report provides case studies of leading retailers using digital to connect online and offline, giving insights into what they are doing well. If you have any questions, give Kate Welch a shout @bltweets

They’ll be taking part in the chat to share insights and provide practical real-world examples.

As ever, there will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. What are the key challenges to joining up brand experiences online and in-store?
  2. What technology can help retailers achieve this?
  3. Which retailers do this well/who do you admire?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

Getting an ROI from online marketing

#EcomChat on Monday 17th August will discuss “Getting an ROI from online marketing”.

Every single ecommerce business is investing in online marketing, to varying degrees. Some have a strong handle on metrics like ROI, others have more basic measurement frameworks, looking at cost and revenue but not drilling down into channel ROI. Today we’re going to discuss how you make your online marketing work – what are the approaches you need to follow in order to drive ROI?

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. How can you measure ROI for online marketing?
  2. How do you make marketing campaigns successful?
  3. Does every activity have to provide a positive ROI?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

Finding New Customers

#EcomChat on Monday 10th August will discuss “Finding New Customers”.

“New customer acquisition” is always a hot topic for ecommerce companies. The general perception is that trends here have changed over the last few years: Facebook & Twitter now offer viable ads tools, SEO has been squeezed by Google, companies are using email more as a growth channel as well as retention.

So is this the case? Which are the big customer acquisition channels, and what tips/tricks do you have?

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. What are the best ways for ecommerce companies to find new customers?
  2. How should ecommerce businesses measure & attribute new customer acquisition?
  3. Who does this in an interesting way? (eg. Offline methods, ‘100% free channels’, etc)

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

Who Will Win The Mobile Payment War?

#EcomChat on Monday 3rd August will discuss “Mobile Payments”.

Gartner predicts the global mobile payment market will average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017, and forecasts a market worth $721 billion with more than 450 million users by 2017. Big chips.

The mobile payment landscape is highly active with traditional financial institutions like Visa and MasterCard providing solutions and new disruptive technologies like Square and Snapcash entering the market. Add to that the big tech companies like Google, Apple and Facebook, not to mention partnerships like MCX, and you’ve got a potentially confusing playground for customers.

So which of these technologies will stand the test of time. What is the future of mobile payment? Time to chat…

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. Do consumers really need mobile payment solutions?
  2. What are the key barriers that are slowing down consumer uptake?
  3. Which companies are best placed to win the war and why?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

Pandas and Content for Ecommerce

#EcomChat on Monday 27th July will discuss “Panda and the importance of content for ecommerce and #SEO”.

In case you missed it, Google pushed out a Panda refresh last week. It’s likely to be a minor refresh, reportedly affecting only 2-3% of search queries. However, it raises the question again about the importance of unique, quality content, not just for #SEO but also for content marketing and ecommerce. So it’s the perfect topic for today’s chat! We’ll focus on content that sits on a website.

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. What is ‘good content’ for an ecommerce website & who does it well?
  2. How can you measure the effectiveness of content on a website?
  3. What can ecommerce sites do to make sure they’re not at risk from future updates?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

The Google Buy Button

#EcomChat on Monday 20th July will discuss “The Google Buy Button (& Facebook’s Too)”.

Google has now launched its “Purchase on Google” option, Facebook announced they are doing the same. We thought therefore this was a good chance to take a look at what this may mean, and how retailers should react.

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. What does “Purchase on Google” mean for ecommerce sites? (practically in the short term, and in the long term)
  2. Facebook also announced a ‘Buy’ button, and Twitter have long spoken about it. Will these have an impact?
  3. What can ecommerce sites do to make sure they’re not 100% at the mercy of Google and the big social networks?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

Ecommerce Delivery & Returns

#EcomChat on Monday 13th July will discuss “Ecommerce Delivery & Returns – the battle for consumer convenience”.

Delivery and returns has long been a strategic battleground for the big retailers and there is constant innovation in this area. From the early days of a standard service, to express, next day, evening, weekend, same day, instore, local collection point, by pigeon, camel and otter. The range of deliver options open to ecommerce teams now is quite large but it’s a challenge to know where commercially to invest and just how important flexibility and choice are to customer service.

This chat looks to explore what’s happening in the world of delivery and returns and what digital teams can and should be doing about it.

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. Which recent developments in delivery & returns are likely to influence/change customer behaviour?
  2. Do you have to be competitive with delivery and returns?
  3. Which companies are likely to win the war for customer service?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

The potential of social commerce

#EcomChat on Monday 6th July will discuss “Social commerce”.

Social commerce is relatively new but represents an interesting and inevitable convergence of conversation and shopping. If the first era for social media was building an audience and increasing levels of engagement/activity, the second era is generating financial value from this activity and integrating commerce capability within social networks. This chat looks to explore what’s happening and what digital teams can and should be doing about it.

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. Which social commerce developments offer genuine revenue potential to ecommerce teams?
  2. How is this likely to change the marketing mix?
  3. Where should responsibility for social commerce sit

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

Email Marketing & CRM

#EcomChat on Monday 29th June will discuss “Email Marketing & CRM”.

Email Marketing is one of the big Ecommerce marketing channels. In the past it was generally a ‘once a week’ (or sometimes once a day) email newsletter channel but, more & more, sites have become more specific & send emails at a customer level either alongside, or instead of standard email newsletters.

As ever: There will be 3 conversation starter questions & anyone is welcome to join in using the #EcomChat hashtag on Twitter.

Here are the 3 questions.

  1. What is ‘CRM’ and what is the point of it for ecommerce companies & retailers?
  2. Should Ecommerce companies still be sending standard Email Newsletters? How do these fit alongside CRM?
  3. Who does Email CRM well? What tips/tools do you recommend for companies getting started in this area?

Join us at 1pm UK time on Monday and do share this post either on Twitter or via email with anyone you think would be interested.

Thanks, Dan & James.

p.s. If you’re wondering “what’s this about?” there is a page explaining all just here.

A Weekly Chat about Ecommerce Strategy, Tactics & Advice