Over half of Brits now watch subscription streaming services each week
The popularity of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube Premium is continuing to climb post-lockdown, with 56% of Brits now viewing these services each week.
According to IPA TouchPoints data, this figure represents a 51% increase in the reach of subscription video services since 2018, when they claimed a reach of just 37% of Brits. Viewing time has also increased, from an average of one hour and six minutes a day to one hour and 20 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, growth is being driven by younger generations. SVOD channels are now used by 78% of 15- to 24-year-olds, alongside 65% of 35- to 54-year-olds. In comparison, less than a third (31%) of those over 55 are watching these services.
With almost 15 years behind it as an online streaming channel, Netflix continues to dominate the market, reaching 44% of Brits. In comparison, Amazon Prime Video commands a reach of 23%, while newcomer Disney+ reaches 15%.
However, Netflix’s share of SVOD viewing time has decreased significantly over recent years, from a high of 74% in 2018 and 2019 to 59% in post-lockdown 2021. Disney+, meanwhile, has seen rapid growth since launching in the UK in March 2020, and now claims a 13% share of streaming time, up from 7% in lockdown.
At the lower end of the scale, Sky’s Now TV claims a reach of 3%, YouTube Premium and Apple TV+ both reach 2%, and BritBox, the streaming service launched by ITV and the BBC in late 2019, claims a reach of just 0.8%.
Source: IPA TouchPoints
Lockdown-cultivated shopping behaviours are becoming the norm
The majority (63%) of global consumers say new behaviours adopted under lockdown now feel “normal”.
Brands are becoming less of a factor for 44% of global consumers when it comes to purchasing decisions, as the pandemic has aided consumers in learning to live with less and consume better.
Looking at specific age groups, the trend is seen highly among millennials (49%) and Gen Z (47%) consumers.
There is less pressure for consumers to keep up with the latest gadgets and technology trends (41%). While almost a third (27%) of respondents buy things to feel happy, 48% disagree with this statement.
Almost half (47%) of consumers say they now feel more comfortable in their own skin without the need for beauty products. This increases to 51% in the US, 57% in Brazil, 60% in China and 73% in India. This metric is lower in some parts of Europe such as France (37%) and Germany (43%).
Younger consumers are more likely to participate in sales this season, according to the data, with 71% of Gen Z and 68% of millennials stating intentions to buy at the next big shopping event, compared to just 37% of baby boomers.
Although ecommerce sales have risen under lockdown, over half (51%) of respondents say they are planning to look for deals in-store, up from 39% last year. In-store visits are to avoid shipping costs and delays to orders caused by current supply chain disruptions.
The top frustration for consumers this festive season is expensive shipping (32%), followed by product availability (25%). These factors will prove important to work on as 57% of consumers highlight quality of service as important.
Source: EY’s Future Consumer Index
TV advertising drives cheaper online journeys
TV advertising helps create cheaper online journeys for brands, according to research from Thinkbox and Magic Numbers.
The econometric analysis of 10 online businesses proven to have used TV to drive their growth found that of the online search journeys initiated by TV ads, 66% were direct/URL or organic search visits, which carry no additional cost to the advertiser.
A further 20% were paid brand search clicks, which carry a small search cost, while 14% were for paid generic searches, which carry the highest search cost.
The ‘The TV playbook for online businesses’ study found TV advertising has a positive effect on click-through rates in both organic and paid search. The analysis of a furniture retailer in the study, for example, revealed that during three years of increasing TV investment focused on driving traffic, its brand search click rate improved from 37.4% to 38.8%.
Another example cited in the Magic Numbers analysis is that of a second-hand online car dealership, which reached 500,000 visits per week in five months after scaling up its TV spend, with TV driving 48% of all visits across this period.
The research suggests that advertising on TV can have an immediate and visible response. Across the 10 brands modelled, TV drove 42% of all visits online – 50 million in total – at an average cost per visit of £2.11. Six of the 10 brands the study modelled had a TV cost-per-visit of between £1.90 and £2.50.
Furthermore, the study reveals that brand-focused TV advertising, alongside outdoor, has the longest-lasting effects, generating 50% of sales in the first 14 weeks following activity and 50% in the two years afterwards.
Source: Thinkbox/Magic Numbers
UK customer experience dips for first time in four years
Customer experience in the UK has dipped for the first time since 2017, registering a 1% fall in 2021 despite rising during the height of the pandemic last year.
KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence Report had registered year-on-year improvements in customer experience over the past four years, including during the first period of Covid-19 lockdown.
However, the research finds that digital-first brands and those offering a clear focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are bucking the trend.
The survey of almost 10,000 UK consumers puts Starling Bank in first place for customer experience, followed by cosmetics brand Lush, John Lewis, QVC UK and American Express. This is the second time Starling Bank, a purely digital brand, has ranked in the top five.
There are 10 new entrants to the top 100 companies this year, all of them digital-first businesses. According to KPMG, these companies have succeeded in making digital connections feel human and emotional, allowing these brands to offer market-leading experiences that cost less than the service of traditional rivals.
The developments taking place are leading to permanent behavioural change among consumers, with KPMG calculating that 56% of brand interactions now take place using technology.
“For the leading brands, all customer experiences are now ‘digital first’,” says KPMG UK head of customer consulting Tim Knight.
“Technology advancements means engaging with consumers no longer just means ‘lowest cost’, but also ‘most human.’ These digital businesses are faster, more agile and more emotionally engaging, which sits at the heart of their growth.”
UK supermarkets enjoy in-store shopping boost
In-store visits to UK supermarkets grew 6.5% in the four weeks to 6 November, equal to 28 million more visits compared with the same period last year.
The data shows shoppers are embracing local and last-minute shopping trips, as growth at convenience stores surged by 2.1% versus the same period in 2020.
Industry-wide, the average spend per visit has increased for the first time since July – up to £18.60 – as shoppers return to a “regular grocery shopping mindset”. NielsenIQ anticipates shoppers will spend £33bn across the major supermarkets during the fourth quarter.
The shift back to in-store shopping over the past four weeks has seen the supermarkets’ online share of sales fall to 12.2%, down from 12.6% in the previous four weeks. The analysis shows that while total online sales have declined by 8.6%, this drop is primarily due to smaller online basket spend as shoppers no longer need to stock up.
Consumers do, however, appear to be sticking with ecommerce given the percentage of households shopping online every four weeks is down only 3% on 2020.
The NielsenIQ data also reveals total till grocery sales fell by 2% in the four weeks to 6 November, compared to last year when shoppers stocked up ahead of the second national lockdown commencing on 4 November. When compared with pre-Covid figures in 2019, sales increased by 4.9%.