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The latest research news: October

This month, we reveal the increasing influence smartphones will have over our in-store purchases, the imminent surge in free mobile apps, and the domination of the Android smartphone in Europe.     

Smartphones shape UK retail sales
Smartphones will influence in-store retail sales worth over £15bn across the UK in 2012, according to a new report by Deloitte Digital. The digital arm of the advisory network stated that roughly 6% of in-store sales are shaped at least in part by research conducted on these devices before or during shopping trips, equating to £15.2bn a year. The report went on to say that the annual total of smartphone-influenced sales will top £30bn by 2016.

Big UK banks fail satisfaction test
Major banking brands have fallen behind rivals such as online-only providers and major retailers when it comes to customer satisfaction in the UK. Which? polled over 48,000 people about their financial services, covering 30 of the industry's largest brands. Across these services, participants awarded their own provider an average rating of 62%. However, the online and telephone bank first direct gained a score of 86%, while The One Account from RBS scored 80%. The worst? Santander came bottom of the charts on 46%.

UK consumers pursue "savvy tactics"
Consumers in the UK are continuing to pursue "savvy tactics" when making purchases. A study by research agency Shoppercentric polled 1,000 adults and found that 90% were being "prudent" when buying in stores, compared with 82% in January this year. An additional 89% of customers were "economising", while 84% were "avoiding" certain stores or products.

App downloads to surge
App downloads to mobile devices should surpass the 300bn benchmark worldwide by 2016, but the vast majority will still be attributable to tools available for free, says a study by Gartner. The research firm found that consumers installed 24.9bn apps from App Stores in 2011, 88.4% of which were free. In 2012, demand levels will hit 45.6bn, with 89% of apps commanding no fee. Download numbers should top 205bn in 2015 and 310bn in 2016, when free offerings are pegged to take 92% and 93% of the market respectively. By 2016, the sector will be worth $74bn.

Communications challenges for UK firms
Gaining the trust of consumers, delivering consistent brand messaging and managing the "always on" media environment are the main communications challenges currently facing UK companies. Agency Brands2Life and trade title PRWeek polled 100 communications directors and found that 59% agreed maintaining public trust was among the biggest issues firms must tackle at present. A further 58% said ensuring brand messaging was constant across different channels, while 54% pointed to dealing with a media culture that's global and 24/7.

Most UK shoppers willing to share data
More than half of British consumers would be willing to share data with companies for marketing purposes, according to a study by Experian. The information services firm polled 2,000 people and found that 55% would be happy to give corporations access to personal data covering a single medium, such as social networks, email or web browsing. However, scores decreased to 19% for two forms of media and 8% for more than three.

Android dominates in Europe
Smartphones powered by Google's Android OS now account for over two-thirds of category sales in Europe's major markets. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android handsets claimed 67.1% of smartphone purchases across the region's five biggest outlets in the 12 weeks to August 5th, 2012, up from 46.9% the previous year. More broadly, the analysis noted that smartphones with larger screens are gaining popularity, as 29% of Android devices acquired during the period boasted a display of at least 4.5 inches.

UK consumers make ‘trade-offs'
A new study has suggested that over 60% of consumers in the UK are making ‘trade-offs' during the purchase process, but this doesn't always mean buying cheaper products. A survey by banking group first direct showed 61% typically adhere to at least one type of concession when shopping, with 34% buying food brands available on special offer at supermarkets so they could afford "other treats", and 30% cutting back on overall spending to save for the future. The main reasons for such decisions were to stretch financial resources on 35%, enjoy life (23%) and to feel more positive (13)%.

4thOct 2012


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