When I was a kid, I had a toy periscope that let me see around corners and over walls. These days, I try to discover critical data and spot trends in the digital video marketing business before other videologists and columnists. And one of the global interactive tools that I’ve recently started using to see around those corners is Google’s Consumer Barometer. It was recently updated with new data about the online video and internet marketing industries in over 10 product categories in more than 45 different countries.
How Consumers Use Online Resources to Shop
The Consumer Barometer tool lets you see what role online sources play in a person’s journey from consideration to actual purchase. It also lets you spot what devices people use in their everyday lives, and how they use them. And, it lets you discover why, where, and when they watch online video.
The default setting for the Consumer Barometer is global. But over the weekend, I took a look at the latest data for the USA. The Online and Multiscreen World section showed me that 72% of the total online and offline population in the US use computers, 57% use smartphones, and 35% use tablets. It also showed me that 43% of people use their connected devices to go online while watching TV.
While watching TV, 54% of people in the US use smartphones, 42% use computers, and 23% use tablets. The use of multiple devices means that many people are multi-tasking, however 74% of their Internet usage is unrelated to TV programming. That’s a slide that video marketers need to add to their presentations.
Consumer Barometer: Video and the Sales Funnel
Using the Smart Viewer section of the tool, marketers can gain some insight into the behavior of those watching online videos, which is perfect for enabling video marketing teams to better know their target audience.
For example, when watching online videos, 66% of Internet users in the US say they are fully focused on the content, 27% say they are split between activities, and 2% say they use video as background. And even though 66% of people watch online video alone, it is worth noting that 33% watch videos with others. Co-viewing makes online video “social” in ways that most video marketers haven’t harnessed yet.
The section also provides an answer to the classic question: How long were the videos you watched? 58% of people say the length of the online video they watch was less than 5 minutes, 29% say it was 5 to 10 minutes, and 21% say is was greater than 10 minutes. Now, that debunks a lot of conventional wisdom.
Also, 58% say that the video they watched was mainly unrelated to their surroundings, while 31% said it was related to their surroundings. Now, many of their employers may not want to hear this, but let’s give smart viewers the benefit of the doubt and say they were probably watching online video during their lunch break. Hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
77% of Consumers Use Desktops for Product Research
The 'Smart Shopper' section of the Consumer Barometer shows how marketers can reach customers at key decision-making moments in the consumer journey across 20 product categories. For example, 77% of Internet users rely on desktops when looking for information on upcoming purchases, 29% rely on smartphones, and 15% on tablets.
However, smartphones are an important resource throughout many phases of product research: 43% of people in the US use them for inspiration, 36% use them for comparison, 35% use them for advice, and 32% use them for purchase preparation.
Among research-related activities done while shopping, in-store research via smartphone in one of the most important, followed by location search and product photos. However, website accessibility is still an issue for smartphone users, highlighting the need for a mobile-first strategy.
How Consumers Search for Local Products and Services
The Local Shopper section of the Consumer Barometer will help small and medium-sized businesses understand how Internet users search for relevant local information.
For example, there are many reasons why Internet users to look for local businesses. 33% of people in the US say their motivation for local search is to plan activities, 25% say it is a specific product need, 24% say it is to plan a purchase, 14% say it is local exploration, and 12% say they saw or read something.
And consumers turn to specific online sources of information when looking for local businesses, with 80% of people in the US using a search engine, 33% using a business website, 33% using a local discount website, and 25% using maps or a navigation website. 18% use an advice or review website, and 17% use a social network. So, video SEO is as important today as it was when ReelSEO was founded in early 2008.
People in the US are looking for a variety of local business information when searching online, with 52% confirming the price, and 32% confirming the location of the store or business. So, by showing small and medium-sized businesses what consumers look for, video marketers can help them ensure that the right information is available on their websites.
58% of U.S. consumers use their desktop to search for local goods and services, 43% use their smartphone, and 18% use their tablet. Since people look for local information across different devices it’s crucial for businesses to ensure that their site is suitably optimized for mobile.
Reaching the International Consumer
The International Shopper section of the Consumer Barometer enables businesses to explore the possibility of new markets by identifying motivations of local customers to make cross-border purchases. For example, 31% of consumers who already shop online will consider making a purchase from another country.
What is their motivation for making an online international purchase? According to the data, 30% say it’s an appealing offer, 29% say it is availability, 21% say it is better payment and service conditions, 13% say it is better quality, and 12% say it is broader range of products. Yes, it’s a small world after all.
You can also use the Consumer Barometer to see around corners and over walls in Canada, the United Kingdom, and more than 40 other countries. Play with this global interactive tool for a couple of days and let me know what you think of it in the comments section below. You can even dive into the data that Google has collected, build your own analysis of how people use the Internet, and use Google’s Graph Builder to create your own easy-to-export charts. It’s more fun than the toy periscope that I had as a kid.