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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)

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

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 »

How threatening is click fraud in the Hungarian search landscape?

Posted by Annplugged on September 27, 2006

Very briefly, and luckily, not much, at least, compared to the much wider The sensational click fraud symphony in C by Wolfgang Amadeus Press

reaching English speaking search landscape.

Why not? I asked László Fazakas manager from Arcanian Consulting SEM agency.

Basically, he said three arguments:

First, due to the limited number of Hungarian speakers in the world and in Hungary (the latter is 10 million speakers, and approx. 2-3 million users), we have a natural defense against click fraud: the Hungarian market is of relatively limited size. So the Hungarian guy called Roland Kiss in Business Week’s cover story stating that he can make up to 70.000 USD per month through ‘paid reading’ (practically click fraud) did not get rich from targeting Hungarian marketers. On the one hand, he would have needed to suck away all the total monthly national revenue from the whole Hugnarian market for that, according to Laszlo’s estimation. On the other hand, the article states that he was heavily exploiting the content network run by Yahoo, and as you can see in József’s research, Yahoo is non-existent for Hungarian users, in sharp contrast to Google’s strengthening presence: Google (62.71%), Lap.hu (a link catalog: 25.16%), Vizsla24 (7.41%), Tango.hu (1.43%)

 

Further, the Hungarian internet culture is still in its infancy, and as a consequence, there are very few really popular sites in Hungary (e.g. Origo, Index, Startlap), and a growing number of smaller sites (like the fledgling blog community of Blogter). These bigger sites and portals have personal contacts with online marketing agencies and marketers, so we could say that the 300-500 sites woth being considered are easily manually picked and not automatically included in the content network. Besides, Etarget (the sole major rival of Google Inc. in Hugnary) has managed to make successful contracts with large scale site owners for click based ads. So what counts as a big fish in Hungary is more controllable this way and provides a sort of additional natural protection against vivid fraudulent clicks.

Third, it is the domain process: unlike in the US where it takes some minutes to get a domain name, we have a long and painful process to acquire a domain in Hungary, consequently, web sites are not mushrooming from one moment to the other.

Regardless of these contextually given protective measures, search agencies as well as other online and interactive agencies are concerned about the news sensationalizing click farms, paid reading sites and whatnot. So they feel the need to assure clients that the search industry is a trustworthy field, therefore, the unknown and exaggerated phenomenon of click fraud will be treated, and due analytical attention (and compensations) will be paid.

I have run through some of the comments on Business Week site, and I have the impression that Google will need to further enhance their communication with the public regarding algorithms, the proportion of click frauds (already promised to be shown in Google Analytics, as far as I understood), the way Google controls the speedily growing content network etc.

The other thing I have found totally clear is that everybody takes it naturally that internet based marketing should be 100% accountable and accurate, while there are no huge scandals and regular press releases on old media accountability. Why not?

Escaping back to PR, print ad and direct mail campaigns (as one marketing agent, Henry from Silicon Valley was writing on Sept 22) appearing as an expectation on the clients’ side seems to be absolutely baffling for me. Admittedly, it is not a source of income for TV ad viewers to watch highly untargeted ads, and it is impossible to get paid for reading print ads, but there is a lot of money openly thrown out of the window, undetected. No noisy press releases either.

Last, I assume click fraud should be acknowledged as a criminal activity with legal consequences in the near future: it is clear from the interviews of the Business Week that those who misuse the system either are (pretend to be) unaware of click fraud having a ‘fraudulent nature’ (surprise surprise), or they are simply enjoying earning money illegally and getting away with it. True, there are no news on lawsuits involving average citizens for their clicky wrongdoings.

Posted in Accountability, AdSense, advertising, Click fraud, Content Networks, domain, Emerging markets, Etarget, Google, Hungary, Index.hu, Lap.hu, news sites, Old media, Origo, rivalry, search, Search Engines, SEM, Startlap, statistics, Tango, Vizsla24 | 2 Comments »

TOP SEARCH ENGINES IN HUNGARY?

Posted by Annplugged on July 27, 2006

While there is no official data on the distribution of search engines used by Hungarian webizens, József Jároli, a SEO guy, and watchful blogger, made an interesting analysis.The Search Cake
As he puts it, the graph “shows the number of referrers by search engines and directories based on the results of 26 randomly selected publicly available web statistics in August, 2005.” What I find interesting in József’s graph is the visible non-existence of Google’s main rivals, Yahoo! and MSN, and József must be right that one of the main reasons for this is the lack of language option. Therefore, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places are taken up by Hungarian search engines:

  • 2nd lap.hu/ startlap.hu (in English: (start)page.hu), which is a directory/ link collection in fact, and is very popular in Hungary (according to the owner, Sanoma Inc: it is the most popular opening page in browsers used by Hungarians).
  • 3rd kurzor.hu (in English: cursor.hu), which used to squat on the domain google.hu, and now there is no news about the financial consequences of their deed, but being forced to give back the domain must have resulted in a considerable decrease regarding the traffic.
  • 4th as József writes: “vizsla24.hu is the search engine of Hungary’s biggest portal: [origo].” I only add, for the sake of etimology, that it used to wear the name altavista, for obvious reasons, then was changed into alta vizsla (vizsla is an indigenous Hungarian hunting dog, a very nice, and friendly one indeed), then again changing into vizsla24 (so you had a hunting dog for the 24 hours of the day).

The graph shows that Google is/seems to be by far the most popular search engine, but the number of rivals and their possible distribution must have changed even in a relatively short span of time (1 year), on a relatively small market (approx. 2 million users). For one thing, there is a new engine called Tango, which is becoming a stronger and stronger player. The engine has been specifically developed for Hungarian morphology, character sets etc. by Etarget (PPC company) in cooperation with Sanoma Inc. (see Startlap catalog above), and can deal with requests more precisely in one respect. Its algorithm can not compete with Google, but again there are certain solutions that can enable Tango.hu to grab some slices from the search market. All the more as the popular Startlap catalogue mentioned above is also owned by Sanoma Inc. and this way the catalogue and the search engine can strengthen their online presence, according to Zoltán Harkányi (aka harzol). One of these techniques is that there are Tango search boxes placed in the middle of some online magazines, and journals like Figyelőnet.hu (literally: ‘observernet.hu,’ one of the most respectful economic journals in Hungary), also belonging to the Sanoma group. Whenever you read the site and you suddenly feel the urge in your fingers to launch a search on the web, it is more conevenient to use an inner search box than to meander to Google with extra clicks. The efficiency of results is varying, depending on the topic and sites you wish to get more info on. But the quick availability is not to be neglected.
What Tango does not have however, to mention but a few, is not only the solid income from GOOG shares, the 100-factor based algorithm, or the international renomé, but also the constant PR news that Google has in the Hungarian press. Tango’s birth was announced, and since then there is no more about it to keep it afresh in users’ mind.

Posted in Google, Hungary, search, Search Engines, statistics, Tango | 1 Comment »