Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Showrooming: 21 Facts to Know

So, you survived Black Friday. According to trends, that’s probably because you skipped the malls in favor of microwaved left-overs and a shopping plan centered more on eCommerce than early lines.  Regardless of your strategy, there are a lot of forces at play this year in the holiday shopping season. The mobile and technological developments, economic influences, and cultural shifts that shape  the way we research and buy items reaches a new scale in the pre-holiday rush. Here are a handful of facts to keep in mind.

Online shopping continues to be a major force

46% of consumers plan to increase their online shopping during the 2012 holiday season, compared to the 8% who plan to increase in-store shopping (@Hybris_software) Tweet this stat

23% of holiday 2012 shoppers in the US will spend more online than offline (@Deloitte) Tweet this stat

70% of online holiday buyers say they purchased online instead of in stores because deals online were better (@Forrester) Tweet this stat

In 2011, Cyber Monday online spending increased by 33% over 2010 (@Mediative) Tweet this stat

48% of holiday 2012 shoppers in the US will use social media (@Deloitte) Tweet this stat

20% of US online adults consider Google most helpful when researching products or services, followed by 19% for Amazon and 12% for retail stores (@forrester) Tweet this stat

57% of app users in the US say they would consider purchasing their holiday gifts on a mobile device (@Apigee) Tweet this stat

By 2016 more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the Web (@Forrester) Tweet this stat

Online purchasing was rated the “Overall favorite” by 59% of Americans, as well as the “Easiest” (68%) and “Most convenient” (68%) versus in-store and mobile (@NielsenWire)

The increasing role of Showrooming

Showrooming is the consumer practice of browsing for products in-store before opting to compare prices and buy online.  Browsing in-stores enables shoppers to examine the products, try them on, and even benefit from talking with in-store sales representatives.  Showrooming with mobile phones provides shoppers with all of those benefits but also gives them the ability to find the lowest price, whether it be on the retailer’s website or a competitors like Amazon.

48M shoppers (~20% of the US adult population) will “showroom” during holiday 2012, a 134% increase from 2011 when 20.5M shoppers showroomed (@IDC) Tweet this stat

28% of smartphone- or tablet-owning adult holiday shoppers plan to shop with their devices on Thanksgiving Day, up from 16% in 2011 (@Digitas) Tweet this stat

74% of mobile Boomers use their phone while shopping (@inmobiTweet this stat

29% of shoppers that used a retail store as a showroom ended up buying from the retailer’s own website (@Vibes_Media) Tweet this stat

Of the shoppers that showroom, 25% leave the store and make a purchase from a competitor (representing 6% of all shoppers) (@Vibes_Media) Tweet this stat

Optimizing the in-store experience

So what are stores to do in the face of  increasing showrooming?  While some stores are blocking wifi and hiding bar codes, others are working with consumer behavior and finding ways to leverage showrooming in their in-store experience.  In an interview with Wired Magazine, President and CEO Joel Anderson explained, “You’ve got to go where the customer wants you to go. We live in the age of the customer. We’re embracing showrooming.”  Acknowledging that shoppers use their phones to research and compare products in store, some stores are adapting to provide shoppers with the information they need, offer price-matching, and store-only perks.  The following research underscores some of the opportunities that exist for stores to leverage consumers’ use of phones and showrooming while shopping.

44% of U.S. consumers who purchased consumer electronics during the 2011 holiday season had sales associates recommend specific products, and 85% of those purchased it (@Marketforce) Tweet this stat

51% of shoppers will research online and then visit the store to purchase during holiday 2012, while 17% will visit a store first and then purchase online (@Google) Tweet this stat

More than 62% of moms with smartphones use a shopping app, and 46% want to receive information on their mobile device while inside a store (@Mojiva) Tweet this stat

Two weeks after Walmart launched “in-store mode” in its mobile app, ~60% of shoppers using its app opted to use it (@Walmart) Tweet this stat

30% of online shoppers research a product on Amazon before they purchase (@Forrester) Tweet this stat

And a partridge in a pear tree

We couldn’t leave you with just 19 facts for your holiday weekend.  This stuff is way too interesting.  Here are a couple of bonus facts on holiday shoppers before you go.

59.2% of US shoppers plan to buy gift cards during holiday 2012 (@Nrfnews) tweet this stat

Display ads running on Black Friday through Cyber Monday have a 32.6% higher engagement rate than the average (@RhythmNewMedia) Tweet this stat

Alright, now we’ve worked off all of our Thanksgiving stuffing.  Thanks for reading.  You can find countless other facts on holiday shopping, ecommerce, marketing and other fields over at Here are a few categories you may like:

eCommerce Facts

Holiday Shopping Facts

Showrooming Facts

Marketing Facts

Mobile Shopping Facts

Black Friday Shoppers

Black Friday Image by Beth Rankin


7 Essential Categories of Facts and How You Should Be Using Them

Many kinds of stats can be revealing, but it’s good to understand what each is telling you and when to use them. Understanding what kind of a fact you have helps in interpreting the implications of it.  For example, just because 31% of smartphone owners say they plan to make more purchases on their devices in the future (@eDRtweet), doesn’t mean you they will.  They might, but there’s a difference between attitude, which is what that stat represents, and behavior.   Below you’ll find the seven most essential categories of facts and statistics and some hints on when to use each one.

Stats about consumers

  • Demographics tell you who belongs to a particular population or customer segment. They focus on characteristics like age, gender, income, education level, and background. Consider using demographic data to explain who belongs to the population you’re describing and highlight distinctions between different segments.
  • Attitudes are values, beliefs, or expectations that a consumer holds. Attitudes can give you a sense of what a group of consumers thinks (or would like to think), but they don’t always reflect the reality of how they’ll actually behave. When responding to surveys, people often respond as they want to be seen—not as they are.  You might use attitudinal data to make points about how people feel about a topic, what they expect to happen, or what values and beliefs are important to them.
  • Behavioral data clarifies how a population is actually acting. Instead of answering “Would you?” questions, behavioral data answers “Have you” and “Do you?” questions. “Observational” data gleaned from methods like tracking sales or online behavior is often more reliable than self-reported data.

Stats about industries, markets, and companies

  • Market structure data explains how big a market is, how fast it’s growing or projected to grow, and which companies (or types of companies) have what market share. Use it to make points about how large or fast-growing a market is or how consolidated or fragmented it is.
  • Business model data explains details about how a company’s business is structured. What business units or product lines account for what share of the company’s revenue or earnings? Use it to describe the relative importance of different parts of a company’s business.


Stats about technologies and marketing channels 

  • Reach or penetration rate is one of the fundamental types of stats about technologies and marketing channels. How many people (or what percentage of the population) own and use the technology? Use these stats to show how widely adopted a channel is.
  • Strategy stats explain what companies and leaders are doing with technologies or marketing channels (as opposed to consumers). Use them to benchmark how different companies are investing in or executing in different areas.

When you’re looking for a stat to support your argument, first take a look at what you’re trying to build a commentary.  Is it about the business, a given technology, or the consumers (current or future).  Then figure out what you’re trying to say about that focus area.  Is it about growth or adoption possibilities or the current state of affairs?  Make sure that the research you choose speaks to those focus areas and traits.  The good news is: Factbrowser has established categories for each of these types of statistics, so you’ll always know if you’re using the right stat for your argument.  Just look under topic, then format.   Happy browsing!

The 2-Minute Guide to Factbrowser – Your New Secret Weapon

Our Factbrowser readership has been growing steadily since we launched a month or so back.  So we thought it’d be helpful to deconstruct the site a bit and provide some ideas on how to use it for fast research.  We want you to have the information you need at the drop of a hat. In short, we want you to be the MacGyver of market research and useful stats.


One of the easiest way to find a fact you need it to search for it using the search box in the upper right.  The best way to search is to use one or two defining terms, for example:  social media and china.


Here is the anatomy of a basic fact on Factbrowser. Each fact links to an original source page, the original report, similarly tagged facts and social sharing options.

A Factbrowser Fact

Click to enlarge


Clicking on a tag will bring you to a topic page.  Topic  pages aggregate all of the facts we have on a given subject, for example – mobile, millenials, or France.  Here’s an example of a topic page on teens.  Once on the page, you can narrow down to more specific topics within the tag group – like “teens and mobile”.

Original Source Page:

Clicking on the name of the source will bring you to a page of all facts Factbrowser has from that source.  These facts could be on any topic but all share the same source-author.

Source PAge

The header on a source page shows you their contact information, twitter account, and the topics they tend to report on. Click on a topic tag to narrow in on a source’s areas of expertise.

Original Source Report

Clicking on the original source report will take you away from Factbrowser and to the website of the original source.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  When you’re using facts that you find on Factbrowser, it’s important to link back to the original report and not to the Factbrowser page so that the researcher who conducted the study gets properly credited.


Use the social sharing buttons on the right side of each post to easily post the fact to your Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin accounts. Factbrowser will automatically add the original source report and include their twitter handle if you’re sharing on Twitter.


There are two ways to keep you informed about the latest research and statistics. You can subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest facts delivered straight to your inbox or you can subscribe to the RSS feed of a particular topic or page. Our newsletter brings you all of the facts and none of the fluff. Here’s what it looks like:


That’s your user’s guide to Factbrowser.  As the site grows, we’ll be incorporating more of your ideas and pieces of feedback.  We’ll try to keep you updated to all of the changes here on this blog. We love feedback, so keep it coming in the comments section below.

15 Facebook Facts for the IPO

All signs point to Facebook positioning for its initial public offering (IPO) this month.  In anticipation of what is sure to dominate  discussion topics for weeks after its announcement, Factbrowser has pulled together some of our most recent and interesting facts about Facebook into the following powerpoint presentation.  We encourage you to download the powerpoint and use it for your own presentations.  The images are all creative commons, so just be sure to carry over the citations for both the stats and images. We’d love it if you’d help spread the word about Factbrowser too.

M-Commerce: 12 Essential Facts for 2012

m-commerce shopping

Photo by John.Karakatsanis on Flickr

Just as e-commerce changed the consumer landscape, m-commerce (shopping enabled or enhanced by mobile devices) promises to permanently alter how people shop and buy.

Here are facts hand-picked from the latest research to help you understand the shift to m-commerce and prepare you to develop an effective mobile strategy for your business.

Smartphones have gone mainstream, and tablets are catching up quickly. Almost half of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones (Nielsen), and eMarketer expects iPad penetration in the US will nearly double from 12% of internet users in 2011 to 22% in 2013.

Mobile commerce is growing at breakneck speeds. U.S. mobile commerce sales (including travel) grew 91% in 2011 from 2010 to $6.7B and are forecasted to grow to $31B in 2015 (eMarketer).

Tablet owners really love to shop. 77% of consumers who own a tablet use their devices to shop (PriceGrabber). And tablet visitors to retail sites spend over 50% more per purchase than visitors who use smartphones and over 20% more than visitors who use desktop/laptop computers (Adobe).

Mobile shoppers tend to be younger and more affluent. 61% of US consumers who access mobile shopping content are under the age of 34, and 48% of US consumers who access mobile shopping content earn over $75,000 per year (Interactive Advertising Bureau).

Mobile shoppers prefer desktop, tablet, and mobile-optimized sites to mobile apps. In a survey sponsored by Zmags, just 4% of respondents said they prefer to shop via mobile apps (Zmags).

But many merchants aren’t prepared. 51% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from retailers with a mobile-specific website, but only 4.8% of retailers have a mobile site (Microsoft).

Most mobile shoppers use their phones to research, but many will buy. The majority of consumers find comparing prices and product research the most convenient part of mobile shopping (JiWire), but 41% of those who use their smartphones to help with shopping make a purchase directly on their device (Google)

Mobile commerce can drive in-store sales. 46% of those who use smartphones to research products make their purchases in stores (Google).

But some mobile apps can cause problems for stores. 16% of U.S. mobile shoppers used the Amazon Price Check app during the 2011 holiday season (BIGInsight).

Use these industry statistics as a starting point, but consider talking to or observing your own customers before placing any bets, either directly or with a research partner. There’s still a lot of room for testing and learning in mobile commerce.

All facts were aggregated through Factbrowser (, a research discovery engine that helps you  keep up with all the latest research on Mobile and Mobile Commerce.

11 Facts to Know about the Facebook Instagram Acquisition

Instagram image by Darren Shilson

Instagram image by Darren Shilson

News broke yesterday that Facebook had acquired media sharing app Instagram for the staggering price of $1 billion in cash and stock.  Even for the most adoring Instagram fans, a sum like that will take a couple of moments to process.  To help frame the issue, and put it into context, let’s take a look at some of the facts underlying the companies, the purchase and what could be next.

Instagram: Size, User Behavior and Growth

  • Instagram has 30MM registered users (Instagram). For anyone keeping track Facebook reports having 500MM registered users, Twitter has 105MM registered users (Twitter), and Pinterest has 10.4MM (Pinterest).
  • More than 1billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram and 5MM photos are added each day (Instagram).
  • The photo sharing app also garners high levels of user activity generating 575 likes and 81 comments a second (Instagram).
  • There are more than 430,000 people on Instagram’s Android waiting list (Instagram)

See more Instagram facts at

Facebook:  Photo Sharing and Forecasted Growth

  • By 2013, Facebook will account for 7.1% of all U.S. online ad revenue (eMarketer)
  • It’s forecasted that Facebook’s ad revenue will rise by 60% in 2012, to $5.06B (eMarketer)
  • The average Facebook user has 26 profile photos (Pixable)
  • 250MM photos are uploaded to Facebook each day (Facebook)

See 400+ facts about Facebook on Factbrowser.

The Acquisition

  • Instagram will be the largest acquisition of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009 (VentureSource).
  • Only 37 venture-backed companies worldwide have been purchased for $1B or more since 1992 (VentureSource).

And One More to Drive it Home:

  • Instagram only has 13 employees.  13 employees created a billion dollar app. YouTube (12 workers) was the last venture capital-backed company with as few employees as Instagram to be acquired for $1B  (VentureSource).

As acquisitions go, this is certainly one for the record books.  In February, Business Insider called Instagram the “biggest threat to Facebook”.  Yesterday on his blog, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the scale of Instagram’s growth, writing:  “This is an important milestone for Facebook, because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users.”  Time will tell how Instagram adds to Facebook’s functionality and growth.  For now, at least, a picture is worth a billion dollars.

12 Essential Facts about Millennials for Your 2012 Marketing Strategy

Millennials, individuals between 12 and 35 years old, represent the largest shopping group since the boomers. Their purchasing power is estimated to be at $170 billion according to comScore.  In addition to being a powerful consumer segment, millennials have unique values, digital fluencies, and perspectives on shopping that should be incorporated into any targeted marketing strategy.  The following are some of the most significant facts we could aggregate for your 2012 marketing strategy.

Shopping as an Experience

More than any other generation, Millennials view shopping as a experience rather than a necessity.  They are more interested in retailers that can provide a social and interactive process than a simple in and out purchase.

  • Practical decisions drive choice of retailers for 80% of Boomers, compared to 50% of Millennials ( Brodeur Partners)
  • Sharability of retail experiences is twice as important to Gen Y as to Boomers (Brodeur Partners)
  • Sensory appeal and the ability of a retailer to “make me smile” are one-third more important to Gen Y than to Boomers (Brodeur Partners)

More facts on Millennials’ attitudes toward shopping.

Digital natives

It’s probably not a surprise that Millennials are highly connected digitally.  The extent of their digital fluency however is substantial.  This characteristic creates both opportunities and consequences for any marketing program.  Today’s millennial shopper is comparing prices in real time, sharing what they’ve purchased online and expects each interaction across channels to be seamlessly integrated.

  • 77% of affluent Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 and 80%  between the ages of 25 and 34 own smartphones (Business Insider)
  • 33% of tablet owners are between the ages of 18 and 34 (Nielsen)
  • Half of bloggers are between the ages of 18 and 34 (Nielsen)
  • 60% of Millennials produce and upload online content, including photos, videos, wiki entries, blog posts, micro-blog posts and product/service reviews, compared to 29% of non-millennials (Barkley).


Millennials have grown up in an age of cause related marketing and corporate social responsibility. Their expectations of businesses are more complex and socially driven than that of previous generations.  They largely see businesses as having a cultural role and core responsibility to the community around them.  They respect companies that take on a social issue and expect that businesses do no harm.

  • 14% of U.S. Millennials were born outside the U.S., and 11% of those born in the U.S. have at least 1 immigrant parent (Urban Institute)
  • Among Millennials, 86% regard business as having ‘about the same” or “more potential than governments” to meet society’s challenges (Deloite)
  • 52% of Millennials think business will achieve the greatest impact on solving society’s biggest challenges as opposed to 35% of business leaders. (Deloite)
  • 18-24 year olds are most amenable to being targeted – as frequently as once a week or more (31%) (Upstream Systems)

More facts on millennials’ values

Millennials’ perspectives evolved in a time of rapid change and advances in technology.  As they continue to mature in the workforce and represent a greater percentage of the consumer market, understanding the undertones that have shaped their attitudes and behaviors  will be even more important.  You can stay up-to-date on the latest research on millennials and the smaller age groups within the segment by subscribing to Factbrowser’s targeted feed at: