1. High street footfall declines
December footfall dropped by a whopping 3.5% compared to the same time last year, marking the biggest decline since March, 2013 (5.2%).
Footfall across most regions also declined, with the sharpest reductions seen in Scotland (4.7%), the South West (5.2%) and Greater London (3.7%). Northern Ireland also saw a decline of 3.1% in December, while Wales saw a 2.6% drop.
However, footfall in retail parks grew in the South East (0.9%) and the West Midlands (0.1%).
2. Mobile payments lag behind in the UK
More than 22% of UK smartphone users will use a mobile to pay for goods and services at the point of sale (POS) in 2018.
About 9.2 million people in the UK will use a mobile phone to pay at the POS this year, and the sector will grow by almost 17%.
However, while double-digit growth will continue through to 2020, it is expected to slow, dipping to 8.5% by 2021.
China has the largest mobile proximity payments market in the world, with 77.5% of smartphone users expected do so this year.
While Norway (23.3%), Sweden (33.8%) and Denmark (38.9%) are expected to lead the charge among European nations.
3. Digital media channels continue to disrupt ad spend in 2018
Digital media channels will continue to power ad spend growth, growing globally by 12.6% in 2018, compared to 15% in 2017, to reach $220.3bn, based on data from 59 markets.
Mobile is predicted to reach $121.1bn having leapfrogged desktop as a share of total digital spend in 2017. While desktop will continue to lose global share (-1.5% since 2016), compared to mobile’s gain (8.2% since 2016).
Digital has overtaken TV, with its ad spend to account for 38.3% share of total ad spend, compared to TV (35.5%).
Amazon’s Alexa app was the top app for Android and iPhone on Christmas Day 2017, with the company claiming its devices enjoyed the best holiday season yet.
Video (24.5%) and social (23.5%) will also drive growth within digital ad spend, powered by smartphone take-up and mobile video in particular.
Programmatic spend will rise by 23% as established players and startups compete over ad tech.
Source: Dentsu Aegis Network
4. App growth stagnates
App activity growth slowed in 2017, down from 11% in 2016 to 6% last year.
Users now spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones, and shift their daily time spent between new and old app experiences.
The shopping category grew by 54% as consumers continue to shift their spending into ecommerce via mobile shopping apps, with digital wallet services such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay allowing seamless access to stored payment information for mobile purchases.
Music, media and entertainment came in a close second with 43% year-over-year growth, reaffirming users’ shift to mobile devices to consume media.
Lifestyle saw the steepest decline in growth with -40% in 2017. While gaming saw another year of decline in sessions with -15% in 2017.
5. Diversity within ad agencies shows mild improvement
Diversity in advertising agencies has improved marginally.
The number of women in C-suite roles has increased from 30.3% in 2016 to 30.9% in 2017. In creative agencies, 30.4% of roles are occupied by females, while in media agencies, this figure stands at 31.8%.
In 2017, 12.9% of individuals were from a BAME background. This is up from 12.0% in 2016. In creative agencies, 10.7% of employees were from a BAME background, while in media agencies it stands at 15%.
Representation of individuals from a BAME background is highest at a junior level (16.4%).