Internships, shopper footfall and SMS comms: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.

Marketing graduates with internships take two years less to rise to management

Graduates working in marketing who have internships take an average of two years less to be promoted to a management role than those without, according to an analysis of the careers of University of Leeds alumni.

Beyond Academy analysed the LinkedIn profiles of 61,000 University of Leeds alumni working in marketing. Some 10,000 of these graduates had undertaken internships. The analysis finds that it takes graduates with an internship an average of 3.8 years to reach a management position, while it takes those without an average of 5.9 years.

The pattern of faster career progression for those who did internships appears to continue throughout graduates’ careers. The research finds that it takes Leeds alumni with a internship an average of 7.4 years after graduation to reach director level, while those without take an average of 10.1 years.

The disparity in pace of career progression for those with and without an internship is particularly noticeable in female graduates. Women without an internship take an average of 6.5 years to reach management level, whereas those who have undertaken an internship take an average of 4.2 years.

Similarly, it takes women who have not done an internship an average of 11.6 years to reach director level, over five years more than it takes women with an internship (6.5 years).

According to the research this means women with internships reached director level 78% faster than their counterparts without.

“Every year returning students report a wide range of benefits to completing an internship – they come back with increased confidence and focus and undoubtedly develop skills and competencies that are hard to refine or simulate in a purely academic context,” says Dr Helen Hughes, associate professor at the Leeds University Business School, commenting on the research.

“While the benefits of undertaking an internship are clear, research is still needed to better understand these factors and the differential effects that they have on students’ employability and career progression.”

Source: Beyond Academy

Shopper footfall slows in August as fears over cost of living rise

Interesting stats Total UK footfall dropped by 12.4% in August compared to the same month in 2019, as consumer confidence hit rock bottom. This is a 1.8 percentage point improvement on July, but marginally worse than the three-month average decline of 12.3%.

The latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor shows high street footfall declined by 13.6% compared to three years ago. To provide a meaningful comparison, all figures are compared with the same period pre-pandemic.

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 4.1% versus 2019, but this is five percentage points better than last month’s rate and an improvement on the three-month average decline of 23.6%.

Meanwhile, footfall in shopping centres dropped 22.7% compared to three years ago. This is a 2.1 percentage point increase on last month and better than the three-month average decline of 23.6%.

While footfall in August continued its recovery towards pre-pandemic levels, the rate of improvement slowed, says Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium.

“Many people remain concerned about the rising cost of living and the price of their energy bills, which has kept them away from visiting high streets and town centres,” she adds.

“With consumer confidence at historic lows, stores continue to focus on converting customer footfall into retail sales. Big events in Birmingham and Edinburgh saw more notable advancements to footfall, as the Commonwealth Games and the Edinburgh Fringe brought more shoppers in.”

With Liz Truss named the new Prime Minister today, Dickinson is urging the government to include a freeze in the business rates multiplier next year, “otherwise the 10% inflationary increase in rates bills will lead to higher prices for customers.”

Source: BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor

Less than four in 10 global consumers trust digital banks

Interesting stats Just 37% of consumers globally say they completely or somewhat trust digital-only banks. According to the YouGov report, there is more trust for traditional banks. However, less than a quarter (24%) say they “completely trust traditional banks”.

Out of the financial services consumers were surveyed on, they are most distrustful of cryptocurrencies. Over half say they either completely distrust (28%) or somewhat distrust (24%) crypto. Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services also ranked poorly in terms of trust, with only 36% of consumers saying they trusted these services.

Indonesian (27%), Mexican (24%), Indian (22%), Australian (22%) and Chinese (22%) consumers are most likely to avail themselves of the schemes. Some 13% of consumers in Great Britain say they have made a purchase in the last three months using a BNPL service, this is just below the global average of 15%.

Trust would appear to be key for how consumers choose their financial services company. Safety and security is the top reason for why global consumers choose a provider (61%), followed by lower fees (58%), solid customer service (57%) and good interest rates (50%). Around a quarter (27%) say a company’s ethics also comes into the decision, with a similar proportion (24%) stating that sustainability credentials play a role.

Nearly half (47%) of consumers agree that technology will make physical cash obsolete. However, the research finds that, worldwide, making a payment with cash was the most common financial activity in the last three months, with 59% of consumers reporting having done so.

Making a contactless payment in a store was the next most common activity on the list, with 52% of consumers having reported doing this in the last three months.

Source: YouGov

Four in 10 UK consumers engage more with SMS marketing than they did pre-pandemic

Interesting stats Almost four in 10 (37%) of UK consumers engage more with SMS communications from brands than they did two years ago, according to research from ecommerce marketing platform Yotpo.

Nearly half of consumers (45%) also say they now find SMS to be one of the most useful channels for receiving information from brands. Some 37% say they are more inclined to make a purchase from a brand after receiving a text from the company.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers finds Gen Z and Baby Boomers are the generations most engaged with SMS communications from brands. Some 53% of over 54 year olds find SMS communications to be useful, the same proportion as Gen Z.

The research also asked marketers their opinions on SMS communications from brands. Six out of 10 (61%) marketers think SMS is a good channel to build loyalty with customers. It is also considered the third best channel for engaging with consumers (34%) after email (55%) and social posts (41%).

Almost six in 10 brands frequently use SMS to communicate with their customers, the research finds. However, 60% of marketers surveyed were aware SMS communications from brands can appear intrusive.

Source: Yotpo

Store closures at seven-year low

Interesting stats The number of UK store closures over the first half of 2022 was at its lowest level in seven years, according to accountancy firm PwC, after falling by a third compared with the first six months of 2021.

Produced in partnership with the Local Data Company, the research includes 3,000 high streets, retail parks and shopping centres in the UK. It only covers businesses with more than five outlets – including retailers, gyms, hairdressers and banks – and not independent shops.

Over 6,000 stores closed across the period, while store openings remained below pre-pandemic levels. The UK therefore saw a net loss of 2,200 outlets. This equates to an average net closure rate of 12 stores a day, with an average of 34 stores closing and 21 opening per day.

The 2021 research also saw a trend emerge, with city centres experiencing significantly more net closures than other areas due to the impact of increased working from home. However, store openings in villages and commuter towns recovered. While that trend has not completely reversed, there is now a much smaller difference in closures between small towns and big cities (-1.2% to -1.5%).

Some 23 of PwC’s 100 retailer categories grew in the first half of 2022, although the organisation notes this is “not nearly enough to offset the declining categories”. The leisure sector drove new openings, with three of the four fastest growing categories in the sector. Takeaways were the fastest growing category, followed by DIY shops, amusements arcades, restaurants and job centres.

“[The high street] remains in a state of transition and cosmetic interventions alone will not succeed,” says PwC’s leader of industry for consumer markets, Lisa Hooker.

“Success is also likely to depend on the focus of a new Prime Minister and how they intend to help high streets. Business rates, for instance, will be a critical area for operators and it will depend on how they are reformed in the near future – if at all. To truly level up, the challenge for local leaders – working with businesses and communities – is to create places that work for all those who visit, live or work there.”

Source: PwC