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Internet shopping stats, trends in Hungary – Google research (via TNS)web

Posted by Annplugged on August 6, 2009

Google has published its findings regarding online shopping preferences, trends in Hungary – the research panel has interviewed 1000 Hungarian internet users about their web purchase attitudes, preferences between Dec 2 2008 and Feb 3 2009. The results of the e-commerce and internet search are showing no or not much surprises I think. There is perhaps one single country specific purchase, but the bulk of the data is just what you would expect of a maturing market in the EMEA region.

Google Hungary research on online shopping

Google Hungary research on online shopping

In numbers and conclusions – internet shopping in Hungary 2008-2009

ROPO (research online – purchase offline) is more prevalent in Hungary than in more mature western markets

Research online before purchase is especially high regarding electronics goods (like the new favorite LED TV) and travel related items and services (most typically searching for cheap flights and airline tickets as well as accommodation). 72% of users check out options on the web before making their purchase decisions.

As for travel, tourism, less than half of the respondents, 48% completes the act of purchase online, while 24% of the users make up their minds based on the data they found online to make their shopping offline.

However, regarding electronic goods, the purchase in webstores is only 22%! In other words, even though internet research plays a crucial role (72%) in buying all kinds of electronic goods, TV, mp3 player, DVD player, home theater, what have you, only a fraction of that impact can be measured through web conversions, the rest of the shopping conversions will take effect in the B&M (brick and mortar) stores.

Geo-specific online shopping in Hungary: the success of the obligatory car insurance

Similarly to electronic goods and travel services, compulsory car insurance research on the web is popular amongst more than 75% of the users, out of which two thirds of them actually complete the purchase process online.

What do Hungarians use before buying goods?

Search (no surprise here either) – 88% of users use a search engine to find the desired goods before shopping. And as Google.hu is THE most popular search engine in Hungary with approx. 98% of share in the Hungarian search market, you can treat this number is 87-88% of potential buyers searching for goods on google.

Brand pages – official brand pages like nokia.hu or philips.hu have scored second with 54% in the popularity game. I was somewhat surprised by this result, as my gut instinct told me the second most popular search channel before purchase would be price comparison. But it is brand pages, there you go.

Retail stores – 49% – this is understandable, especially talking about trusted stores. Oftentimes users would like to see how much an item is going to cost for them. This vital information is not on a manufacturer’s site.

Shopping comparison / Price comparison – 48%. I wonder how western users use price comparison sites compared to manufacturer sites when it comes to researching and purchasing goods online, as my instinct tells me that shopping comparison is far more popular, but in Hungary brand sites outscored price comparison sites by 6%. Not a big difference, based on a 1000 respondents, but it is telling. As I have been working for the number 1 most visited Hungarian comparison shopping site (Árukereső), I think one of the reasons for this result is that users sometimes get confused about comparison shopping sites, they simply assume they are in another retail stores and wish to complete their purchase right on the site. Besides, another percentage of internet users in Hungary do not expect to get the updated fresh and detailed product information on price comparison or web retail shops, so they go the the manufacturer page (prices missing there, so it is in the early research phase I guess). Brands are brands after all, with a weightier brand value than most retails stores or comparison shopping sites or online auction sites have so far achieved.

Auction sites – 44%: Vatera and Teszvesz are the online auction sites in Hungary. We do not even need to say the two top, they are, period. In 2008 both were bought up (majority investment not total) by Allegro group (of Naspers), and in July 2009 Árukereső, the previously mentioned comparison shopping site has also become an Allegro group asset. That’s why one of the Hungarian twitter users was referring  to the  news that the local ebay in Hungary is in formation…

THE TAKEAWAY

As for advertising, it is pretty obvious that e-commerce companies, travel service providers, car insurance sites cannot live without working with Google (SEO for Google, AdWords PPC, SEO PR aimed at Google), but they are also dependent on shopping comparison sites (arukereso, argep, olcsobbat, depo, kirakat, shopmania – such a small country with 2-3 million users and so many comparison shopping sites, amazing right?). Other CPC tactics may include etarget (prevalent in a good range of content sites) and direct negotiations with major content sites (portals, catalogs, etc.)

PS: the illustration shows 4 columns representing the results for 4 products (digital camera, computer hardware, household equipment, and the 4th column is clothes and accessories). The vertical line (y axis) enlists the typical sources of information (TV, outdoor media, fliers, radio, direct mail, friends and family, papers, internet, earlier experience, browsing in the store, store assistant in shops, store assistant via remote communication)

Posted in advertising, E-commerce, Emerging markets, Google, Google Adwords, Hungary, search, Search Engines, SEM, SEO, Shopping, statistics, users | 3 Comments »

Google tribute to Virginia Tech

Posted by Annplugged on April 23, 2007

Without words, videoshots and slideshows mixed:

Tribute to the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. A night of remembrance, and celebration of the lives lost in the tragic incident on the morning of April 16th, 2007.” /The Official Google Channel on YouTube/

– just hung my head.

Posted in Google, YouTube | 1 Comment »

Google Hungary gets country representative: Zoltan Peresztegi

Posted by Annplugged on March 20, 2007

Google Hungary country representative has been chosen: Zoltan Peresztegi will be in charge of Google’s moves on the Hungarian market (almost exclusively business development for AdWords partners, hardly any, if at all, engineering at this point.

One, if one is very skeptical indeed, may have thought that the scenario was like in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Google Godot. The Long-long-long tail is waiting for the Head to have a look at the tail. Hungary with its 2-3 million users waiting for Google Kft. to get a real face, and become a source of communication – in Hungarian of course, as sadly enough, we are still struggling with the long-lasting language use effects of the post-iron curtain era where learning western languages was not really encouraged and facilitated. So, yes, it means a lot, an awful lot for companies interested in Hungary if they are able to communicate in Hungarian or not (including search marketers). For another 10 years maybe.

Google Kft. (Google Hungary Ltd.) got a head to its body at last. The single staff member and head  of all staff members is Zoltán Peresztegi. There are already several positions advertised for the Hungarian exploratory crew, so the Hungarian division will soon get bigger.

What Zoltán is doing currently is studying the country and making a report for Google on the Hungarian market relevant for Google’s strategies (similarly to what took place as an initial step in other emerging markets like Egypt). And, needless to say, he is also working on strengthening Google’s brand in Hungary (see his previous work experience at Hungarian T-Mobile brand building), and attracting more potential customers for Google AdWords and AdSense programs. (I also hope that there will be excellent educational programs, and kids as well as (young) adults will be more search-savvy through such projects). In short, the mission for the first part of the year appears to be quite complex in itself, the focus being on mapping Hungary from primarily a technological-business aspect, and also from a cultural one.

Zoltán’s reply to the question ‘Why did Google decide to come to Hungary?’ was the following:

  • the internet penetration has reached the threshold level of 30% in Hungary
  • broad band access is extraordinarily high in Hungary
  • besides using the web for searching, the internet is a medium of entertainment (according to the stats used by Google Hungary Kft.  approx. 80% of users use the internet for search, while about 70% for e-mail communication and for reading news)

When the conversation turned to the online media and marketing chapter (how much is the market share of search marketing within online marketing), Zoltán said that we do not have precise data for that, and referred to the stats of the TNS Market Intelligence, which concludes that advertising on the internet is the most dynamically growing sector within advertising with 70% in Hungary, and according to Google’s estimates, its share from the total is between 2-4%.

(Now add that the share of search marketing spend from the total internet ad spend is estimated by major market players at about 5-8%. No official data yet.)

More about the press conference in my Hungarian webtrends blog (feel free to ask in the comments if you wish to know more)

ps: There is a great interest (from the public, not only from journalists and professionals) on Google statistics concerning the Hungarian search/ paid search landscape. However, such statistics seem to come later on, when the market becomes even more mature and self-reflective – on a consensual basis on behalf of all market players concerned.

Google Hungary Headquarters in Budapest

Google Hungary Ltd since then has moved to its new office on the beautiful riverbank of the Buda side in Budapest Hungary. The HQ is near Obuda district, Old Buda. The office has foosball of course, and lots of colors.

Google Budapest Hungary Address

Google Budapest Hungary Address

Google used to be sort of secretive of the whereabouts of the Budapest HQ, but not any more. So I am also sharing it:

Google Budapest
Address: 26-28 Árpád Fejedelem Way, District II
Budapest, Hungary
1023

Posted in Country Consultant, Emerging markets, Google, Hungary | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Numenta working on the future: human computer memory system

Posted by Annplugged on February 7, 2007

Erick Schonfeld from Business 2.0 has recently written an article on Numenta made by Jeff Hawkins (PalmPilot, Treo), whose vision is ‘hacking the human brain’ i.e. making a computer software that imitates a child’s trial and error learning style based upon the actual ways human use a computer: each interaction serves as an input in the database and the algorithm to be developed. My question on Erick’s blog:

Google is also using search patterns to learn from users and they have an enormous database daily expanding on the largest scale at present. And as Marissa Mayer said at DLD07 conference, the future, Google’s future, is personalized search – but I think we all expect the future to be personalized + online + bionic everything.
So Numenta could logically be a start-up potentially bought up by Google, if the software is learning quickly enough and has a large enough database for that + plus a business model to monetize on building that database (as Google’s AdWords is).
How is Numenta going to solve that very challenging task (i.e. building world-scale database _while_ generating revenue)?

One more thing, to quote from the full article the part that deals with Numenta’s financial aspects:
‘Targeted at research scientists and hard-core programmers, the license will allow people to play around with the software for free until they’re ready to create a commercial product. “We want as many people experimenting with the technology as possible,” Hawkins says’ and ‘He knows that he needs to build a community of developers around Numenta with financial incentives to help his technology succeed,’

a, I don’t think that people would play around for free, if they do not get sth very very useful in exchange (Google search works, Google Maps work, so people ‘play around with it’)
b, ‘building a community of developers’ is essential, but ‘building a community of developers’ where developers is defined as all people who contribute with their patterns of use is equally important.

Posted in Business model, Google, personalized search | Leave a Comment »

Earn money on YouTube

Posted by Annplugged on January 27, 2007

Goo(g)d news. Soon you will start generating money on YouTube.

How soon? We don’t know. But Chad Hurley announced at World Economic Forum, Davos on 27 Jan that they would reward users for self-generated content, saying “We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users.”

The idea is great, and I think it is a strong response to video sharing site Metacafé‘s challenge, where revenue sharing already started 3 months ago. Eyal Herzog, co-founder talked about it Digital Life Design conference (DLD07) on Jan 22, so it was only 5 days ago that I aired my criticism “How come YouTube seems to be unresponsive? Can they really be that comfortable in the stregthening competition? Lots of national video sites are mushrooming suddenly. Not only is GooTube lagging behind in building communities, and financially rewarding producers, it is also painfully low-performer regarding technology.”

Of course, it may have been originally timed to be announced at Davos forum, but it may also have been that many of the people at DLD07 in Munich also participated in Davos, and realized that Metacafé is very competitive, and is threatening to take away those precious eyeballs (already boasting 500.000.000 video downloads a month!)

How are they going to define self-generated? What will be the business model?

Will they copy Metacafé in the CPM based earnings? (5 USD/ thousand views) or will it be a more complex calculation including (on top of CPM or CPC)

  • viral effect: loads of inbound links from other blogs, and web pages
  • number of comments
  • number of video responses
  • number of shares (CPA)
  • number of times favorited
  • number of subscriptions, or the monthly growth on it

There are several factors that could be included potentially. How to make it simple?

Metacafé simplified it in the following way:

Metacafé, earned revenue from UGC“Producers get 5 USD/ CPM (a thousand views) if the total number of views go over 20.000 (Are you a producer? Just log in, and see how much you have earned. ” (Eyal Hertzog)

For YouTube, the good news is that Google AdSense payment model makes it easier to switch into the new business model and send money to content providers. Or even better, that they can count on the excellent technology of YouTube, (pardon my French) Google.

PS: the top earner on Metacafé, is not a simple user but a company: Reel Stunts Action Team, with several candidate films, but only one that generated all that 25.000 USD.

Update: Thanks to Philipp Lenssen and Tony Ruscoe for posting it on Google Blogoscoped.

Posted in AdSense, clips, DLD07, Google, Google Video, Metacafé, Monetizing, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »

How is Google generating revenue on YouTube?

Posted by Annplugged on January 26, 2007

Marissa Mayer’s answer is ‘we don’t know, we are still experimenting.’ (Digital, Life, Design conference, Munich: DLD07)

On Jan 25 2006 the first step towards actually integrating YouTube into Google’s products was taken: if you make a search query on Google Video, you’ll see loads of YouTube shots.

Liz Gannes on NewTeeVee is asking why is it worth running two video sites? (“why take a sidetrip to a search engine when you’ll end up on YouTube anyway?”)

In my opinion, that’s why:

As for running two sites (one for YouTube and one for Google video search): I think it is totally reasonable and profitable.

  • Reason 1: they have different profiles, roles, images as defined by Google (as Salar Kamangar put it, one for content the other for search – the options in AdWords)
  • Reason 2: with two brands you have more scope for experimenting
  • Reason 3: the combination of the above two

From the user’s point of view:

On YouTube you accidentally ‘stumble upon’ and interact

On Google video search you purposefully search and spend no time on socializing

From the media point of view:

YouTube functions as a content site of Google’s content network with a distinct community and with more scope for applying, testing various ad formats. And these tests, mind you, will be less affecting Google brand, as YouTube is separate. So video shots interrupted by an ad on YouTube will not clash with Google’s aim to ‘enhance user experience,’ because it is not Google. Being intrusive on YouTube while ‘finding out how to reduce being intrusive to the minimum’ works on the YouTube brand better and safer.

How they are carrying out video ads is absolutely an exciting question. When Marissa Mayer was asked about it at Digital Life Design conference (DLD07) in Munich, she said they are experimenting and gathering data, feedback, etc. on what works best. See: http://videos.dld-conference.com/ (day: Jan 23, The Billion Dollar Bubble). “There are lots of different business models… Maybe it means the user needs pay directly for the service, maybe it means advertisers will pay more…advertisers are good at valuing those eyeballs.” i.e. Advertisers will say how much it is worth them (even bidding?)

It is baffling though why haven’t they improved the searches (awful results pages, no need to describe them). Also, why haven’t they tried to experiment with dividing YouTube into two main columns as they do on Google search results pages: one column for organic video search and one for sponsored videos with bid management – based on similar principles to search algorithm.

But maybe this division is coming on Google video search – which, as a separate site, is of course worth being kept, if it works as an aggregator, and it will work as an aggregator indexing all sources they can/ are allowed to – with no social networking features, focusing on search, and potentially, with a differentiated method of generating ad revenue. One thing is sure, however, based on Google’s policy, I think it is out of question that Google could afford to be a biased video search engine – users’ trust is their biggest asset (besides lava lamps). So there is no way that they could push YouTube videos ahead of videos hosted on other sites.

 

Posted in AdSense, advertising, Adwords, clips, Google, Google Video, Monetizing, search, Video, YouTube | 3 Comments »

How many people use Google in Hungary? What about rivals?

Posted by Annplugged on December 3, 2006

According to Dennis Woodside, Google is used by 36% of the Hungarian web users (which is about 0,7-1 m users out of the 2-3 m Hungarian netizens, out of the 10 m people), in contrast to Poland where more than 80% of netizens use Google. The uneven distribution of Google’s popularity in Central and Eastern Europe should not come as a surprise at all: if local initiatives, national search engines are satisfying enough (and function as a multifaceted, one-off portal for the users in the given country, mostly ex-soviet block nations), they are more favored than Google (see the Czech), so Google Inc. needs to wait and use tactics adapted to local circumstances.
Right after google.hu, the second most popular ‘search engine’ (basically a catalog) in Hungary is Startlap (Starting page, literally) with 27% of the search volume pie, says Dennis.

Now the question arises: what does Dennis, or rather Google stats mean by the Startlap 27%?

If you open the catalog on startlap.hu, you can clearly see that Startlap uses two search engines, one called Tango (Hungarian development of Startlap in cooperation with Etarget) and the other one called Google.

picture-3.png

So it would be good to know how much of the 27% belongs to Google again. All the more as Startlap, as the main competitor of Google in the Hungarian search business, is gaining revenue by selling Google ads on its pages (search for AdSense) with the wide blue stripe and orange starlet of Startlap catalog.

picture-5.png

I am in really two minds about this issue: is it better for Startlap, which thus can generate more income for the site while providing better search results under its own logo by taking advantage of the Google algorithm, or is it better for Google by drilling into the Startlap empire and winning over ‘amateur users’ for Google? (by ‘amateur users’ I mean Hungarian internet users who are less tech savvy, and who tend to have Startlap as their default front page, plus their main search source)

I do not think that two market players consciously act like this, or have sized up the pros and cons of such a fused appearance as seen above. If so, Dennis would have mentioned this, or the director of Startlap at the Internet Hungary conference (Oct 2006), or any of my professional acquaintances in the SEM industry (as Hungary is so small that gossip travels faster than some downloaded files).

But these are all assumptions. I’ll forward this blogpost to Dennis, and we will see how he reacts. Of course, I will kindly ask Startlap’s representatives on this slightly confusing issue, too.

Let me know if you experience similar semi-fused solutions in other (emerging) countries, please.

Posted in AdSense, advertising, Central Eastern Europe, Dennis Woodside, Emerging markets, Google, Google Adwords, Hungary, Lap.hu, rivalry, search, Search Engines, SEM, Startlap, Tango | 4 Comments »

Brushing up the Google Official Blog

Posted by Annplugged on November 27, 2006

Can you imagine that tomorrow you wake up, start searching on the web, and the letters of Google Search are dull gray? I would feel flabbergasted. Now, Google’s Official Blog is somewhat like this: a Blog in gray letters, with gray faces, and gray blood.

Well, I must admit it was a relief to see Aaron’s post sincerely criticizing the Official Google Blog: saying ‘Why does Google’s official blog suck?’

Several times, whenever I used my GMail account, it came up with a wide spectrum of web clips above the mails with a promising title from Google’s Official Blog, among others. Rapid click, chasing the title and the blogpost. And? I have checked it out, and gone away totally disappointed.

No real news, rather a masterfully boring series of the promotion of those Google products that need more popularity compared to Google search and GMail. Yet, Google Official Blog is ranked as high as number 15 on Technorati. Goog Gracious!

Let’s see the last few ones:

  • The one entitled Happy Cyber Monday (practically the title was acceptable, even though ‘cyber’ is getting more and more stale): there is NO real content. It is about ‘Hello! Use Google Checkout because you can be safe with it.’ That’s it.
  • So Cal without cars? Is about ‘Hi! Use Google Transit. It feels like Sunshine.’
  • A new way to browse books is educating us how to use Google Book Search, and in the end, encouraging us to use it: ‘So check out the new Google Book Search.’

And it goes on and on in the same style. It is so official that it is nothing but a Random Tutorial, no wonder bloggers do not even like the way the name sounds ‘Google Official Blog.’

What could Google do about it?

Personalize. It is OK to read that

Make it intriguing: So Stephanie used the Transit product. Suggestions for tuning it up: Any problems with the Google Transit product? How many people are using it in California? Is it accessible in the US? When do you think it will be expanded to other parts of the world (let’s say improving traffic in Budapest, Hungary, for instance)? How did the idea came? Why did you feel you needed to put up this post on the Official Blog? Did someone tell you? Was it an inner urge or there is a growing policy in Google Inc. to become more open (e.g. because of the rapidly growing size and as a counterbalance of the corporate mammoth feeling Google is radiating – especially if its doors remained closed for the public. Scoble did a relatively good job to get inside the building, though)

Use visuals sometimes: I would truly appreciate some pics on the blog once in a while. Or even YouTube video shots embedded (like here on WordPress). Like this:

Scoble goes to Google interpreted by SouthPark

Open Feedback: Please ask for feedback on the spot, i.e. in comments, not in standardized request forms on the official Google site. It is so unbloggy. Fear of many AdWords complaints flooding in? Then have at least moderated comments (pre-checked).

Collect: many outsider bloggers write very good quality stuff about Google products, plans, etc. Pick the ones you like, link to them, and make it easily accessible to all those interested in Google. Philip Lenssen on Blogoscoped is doing a great job in this respect, but it would be an honor for any blogger to get selected by Google for a 15 second fame.
etc.

(I do not even dare to ask: when will the first Official (or just Googler’s) Google Blog in Hungarian start to function?) What does it depend on?

PS: I hope Stephanie will understand that it is not personally for her, but for the general basket of Google Inc. Blog Tutorials (sorry if it was too harsh of me). I really look forward to more colorful posts, and I do not think of myself as a superb model blogger. 🙂

UPDATE (Jan 01, 2006 2007): The wave of dissatisfaction has finally reached Techcrunch’s Michael Arrington, and their very-year-end post ends with a promising turn, i.e. Google may invite comments soon. Great news.

Posted in Blog, Blogmarketing, Corporate communication, Criticism, Google, Google Book Search, Google Official Blog, Google Transit, HR, Hungary, search, Training, YouTube | 1 Comment »

Google AdWords Training on YouTube?

Posted by Annplugged on October 10, 2006

So now if training, let’s see what YouTube offers on AdWords tips and tricks. I am truly disappointed that free trainings are only available in the US, you lucky ones over the sea…) 🙂

As Inside AdWords says “The first round of AdWords Seminars will be offered in select cities: Los Angeles, San Mateo, Chicago, New York City, Miami, and Boston.” But they also call the attention to the continuation of the series for which updates are available by filling out a form
So back to YouTube, is there any long distance course? Well, the first trial for ‘AdWords training’ keywords was unsuccessful:

Video results for ‘adwords training’ No Videos found for ‘adwords training’
OK, let’s check ‘seminar’ The result is the same: Video results for ‘adwords seminar’ No Videos found for ‘adwords seminar’ All right (sigh). What about SEM training? Pops up 6 hits, but sadly enough, probably the closest one is ‘Boeing extreme landing training’ (maybe to do with landing pages)

How about search engines? That’s it! Promising list, good stuff just by the look of it: mostly SEO stuff (not overviewed clips, even if a guy called SageRock re/appears on almost every page uploaded by himself), then more popular stuff like the bizarre commercial for the Japanese search engine and another for Google Brain Talk search engine (the futuristic Google), one for a somewhat weak comedy entitled Ernest the search engine but at least it is short, and event snippets like the short recording on 2006 SES conference and the Google Dance.

I expect Google will not miss out on publishing the free AdWords course to let others get close to the know-how. will they? Oh, and a bit of foolproof tagging should help a lot. For me, definitely.

Posted in advertising, Adwords, clips, Course, Google, Google Adwords, search, Search Engines, search strategies, SEM, SEO, statistics, Training, Video, YouTube | 1 Comment »

Marathon clips on YouTube

Posted by Annplugged on October 10, 2006

Checking out YouTube, (now nicknamed GooTube, yet keeping its own identity and all the 67 people), is getting a regular spot during the day. I bumped into marathon clips, which confused me at first. I thought the upper limit is 10 minutes, hard and fast rule. Yet many programming session can be found that exceed 2 hours, 3 hours and even 4 hours. So how can it be? I thought Google changed the name of the game, but it turns out it is not irregularity, on the contrary:

How long can my video be?
Most videos on YouTube are under five minutes long. There is a 10-minute length limit (unless you have a Director account). Longer videos require more compression to fit in the 100MB size limit, and the quality will go down as the length of the video goes up.

So I guess 3DBuzz has such an account for their 2 and a half hour long Delphi training sessions. No problem with the quality either (at least for educational purposes).

Posted in clips, Google, marathon, Training, Video, YouTube | Leave a Comment »