Keep an I on our Week (British F1 & SW19 edition)

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Cross Cultural Mobile Usage 
  2. Two thirds Worldwide eCommerce sales generated by Four Countries
  3. Four Satellites for Over three billion

This years Tech Rich List continues to attract lots of attention

 We’ll leave you with a rather amusing display by Laura Robson and “friends” to keep you in the SW19 mood – Round 4 here we come – hopefully and some good fortune for Lewis as well.

Two thirds Worldwide eCommerce sales generated by Four Countries

eMarketer have just come up with their latest forecasts of business to consumer (B2C) ecommerce worldwide sales.

The headlines are “ Sales to top $1.2 trillion” and “Emerging Markets Drive Sales Higher” but we can’t help but notice the sheer dominance of the top 4 countries which we have selected on the basis of achieving a minimum of $100 billion sales per annum at some stage during the forecast timeframe which goes up to 2016.

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China’s growth rate is impressive in absolute terms but it really is just achieving a level approximately compatible with its population..

The UK leads the per capita figures amongst the four majors.

The $’s per capita on the 2013 figures we calculate as being:

  1. UK – $1,565
  2. US -  $1,248
  3. Japan – $931
  4. China – $135

These compare to a worldwide average of $172.

 In growth rate terms eMarketer sees worldwide rates virtually halving between 2011 and 2016 reducing from 23.3% to 11.0%. This year the rate is 17.1% with the mature North American and European markets at 12.5% and 14% whereas the African and Middle East Markets at 31% together with Asia Pacific at 23.1% lead the way.

Much more in the eMarketer article.

Trifecta of Techs in Top Ten Table

 Incite have just released this years Innovation League Table.

Depending on how you classify Tech companies there are at least 8 and possibly 9 in the top 10.

Incite Innovation League Table 2013
2013 2011
Apple 1 1
Samsung 2 5
Sony 3 2
Microsoft 4 3
Dyson 5 4
Google 6 8
Virgin 7 6
Amazon 8 9
Panasonic 9 11
LG 10 16
Source: Incite


We don’t categorise Dyson or Panasonic as Tech companies but do count Amazon. They count Dyson & Panasonic but not Amazon who they include in their Retail sector. Elsewhere at number 40 in the top 100 eBay is classified as Retail/Tech. It’s all in the eye (I?) of the beholder really!

Click to entlarge Top 100 Table

“Incite Surveyed 3,000 UK consumers both unprompted and then based on over 500 popular brands to rank their perceptions of the UK’s most innovative brands. For the first time since its inception, the study also measured the degree of perceived innovation in marketing communications to investigate consumer attitudes towards what makes a brand innovative and how this relates to its overall perception.”

Interestingly their overall calibration of the “… effect of channels driving innovation” finds that websites still come out on top and the Tech sector outcome also surprised although definitions may have influenced the outcome!

Overall Tech
Websites  35% 25%
Traditional advertising channels 29% 28%
Social Networking 21% 27%
In-store advertising 9% 11%
Sponsorship 7% 9%
Source: Incite


Incite conclude that “ The brands at the top of the Innovation League Table score highly because they apply the trifecta of innovation drivers” These the reckon are Good Products, Comms/Branding and Leadership.

Their sample of consumers scored their Tech companies Leadership at 61% Good Products 24% and  Comms/Branding at 15%

Much more in their report available on registration

It would not surprise us greatly if Samsung came out on top next go round – We shall see!


Four Satellites for Over three billion

Yesterday from French Guiana’s space station the first 4 satellites of the O3b Networks project were placed in orbit aboard a Russian Soyuz ST-B launch vehicle by Arianespace  and are now successfully in orbit over the equator some 8,000 kilometres or so above the earth.

The programme is an ambitious one in “… providing billions of people across Africa, Latin America, The Middle East, Asia and The Pacific access to fast and affordable internet for the first time.”

“The O3b system will combine the global reach of satellite with the speed of a fiber-optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity.”

 “Customers witnessing the launch included Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, O3b’s first Maritime customer, Telecom Cook Islands, who will receive the first commercial signals across the network this summer and Maju Nusa, soon to roll out a state of the art 3G backhaul network in Malaysia built on O3b’s low latency capacity.”

 The map shows the projected coverage when 8 or possibly more satellites are in place.

Nine gateway locations exist and the most spectacular scenery surrounds the Greek Teleport.


We thought this video of their progress was impressive (especially some of the animation).

We’ll leave you with the launch video which also impressed us it’s mainly in English after a French introduction!

O3b Networks’ investors include SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart.

Worldwide Device Shipments 2012-14 equal world population

Gartner  released yesterday their latest worldwide devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones) shipment projections through 2014.

The total over the three year period is 7.1 billion which equates to todays world population estimate by The United States Census Bureau 

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

So on the go we have:

Change YoY % 2013 2014
PC (Desk-Based and Notebook) -10.6% -5.2%
*Ultramobile 107.4% 96.2%
Tablet 67.9% 36.8%
Mobile Phone 4.3% 4.4%
Total 5.9% 6.7%
Source: Gartner June 2013

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Gartner’s tablet forecast for this year is now over 200 million which as with other forecasters shows the current exceptional strength of this device and the speed with which it is catching the declining PC. We still think there’s a chance that it could just equal or overtake it in quarter 4 this year


On the operating system front there is no good news for Microsoft or Blackberry as far as we can see.

Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to operating systems (OS) in the device market (see Table 2), the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments,” said Ms. Milanesi. “Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market.”

If we take the 85% Microsoft/Windows figure as applying to 2013 (ie sort of “today”) then this comes to about 289 million units which leaves a total of 50 million phones and tablets which is a paltry 2.3% of that combined market.

To be honest to talk of a winner in such a huge & fragmented market is we think somewhat inappropriate. A leader is surely much more to the point and Apple & iOS is probably it. Google and android hardly compare but as we all know comparisons are odious!

*Ultramobiles includes Chromebooks, thin and light clamshell designs, and slate and hybrid devices running Windows 8.

Cross Cultural Mobile Usage

Some rather interesting by-products of current research by Xad /Telmetrics in collaboration with Nielsen. The UK study is the 2013 Mobile Path to Purchase study and covers in particular Restaurant Auto and Travel usage activities undertaken via smartphones and tablets.

Corresponding research has been undertaken in the US and a section on the differences has been included which we found rather interesting.

Overall it could be said that over here we use our mobiles less “on the go” are slower to make decisions and have little expectations of distance!

The first finding concerns the location of mobile devices usage and highlights remarkably the greater “on the go” usage in the US for both Smartphones & Tablets. The corresponding increase is primarily in home usage.

“On the go” mobile device usage
Car 11% 41%
Outside 14% 7%
Smartphone 25% 48%
Car 3% 9%
Outside 2% 3%
Tablet 5% 12%
Source: XAd/Telmetrics, Mobile Path to Purchase

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The second finding, sort of, shows we take longer to make decisions!

Decision speeds – Smartphones & Tablets
Immediately 12% 30%
Within an hour 22% 34%
Restaurants 34% 64%
Immediately 8% 20%
Within an hour 7% 16%
Auto 15% 36%
Immediately 10% 11%
Within an hour 7% 9%
Travel 17% 20%
Source: Xad/Telmetrics, Mobile Path to Purchase

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The third finding maybe shows that we walk more to restaurants than do our US counterparts!

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Interesting comparisons which we may track in the future to see how they progress.

Full research available in exchange for your details at the Mobile Path to Purchase site

“This study was first run in the U.S. in 2012, with the U.K. study following in early 2013.

This study combines online survey data from 2,000 U.K. tablet and smartphone users, as well as actual observed behaviours from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 2,000 Android users – each group reporting they had engaged in activity related to Restaurants, Travel, or Automotive information in the past 30 days.

“Respondent totals are as follows (none of which are mutually exclusive):

  • Smartphone owners: 1,455
  • Tablet owners: 1,179
  • Restaurant users: 1,079
  • Travel users: 1,134
  • Automotive users: 524”

Keep an I on our Week (Spidercam edition)

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Nominet’s evolving 2 
  2. Internet Retail Salkes at 10% again continuing double digit growth
  3. The Online Digital Mass Transit System 

This years Tech Rich List continues to attract quite a lot of attention

Our header graphic comes from the semi final of the ICC Champions Trophy match at the Oval Cricket ground earlier this week.

They, in our view, are a valuable addition to any event for the attendees as when an inevitable lull in the action takes place they provide an additional spectacle.

The Spidercam®  is an Austrian invention dating back to 2000 and the whole device is about the same height as an average person. They weigh about 60 kg (130 lbs) and can travel at up to 8 metres a second that’s we reckon about 18mph! They sell apparently for nearer $1 million than half that and can be rented for some $20,000 a day or part thereof.

As a spydercam they are brilliant being able to home in on injuries and the like from very close quarters. We think that certain events eg The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall could be an ideal venue for the cam as long as it doesn’t lead to increased ticket prices or licence fees!

Tomorrow you can experience one at the ICC Champions Trophy Final at Edgbaston between England and India on Sky Sports starting (weather permitting ) at 10.30 am.

Much more info on Spidercam GmbH’s website.

We’ll leave you with their rather impressive latest demoreel

Internet Retail Sales at 10% again continuing double digit growth

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  published the monthly retail sales figures for May yesterday (pdf) Full details  are available from the ONS site.

The overall figures of a 2.1% rebound this month were almost universally well received. Discounting on & off line plus, as ever the weather, were noted as having contributed to the good news!

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet sales continue at the 10% level of all sales for the year to date
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 47 pence was spent on non-store retailing 36 pence in non food stores and 17 pence in food stores!
  • All internet sales excluding food dropped back again to 15.4% (16.1%) and have now been within a range of 15.4% -16.6% for the last six months.
  • The decline in the rates of growth of the major online only retailers noted in previous months is likely reversing .After a 4 month lull we might just be returning to the average of around 20% or more as recorded since the statistics were first compiled. These figures include the online sales of all the majors ie  Apple, Google, eBay, Amazon (including LoveFilm), Asos, Netflix and Shop Direct (Isme Very, Littlewoods etc)
  • Online food sales at 3.4% of all food sales continue at close to record levels. On a year to date basis they stand at just under 3.5%

May and year to date stats:

  • Year to date internet sales 10.1% (10.2% revised1) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase +10.3%.(+14.5% revised1)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on April 2013 annualised +8.6% (2) on May 2012 +13.7%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 19.7% on 2012 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

As always the “history” has been revised1 by the ONS which this month went back as far as May 2012 with some largely favourable changes to Internet sales. Theywere revised upwards in all 12 months!.

The ONS words are:

Internet Sales – Key Points

  • In May 2013, the overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted online sales remained high at 9.7%.
  • Average weekly spending online (internet sales values non-seasonally adjusted) in May 2013 was £582 million. This was an increase of 10.3% compared with May 2012.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 9.7% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel.
  • As expected, more was spent online in the non-store retailing sector than any other sector. Spending online now accounts for 66.4% of total spending in this sector. In the food sector 3.4% of spending was online. This sector has the lowest proportion of online spending in relation to all spending.

Internet sales in detail

Internet sales estimate how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100. Table 2 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total internet sales, by sector and the proportion of sales each sector makes to total internet sales.

Table 2: Summary of Internet Statistics for May 2013

 We have added our annotations to the ONS table) – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales.

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

* Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

As previously mentioned the figures are no longer experimental.

Click to enlarge

 The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £30.5bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 0.72% annualised 8.6%. This drops again into single digit territory experienced in much of the second half of last year. The average this year is 12.5%. The long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) is a little under 24%.

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The published weekly figures at £582 million was below our estimate (£600) by some way and but we met our £30.5 billion moving annual total target due to historic revisions. June weatherwise has been above average to date but there may be troubles ahead so we will stick with our £600 million target together with a moving annual total of £31 billion ish.

 We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity)  that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016.

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (December is a 5 week month). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January.

The Online Digital Mass Transit System

Gartner have just produced an interesting, if rather complex, Digital Marketing Transit Map.

Click to enlarge

You can download the Infographic (pdf) or a png file to peruse BUT we strongly recommend a visit to the Interactive Version where you can select the various tracks individually, and also get some additional travel advice about each track and neighbourhood.





Simply as an example here’s the Social Line

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  • On the comprehensive map there are a dozen tracks:
  1. Ad Technology
  2. Analytics
  3. Creative
  4. Commerce
  5. Emerging Technologies (Under construction)
  6. Marketing Management
  7. Mobile
  8. Real Time Data
  9. Search
  10. Social
  11. Strategy
  12. User Experience (UX)
  • seven neighbourhoods:
  1. Ad Ops
  2. Data Ops
  3. Design
  4. Marketing Ops
  5. Mobility
  6. Social Ops
  7. Web Ops
  • five Off-Line (or maybe Main line!) Connections:
  1. BI (Business Intelligence)
  2. CMO
  3. General Advertising
  4. IT
  5. Sales & Service
  • and two station categories:
  1. Product
  2. Vendor

The potentially busiest Vendor Station is Digital Agencies where five tracks can collect and deposit travellers!

Emerging Technologies and Mobile are loop lines!

Apart from the loop lines Analytics looks to be one with most mileage!

“The Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map shows the relationships among business functions, application services and solution providers. Use it to create a digital marketing solutions strategy, improve operations and plan initiatives.”

“The overall layout of the transit map is structured as follows:

  •  To the south are the “business districts” that connect with other parts of the organization: IT, sales and service, general marketing, business intelligence and general advertising, which is often outsourced to agencies.
  • The stop in the center, labeled “digital marketing hub,” is the central station where all of the functions converge.
  • In the northwest are services aimed at awareness and traffic: advertising and search.
  • In the northeast are services concerned with engagement quality: creative and user experience.
  • Due north are services concerned with engagement quality: creative and user experience.
  •  Mobile and emerging technology loops indicate that they touch all other categories. The broken line representing emerging technology indicates areas under construction.”

Gartner are also inviting you all to a webinar on June 20 Making Sense of the Digital Marketing Landscape

Nominet’s evolving 2

Nominet the “private, not-for-profit business, responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure” announced by Press & News releases  yesterday that as part of their “…programme for evolving the .uk domain name space” they are proposing an “ … addition to the product range by opening up registrations at the second level of .uk (i.e.”. Compared to their previous proposals for they will, subject to consultation, commencing on 1 July, be reducing the, pricing by a factor of 4 and giving “first refusal” to existing registrants at the third level e.g, and etc for the corresponding registration at the second level.

We, by and large, and subject to the devil in the detail, welcome the new proposals but still have concerns about the protection of existing business registrants domain names.

First the proposals in their own words:

“Nominet has responded by making significant changes to the original proposal. The new proposal for second level registrations will be put forward as a consultation on July 1st. The key elements of the new proposal are:

  • Enhanced checks on data supplied for all registrations.
  • Requirement to have a UK address for service.
  • Right of first refusal – giving registrants of existing .uk domain names at the third level e.g, and etc the right of first refusal to secure the corresponding registration at the second level. In the event of two competing claims, the oldest current registration would be given priority.
  • A commitment to offering services to improve security across the whole namespace.
  • A competitive price point– with a per wholesale domain annual registration fee of around £5 proposed.

The consultation will close at the end of September 2013 and responses will be published in November.”

On the transparency front we were very pleased to see per their June Board communiqué “The Board further committed to publication of the consultation responses in which the respondent consented to publication once it has had an opportunity to consider all the views expressed.”

A continuing negative we perceive is the unavailability generally of their videos on this topic which we just don’t understand – surely the wider the publication the better. They’ve got a YouTube Channel why not use it! Here’s a link to the page with their latest re their June Agenda!

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A further positive is the recommencement of their statistics on registrations  and whilst the year to date figures for the first 4 months of the year show a reduction of 1.7% the moving annual total has in the last month or two at least steadied almost for the first time since the start of its decline in mid 2011. We reckon it now stands at 1.97 million.

Now for our concerns which we will return to after further consideration and likely following the publication of their consultation document.

At an overview level we want the process to be aimed at and to benefit all “hard working” company registrants as well as encouraging business startups

Elsewhere, in the video Piers White refers to the right of refusal applying to “Those people who have held a domain name for a long time.” Surely it must apply to virtually all existing registrants – why not?

Again mentioned in their Board  communiqué Nominet state  Subject to consultation feedback, existing registrants would have a six month right of first refusal for the corresponding second level.” We will argue that unless there is agreement of the existing registrant this right should continue in perpetuity.

If our arguments fail then we believe additional security measures should apply to any applicant applying for any existing registrants corresponding domain with draconian measures for any infringement of the rules.

With the proposed rights of existing registrants Nominet presumably will involve them ALL (together with the wider internet community in general) in both this consultation and the eventual issue using all possible means including appropriate high profile media advertising  and we would suggest actively supported by HMG.

Interesting times for the UK domain space!