Ebiz surveys

Corporate Web spending high

If you’re still pumping money into your company’s Web site, you’re not alone. About 56 percent of Web sites’ operating budgets for 2002 are within 10 percent of last year’s budgets, according to a study by Jupiter Media Metrix.

However, while corporate spending on sites remains high, approximately 42 percent of site managers say their operations are underfunded and they are struggling to stay competitive.

Jupiter indicates companies are shifting focus away from customer-visible features and toward internal initiatives such as interactive publishing tools, site management and measurement services. The research firm forecasts spending on site measurement services will rise to $1 billion by 2006.

Online ads drive offline sales

There must be synergy between your company’s online and offline ventures for a strong online venture, according to a study by Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and DoubleClick.

Online advertising increases offline sales for consumer-packaged goods by an average of 6.6 percent, according to the study, and Internet advertising influences the consumer purchase decision process by increasing brand awareness and message recall.

The study looked at eight brands from five manufacturers and found that half of the brands achieved statistically significant increases in brand awareness when featured in online advertisements. The increases ranged from 1.8 percent to 23.9 percent, depending on the ad impact, ad frequency and base awareness level. Six of the eight brands also achieved significant growth in aided message recall when featured in online ads.

Online ad market grows

The U.S. online advertising market is expected to grow by 11 percent during 2002, according to a study from eMarketer. The research firm forecasts online ad spending will rise from $7.3 billion in 2001 to $8.1 billion by the end of this year. That’s a lot of advertising, considering the fall of companies in the dot-com industry, many of which had relied on online advertising as sole sources of revenue.

eMarketer also projects the sector will continue to grow in the next few years, reaching $13.5 billion by 2005. By 2004, online advertising is expected to account for 3.8 percent of total media spending in the United States, up from 2.9 percent in 2001.

Click and test drive

It wasn’t long ago that experts predicted consumers would turn their attention from physical car lots to virtual showrooms. That hasn’t happened yet, but a new study from Vividence indicates a positive experience at an automotive Web site increases the likelihood a consumer will buy a car from that automaker.

According to the study, which looked at automotive sites in the United States, Japan and Europe, more than 40 percent of those who have a satisfying experience at a site become more likely to make a purchase from an automaker; 31 percent are less likely to purchase a vehicle from a manufacturer if they have a negative experience.

The most important factors influencing customer satisfaction at online sites are ease of use/navigation, look and feel, and layout and organization.

Vividence indicates that 50 percent of those planning to buy a car in the next year, and 32 percent of those planning to purchase in two years, have already begun shopping around.

Seventy-two percent of car buyers use automaker sites to research vehicle specifications, performance, features and options; 69 percent use them to view photos, videos and 360-degree views of vehicles; and 64 percent use them to customize vehicles.