Black Friday And Cyber Monday Recap

December 7, 2009


The 2009 Black Friday results from The National Retail Federation reported that while 195 million shoppers hit stores or Web sites over Thanksgiving weekend (up considerably from 172 million in 2008) shoppers spent less, with average spending falling 7.9 % (from $372.57 per household last year to $343.31 this year).

According to the survey, 32% of shoppers purchased toys, an increase of 13% from last year. Additionally, more people purchased sporting goods (13% vs. 11% last year), personal care or beauty items (22% vs. 19%) and gift cards (21% vs. 19%). The most popular purchases were of clothing (51%) and books (40%), which remained nearly unchanged over last year. In order to nab the best holiday items, more shoppers headed out for bargains while it was still dark outside – nearly one-third of shoppers (31%) were at the stores by 5 am compared with 23% who were at stores by that time last year.

Check out eBay’s activity on their transaction map for a Black Friday shopping visual representation.

Most signs point to a positive trend when it comes to online sales and traffic this year. comScore reported Cyber Monday 2009 online sales were up 5% over last year to $887 million which matched the heaviest online spending day in history (December 9, 2008). For the holiday season-to-date, $12.26 billion has been spent online, marking a 3% increase over the same period last year. Hitwise reported Amazon once again topped the list as the most visited retail website, seeing a 44% increase in visits compared to 2008 and received 16% of the visits among the top 500 online retail sites. Wal-Mart was the second most visited with 10% of visits followed by Target with 5%, BestBuy came in fourth with 4% followed by JC Penney with 3 %. Wal-Mart took the top spot for the most visited online site on Thanksgiving Day this year but Amazon edged out Wal-Mart on Black Friday. This is the fifth year in a row that Wal-Mart was the top visited site on Thanksgiving Day and Amazon has been Cyber Monday’s top visited site since 2006.

Among the top 20 sites visited on Cyber Monday 2009, Staples saw the largest increase in visits compared to 2008 with a 61% increase while Barnes & Noble saw a 46% increase. The Apple Store, which didn’t make Hitwise’s top 20 sites, saw a 71% increase in visits on Cyber Monday 2009 versus 2008. Online stores who dropped in traffic from last year included (down 25%) and Home Depot (down 29%).

So now that you have the numbers for this year’s buying frenzy be sure to review the 13 worst holiday spending blunders from MSN Money 


IT Market Research Surveys

September 18, 2009


Information Technology Surveys

The latest quarterly report from First Research reveals the US information technology (IT) industry includes about 95,000 companies that generate about $175 billion in annual revenue and the average annual revenue per employee is close to $160,000.

Information Technology departments are always looking for ways to make more efficient use of an organization’s computer systems. Historically, it has been extremely difficult for researchers to confidently survey a sample population of IT professionals because of fraudulent survey respondents. In fact, more than 40% of online IT panels contain survey takers who are not really in IT. 

Finding a target audience of IT professionals for survey deployment does not have to be the hassle it was in the past. ZoomPanel Tech is a stand-alone panel of IT Pros & Developers who are profiled on over 120 specialties giving you direct access to IT decision makers, those who drive budgets in Enterprise and Medium-sized organizations. ZoomPanel Tech is a revolutionary new B2B panel that certifies its survey takers as IT professionals through a rigorous screening process that rejects over 50% of potential survey panelists. The quality of the survey respondents is so high, access rates come in consistently around an impressive 40%.

According to Baseline the Top 10 Trends in IT for 2009 are:

1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

2. Virtualization

3. Enterprise Mobility

4. Energy-Efficient Data centers

5. Security, Risk and Compliance

6. Social Networking

7. Web 2.0

8. Document Management and E-Discovery

9. Project Management and Project Portfolio Management

10. Web and Video Collaboration

To gain the IT insights you need on the Top 10 Trends and beyond, Zoomerang offers the best all-around IT survey solution to quickly and easily create, deploy and analyze your technology-focused research.  Zoomerang allows you to have the confidence you need in your online IT Market Research studies, helping you stay competitive with accurate market research on technology.

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Online Survey Panels

September 14, 2009

 Online Survey Panel

One of the challenges involved in conducting an effective market research study is locating a random sample of respondents for your survey. When you need to test advertising effectiveness, conduct brand comparison research or evaluate website usability, Online Survey Panels are a helpful tool in developing stronger business cases with the right data.

With Zoomerang’s General Population Survey Panel you can readily reach a sample audience providing you with deep insights and actionable data. Zoomerang Sample makes it easy to create the customized research you need for testing new marketing campaigns on your precise target group or perfecting new product ideas with direct consumer responses.

Additional benefits of using Online Survey Panels include:

– Respondent Friendly; Participants have agreed to take surveys beforehand

–  Cost Inclusive; Incentive logistics are taken care of for you

–  Anonymity; you don’t have to identify your firm or client as the project sponsor

Whether your research project is to find out the nation’s opinion on an issue of public interest, market size and share estimation, channel effectiveness or even for a loyalty program design study, Zoomerang General Population Sample enables you to effortlessly survey a nationally representative sample of the American population. No matter how specific or how broad the profile of your target audience, Zoomerang Sample can help you quickly and affordably reach them so you can start getting the answers you need and that matter the most to your project.

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Zoomerang Service Bureau – Survey Programming and Hosting

July 6, 2009


Zoomerang Service Bureau gives you an “extra set of hands” to get last minute surveys programmed and hosted so you can meet your budget and project deadlines. The Zoomerang Service Bureau team can handle advanced survey programming, overnight deployments, and hosting for you. A Zoomerang Service Bureau project manager is assigned to ensure your project is delivered on time, on budget, and with the highest-quality.

Zoomerang Survey Programming and Hosting

Although clients handle their own survey programming and hosting in over 80% of their Zoomerang projects, sometimes they need help. Zoomerang can offer you added expertise on survey creation and programming or support and extra resources when you are overloaded. Our investments in survey infrastructure, programming, and technology can help you do more, faster, with a lower cost of doing business.

     – Lower your costs with Zoomerang programming and hosting

     – Field projects more quickly and easily

     – Rely on a dedicated Zoomerang project manager for exceptional service

Take Your Survey Design to the Next Level

Zoomerang can deliver the services you need for more complex survey design or programming. The Service Bureau team leverages a survey programming system that accommodates a wide range of options for surveys that require piping, multi-question skip logic, videos, or advanced question-level quota management.

Zoomerang Service Bureau will help you produce higher quality results, make more confident decisions, and deliver actionable insights. You’ll work directly with a dedicated project manager, who will partner with you to coordinate programming, deployment, and data delivery.

Our Services:

Survey execution and delivery: We’ll give you professional assistance with every aspect of fielding your surveys – including detailed real-time reporting and raw data files

Advanced surveying programming: Our online surveys have sophisticated capabilities that include logic branching, content piping, complex randomization, and quota rules to deliver the results you need

Online sample: Rely on our Real, Unique, and Engaged™ online research panel profiled on more than 500 attributes when you need to survey a sample of consumers or B2B professionals.

Omnibus and overnight services: Receive dependable answers with unparalleled speed and value using our industry-leading panel and online research platform. You get answers the next day and for a fraction of the cost of traditional research.

Want to speak with a representative about an upcoming project? We’d love to talk to you, set up a capabilities presentation, or provide you a quote for an upcoming project. Visit the Zoomerang Service Bureau and explore the possibilities today!

High-Quality Research On A Budget

June 8, 2009

 MarketTools Logo

There are a lot of online survey tools available these days that allow you to do one-off research projects for next to nothing. While these inexpensive tools are relatively fast and easy to use, they don’t always yield quality results on which you can base important decisions. Why compromise? There are ways to do quality research without breaking the bank. Let us tell you how.

Join MarketTools and The Institute for International Research for a complimentary webcast on Thursday, June 18, at 10am PT/1pm ET/ 5pm GMT. Our panel of experts will discuss their experiences and provide real-life examples of how they’ve been able to do it. During this one-hour webinar you’ll learn:

1.  Five simple guidelines for doing quality research

2.  How a panel can reduce your research cost and improve quality

3.  What companies are doing to deal with “professional” survey respondents

4.  When is it a good idea to call in the experts

5.  And much more…


Facilitator: Mike Waite

Mike Waite is responsible for MarketTools’ Enterprise-class products and services business. Mike and his team are responsible for delivering purpose-built software, quality-assured sample and research expertise to arm today’s market researchers with new capabilities to do better research for any budget. Previously, Mike was responsible for MarketTools’ panels and communities business. The panels and communities team creates community-centered solutions that draw on MarketTools’ panel management expertise, leading research technology and deep research experience. Mike was also director of new product development, delivering new technology and full-service research solutions.


Chris Schroll, Senior Manager Strategic Research & Analysis, Wolters Kluwer:

Pat Merrill, Founder/General Partner, Merrill Research:

And other leading research experts from Fortune 500 companies

Join us to hear how your peers are doing high-quality research on very limited budgets. Attendance is limited so reserve your complimentary seat today!

MarketTools’ TrueSample In Research Magazine

May 18, 2009


Research Magazine Logo

MarketTools is delighted to share detailed coverage in Research Magazine of MarketTools’ TrueSample – driven by our recently hosted AMA webcast as well as Mike Conklin’s whitepaper “How Much Do ‘Bad Respondents’ Impact Business Decisions?”

Read and enjoy:

Analysis: the good, the bad and the ugly respondent – Getting under the skin of so-called ‘bad respondents’

US– First we wanted to believe bad respondents weren’t there, then we wanted to chase them away. Now everyone wants to get to know them.

The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has just reported back from a study in which it set out to answer what it saw as the unasked question of whether a ‘professional’ respondent really constitutes a ‘bad’ respondent, and whether there might actually be good things about dedicated survey takers.

A newly-formed committee of the ARF is now looking to further explore the behaviour of different types of respondents, and come up with a ‘behavioural index’ to help understand them.

The foundation’s initiative came as the industry began to walk the talk on online sample quality, with firms such as Peanut Labs, MarketTools and Western Wats all touting their panel-cleaning solutions.

MarketTools, maker of the TrueSample tool, is encouraging a more enlightened approach to the issue in the light of results revealing more about the types of respondents who are out there and how they behave.

In a webinar sponsored by the firm yesterday, Amy Millard, VP of marketing for TrueSample, warned that the challenge is not as simple as identifying the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.

‘Bad’ respondents, she said, can be divided into those who are ‘fake’ (using false details) ‘duplicate’ (appearing more than once in the panel or sample), and ‘unengaged’ (not answering questions properly).

According to MarketTools’ findings, duplicates are likely to be more enthusiastic, giving more positive answers to survey questions, while fakes are less enthusiastic. This makes some kind of sense – those who are trying to take as many surveys as they can are more enthusiastic than others, while those who feel the need to conceal their real identities are more sceptical. Millard said: “If [these types of respondents] were in there at a balanced level you could imagine that it would all work out, but they’re not.”

Cynics might say it’s hardly surprising that MarketTools paints a scary picture of a problem for which it is selling a solution, but its conclusions certainly raise some interesting questions.

The proportion of ‘bad’ respondents detected by TrueSample over a three-month period last year was higher than expected: 28.8% for a single panel, increasing to 47.9% when two panels were combined. And just when you thought you knew what to do about it, the differing attributes of fake, duplicate and unengaged respondents mean that removing some but not all of them could actually make data less reliable.

In another study published late last year, the firm claimed that increasing sample size was not a guaranteed solution either, as “small differences in how good and bad respondents answer questions are more likely to be statistically significant as the sample size grows”.

Microsoft’s research director Steve Schwartz said the key to dealing with these issues is transparency. “We now ask for much more detailed sample dispositions to understand how many people are coming internationally or in the middle of the night and filling out surveys, how many are speeding and failing track questions – what happens to those people and what are their responses looking like? It’s opened up a lot more discussion between us and the sample providers. It does take more time from the clientside than it has historically, but it’s certainly necessary because we’re seeing the level of professional respondents and fakers, for b2b in our case, to be high enough that it impacts the results.”

John Ouren, general manager of panels and communities at MarketTools, agreed. “Folks that I’ve engaged with on the clientside have learned a lot by really engaging and understanding the practices that are important for their sample providers, how they’re recruiting their members and how panels are managed, which historically has been a relatively opaque topic. I think transparency into how panels are managed … just helps to deliver a greater degree of confidence in the sample that’s being provided.”

Author: Robert Bain

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Survey Shows Adult Children Choose Mom Over Dad

May 15, 2009


Rocking Chair

A recent Zoomerang study commissioned by Senior Helpers, the nation’s fastest growing provider of in-home care for seniors, found that 70% of adult children would overwhelmingly choose their mom over their dad to move in with them if their elderly parents could not take care of themselves.

The Zoomerang survey also revealed:

– Daughters are more likely than sons to want mom to move in. 80% of women agreed to take care of mom in their home while only 65% of men agreed

– 30% of those surveyed did not want mom moving in at all. The main reasons cited were that mom would disrupt their lives, they did not have enough room, or they could not provide adequate care

– People in the Northeast and Southeast were most agreeable to mom moving in. People in the Midwest were the least likely to want mom to move in

– 67% of the respondents say if mom was not able to move in they would prefer mom live on her own with help, rather than move into a nursing home or assisted living facility

It’s not all bad news for dad:

– 72% of daughters and 58% of sons say they would move dad in with them if he could not take care of himself

– 80% of both men and women say they would pay out of their own pocket for their mom or dad’s care

The results shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: Mother’s Day is always better business than Father’s Day. This year’s National Retail Federation predictions had Mother’s Day spending at $14.10 billion and Father’s Day spending at $9.9 billion. It does seem dad may be gaining some ground; this year’s individual spending estimates on dad is almost $10 higher than last year.