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Internet users in emerging markets are open to more online advertising than mature markets, according to a study conducted recently in association with MEC and Mindshare Worldwide. ‘Living with the internet: a global study of what’s driving web behaviour’ surveyed web users in order to understand how web usage is changing and how this relates to levels of receptivity to online advertising.

Significantly for advertisers who are looking at the marketing mix required to reach emerging markets, 17% of consumers in Brazil, China,Mexico, Russia and India are happy to see more video adverts online versus the 18% of consumers in the mature markets of the UK, France, Spain,Canada, Japan and US who feel they see too many.

Similarly, 12% of consumers in mature markets think there are too many branded social networking sites, contrasting with emerging markets, where 25% are open to seeing more.

While web users globally are planning their web sessions more closely, with spontaneous use falling to 21%, from the 39% reported in our 2007 study. Planned web usage makes users more focused in consuming content, which in turn requires web advertising to work harder at garnering attention.

Creation is also becoming a more popular motivation for web sessions (up 4% in UK, France, Brazil and Canada since 2007).Marketers should therefore consider how creative campaigns can provide users with the ability to share or co-create content that is meaningful and relevant to them.

Communication is still the most common motivation for web sessions at 57%,with information a close second (47%).The proportion of sessions that are triggered by entertainment is increasing – up by 8% in the UK, France, Brazil and Canada – while sessions motivated by the need for information are declining (down 3%).

For advertisers, the findings show it is essential to interact with a target audience in a way that compliments a consumer’s online activity, rather than negatively interrupting it. Online marketers should therefore seek to align brand messaging with the context and motivation behind a web session and brand interactions with users on the web should serve to satisfy a user need, or simply seek to delight.


Are the French paranoid? One thing that is certain is that French people like brands to respect their privacy online. According to the web agency ETO and its annual “Baromètre de l’intrusion” (intrusion barometer), whose results were published in March, 41% of French online shoppers do feel an overall sense of intrusion by brands and retailers.The results are, sadly, the same as those recorded in 2009. On the other hand, the number of people who feel little or no intrusion at all has increased 6 points from 22 to 28%.The effort made by some advertisers to make the use of customers’ personal data more transparent seems to be paying off – finally.

Still, the web remains a concern for consumers. A large majority of respondents expressed their distrust of this media and 76% of respondents said they were “disturbed” by the storage of private information. Customers fear misuse of data left on the web and quickly resent the possibilities offered by technology for collecting and storing personal information.A feeling reinforced by the fear of not being sufficiently protected by law: only 27% of respondents feel safe.

But, the French net buyers have two main “pet peeves”: targeted advertising and geolocation. According to the survey, 60% of respondents are against the use of their browsing history to send personalised benefits, 73% do not agree at all that brands know the keywords they used on Google to send them targeted ads, 78% don’t want the retailers to be able to locate them through their mobile phones to send their offers, 79% are against the fact that the brands exchange information about them and, finally, 79% are opposed to the fact that Facebook uses personal information to send them targeted ads.Those results seem to speak for themselves.


German shoppers have finally developed some trust in electronic payments.Online retailers offer quite a variety of payment options in a single shop in order to accommodate the different customer segments. Recent research by Bundesverband des Versandhandels and by ibi Research has shown that 40% of shoppers still prefer an invoice as payment method.

The invoice, offered by 51% of e-retailers, is preferred mainly by women and shoppers above the age of forty. “Invoice payments are indicative of the high amount of trust the interactive retailers place in their customer”, comments BVH’s managing director Christoph Wenk-Fischer.

Second place goes to PayPal which was able to expand its market share by 42% in 2010.Online payment methods,making up 26% of the market, are also offered by Click & Buy, and cards (15%) and advance payment (13%) become more significant as payment methods,according to the market research. The younger generation,attuned to modern technology and methods, is more ready to use credit cards and PayPal et al.

This does not apply to mobile payments yet. According to a poll by the consulting firm Faktenkontor six out of ten German shoppers are sceptical about Google’s planned mobile payment service. Even more (70%) think that this technology is not safe, fearing privacy issues. Every second bank customer even expects problems with the accounting of mobile payments.And, 45% of the people in the poll believe it likely that they will have to pay higher phone rates for such a service.

In order to gain the trust of the so-called “silver surfers” beyond the age of sixty, however, experts recommend obtaining a certificate from an auditing organisation. Digital certificates are handed out by organisations like TÜV Süd,Trusted Shops, EHI and Symantec Versign.

According to research by,a product and price comparison portal, 62% of German shoppers look for the certificate logo of Trusted Shops.This certification company has been especially successful over the last year, having increased the number of certified shops by no less than 40%. It’s an indication that the trust of German shoppers is not earned easily but is in high demand.


In the online market in China, the importance of B2C sites has increased quickly in the past 2 years, exceeding a 10% share of total online sales in 2010.When we list the top 30 B2C sites in 2010,we see sites that were established between 1996 and 2010.Three interesting findings come from this… Multiple-category players dominate:The top 3 sites among the top 30 are 360buy,Amazon,and Dangdang.Together they account for 55% of sales from the top 30 sites.They are all multiple-category players that started out as single-category players and then moved to multiple product categories. 360buy started in consumer electronics and moved into books.Amazon and Dangdang started in books and moved into electronics.The idea is to gain more pocket share from existing customers, often via new categories.To be a leader in the Chinese B2C market today, single category is no longer sufficient.

Apparel is hot: If one has to start in a single category,apparel seems to be the one.Among the top 30, 10 are apparel sites.Apparel is a very unconsolidated market in China,with many brands but no clear leaders and hence a low entry barrier. Apparel is a daily necessity, yet has more value per weight compared to others like food and beverage, thus making it cost effective to deliver.

Beijing and Shanghai focus: In the top 30 sites, 16 are headquartered in Beijing, 7 in Shanghai. Such concentration is in line with the online purchasing power of consumers in the two big cities.A driver for Beijing’s high share is capital. Beijing has the most venture capital funds in China, thus making it easier for B2C sites headquartered in Beijing to gain capital and facilitate strong growth.

In 2011,we expect to see B2C sites continue to push into multiple categories and top sites increase their share further.

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