The Oban Blog

Leadenhall Market at Christmas

The global digital marketing weekly: Friday 21 November 2014

Once again, Oban has your weekly dose of digital marketing news with an international slant. In this week’s update, penned by Oban intern Frank Fanteev: Kissmetrics provides advice on market differences between American and European ecommerce; an Experian study discovers where marketing money will be spent this Christmas; China’s mobile payment services are put under the microscope; how internet access is available only to older people in many parts of the world; and Twitter finally makes all your tweets searchable.

What American e-commerce businesses should know about European customers


The rise of ecommerce has facilitated cross-border sales by removing logistical and communication barriers that have existed for centuries. Nevertheless, it’s still important to remember that though access is easier than ever, poor localisation is still a barrier to entry for your cross-border customers. To this end, Kissmetrics have provided a few tips for US ecommerce businesses who are currently targeting or looking into targeting European customers.

Online sales growth in Western and Southern Europe are steady (12% and 18%), compared to dropping growth of online sales in US (14.81% to 12.81% from last year). Countries within Europe vary on levels of ecommerce maturity (assessed in terms of “E-commerce readiness index”), with UK and Germany having higher maturity than others.

There are several differences between ecommerce in US and Europe. Firstly there is far more language and cultural variation, as well as regionally significant legal and logistics issues. Marketing in English Europe-wide is a bad idea as not everyone speaks English. Cultural diversity is also worth considering, as behaviour differs in respect to research time, decision time and the emotional engagement of those involved in shopping. This highlights the need to target different countries with different messages appropriate to that region. Payments preference differs quite significantly across borders, with PayPal being popular in UK and France but the iDeal payment system popular in the Netherlands.

Top marketing trends and predictions for 2014 holiday season

Social media marketing graph


Search Engine Journal reports on an Experian study that aims to determine likely marketing trends ahead of this year’s holiday season. Five notable global trends have been highlighted.

Paid Facebook advertising spend will rival organic campaign budgets across other social networks, particularly in North America. According to surveys, marketers are planning to use paid media in Facebook to a larger extent compared to other social media

Email will be at the center of 2014 holiday marketing campaigns. Over 90% of marketers are using email for their campaigns this year. 40% of all marketers plan to integrate email into cross-channel campaigns. This follows from the fact that 71% of consumers are influenced by email campaigns to take some sort of action

Mobile marketing will be used globally, but individual tactics vary from region to region. Almost a third of marketers (29%) are planning to use SMS marketing, making it the most popular mobile strategy this season. A different tactic stands out in North America, where the use of mobile advertising and mobile coupons is trending (47% in North America)

Free-shipping promotions will become less popular globally. Last year 39% of marketers offered free shipping, compared to 25% this year, indicating a drop in popularity of this marketing strategy. E-consultancy backs up this info and indicates that overall percentage discounts are becoming more popular then free shipping. This doesn’t seem to impact marketing strategies in North America by more than 1%

More marketers will be focused on better targeting rather than attracting deal-seekers in the 2014 holiday season. E-coupons are being used by 40% of marketers in order to get better insight into their audience. Limited targeting is a problem many face with 48% of marketers only being able to identify best customers within a single channel, which makes cross-channel campaign integration harder to achieve

Insights about China mobile payment (Wechat, Alipay) users

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In China, the most popular mobile payment platforms are Alipay (the largest mobile payment platform in the world) and Wechat payments.

Demographic distribution shows that 81.1% of mobile payments users are between 18-35 years old, with 25-30 year olds the most active. China’s male mobile payment users had strong purchasing power and were in the dominant user group in 2013. Geographically, a larger proportion of people from East and North China (27.2% and 25.5%) use mobile payments, compared to South and Central China (20.8% and 11.2%). As these platforms emerge in the market, it is essential to implement these payments platforms for Chinese markets, otherwise risking a high number of potential purchasers.

Worldwide, the young are more likely to be disconnected from the web

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It wasn’t surprising to see this week’s Ofcom’s statistics showing digital technologies becoming increasing part of young people’s lives in UK. But is it the same across the planet?

Econsultancy’s write up suggests that many young people around the globe are actually more likely to be disconnected from the internet compared to older users. Stats indicate that on a worldwide average, 40% of people under 25 are non-internet users. This compares to 40% who are middle aged and 18% who are senior. This can be due to variation in data collection methods across different countries, as well as higher proportion of youngest population in developing countries. Growth of internet access in high-barrier markets is expected through mobile internet use in the future.

Twitter finally makes all your tweets searchable

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Twitter has announced that it has indexed all public tweets, which will now allow users to search among roughly half a trillion posts. The real-time search engine, an inverted index of about a week’s worth of tweets, has been supplemented since 2012 with about 2 billion “top tweets” and in 2013 that link was made more robust. Now users have access to a database 100 times larger than real-time search. This will allow extraction of comprehensive information on individual hashtags to identify high and low points as well as their popularity.

Another benefit of this upgrade is the ability for anyone in the world to search for and recognise high-importance events across the globe, or to monitor a specific campaign. Although the US and UK have the most Twitter users, there are a number of other countries which are heavily involved with Twitter. Geographical spread can be seen on the map above, showing the popularity of Twitter in Canada, Western Europe, Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico among others.

Image Credits

Leadenhall Market at Christmas time by Simon & His Camera

‘Ecommerce’ by Garfield Anderssen

Twitter heat map from The Global Twitter Heartbeat: The Geography of Twitter

‘Connection’ by Manchester-Monkey

Marketing trends and mobile payments in China graphs from their respective sources