Amazon tops the chart for holiday shopping satisfaction.
ForeSee's Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index found that industry-wide, customer satisfaction with online holiday shopping has essentially leveled off since 2009. Amazon earned the highest score on this year's survey, at 88 out of 100, while Gilt.com and Fingerhut.com landed at the bottom.
Christmas activation figures suggest a jump in mobile device penetration.
Mobile devices have been increasing their penetration rates steadily, but Flurry suggests that Christmas Day may have brought a record surge in new activations of the devices. An estimated 17.4 million new iOS and Android devices were activated on December 25th, more than doubling last year's figure of 6.8 million, which itself had been the record high.
Smartphones play a much bigger role in holiday shopping this year.
Not only are smartphones rapidly increasing in numbers, but their owners are quickly becoming more conditioned to using them in their holiday shopping. This year, the percentage of smartphone owners using their devices to help with some aspect of holiday shopping increased sharply across a range of several categories, with researching/browsing and purchasing being the two most common activities.
Netflix and Amazon cloud hosting get a black eye for Christmas.
Netflix service was down for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, at a time when families often gather to watch holiday movies. The outage also reflects badly on Amazon, as the failure of its cloud hosting services was to blame for the Netflix downtime.
Americans made a significant move to e-books in 2012.
The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that e-books continued to gain traction in the U.S. in 2012. The percentage of Americans aged 16 and up who read books via that format grew to 23% from 16% the year before, helped by the rise in ownership of e-readers and tablets, which climbed to about 33% from just 18% the year before.
Auto makers lead the way in rapid mobile ad spending.
Millennial Media found that year-over-year mobile ad spending increased greatly in the third quarter across several product categories, with auto makers leading the way with a 574% increase. Travel, education and sports were all tightly bunched as the next three fastest-growing categories.
China, Russia and Argentina show promise for worldwide ad spending.
According to eMarketer, worldwide media ad spending grew by 5.4% in 2012, with similar rates forecast for 2013 and 2014. Markets like China, Russia and Latin America saw the strongest growth in 2012. Fast growth is projected for Latin America ad spending, with double-digit increases expected over the next two years.
Newspapers attract a massive online audience, but digital ad revenue isn't catching up.
The UK's Mail Online exceeded 50 million unique visitors on its news site in October, just edging out the New York Times for the biggest online audience among newspapers. Overall, comScore estimates that newspaper sites had 644 million visitors worldwide, which represents 42.6% of all Internet users. Despite this huge following, digital ad revenue remains a fraction of print ad revenue, and with single-digit growth projected for the years ahead, digital revenue isn't making up for the continuing decline in traditional revenue.