When Shopping Online, the Packaging Sends a Message

With almost everyone getting great gift deals sent to their inbox these days, it’s not surprising that the peak holiday shopping period of November and December brings in 30 percent more revenue for e-commerce retailers than non-holiday months, according to a report by RJMetrics.

This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest online shopping days of the period, saw record-breaking sales totaling $6.8 billion in 2016, a 17 percent increase over 2015. 

Topics: E-commerce & IT Outsourcing Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

Boral’s Acquisition of Headwaters Shows Interest in Construction Projects

One of the few things both political parties agreed on during the recent US presidential election campaign was the need to rebuild the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Not only are many of the nation’s roads and bridges in need of repair, if not outright replacement, but this surge in construction activity would generate high-paying jobs. 

The election of Donald Trump as the 45th US President has spurred interest in large-scale public works projects, especially with his call for a national infrastructure bank. While some parts of his plan remain controversial — and details on how to pay for it remain murky — many businesses are betting that there will be an increase in US construction activity. 

Topics: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

Water-Based Industrial Coatings: It’s Getting Easier Being Green

Watching paint dry? That’s boring. But knowing that as the paint dries, it’s water – not toxic chemicals – evaporating into the air? Now that’s exciting.

Water-Based vs. Solvent-Based Coatings

Water-based coatings, which employ water as their liquefying agent rather than chemical solvents, have made huge inroads worldwide over the past few decades. Consumers, professional painters, OEMs, as well as government regulators, have increasingly recognized the advantages of eco-friendly water-based paints, including low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, easy cleanup, and low odor.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Ashes to Ashes: Precast Concrete Adapts to a Changing Funeral Market

2015 marked a turning point for the US funeral and cemetery industry. For the first time, more Americans were cremated than buried underground.

Cremations have been on the rise since the beginning of the 21st century, due to changing religious and social preferences, and a desire to economize funerals. This trend has put many segments of the funeral industry under pressure, including the precast concrete industry.
Topics: Materials & Chemicals Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

The Future of the Frac Sand Market

The past decade has been an exhilarating ride for producers of frac sand, or silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing. North American shale oil and gas production has surged since 2010, bringing tremendous opportunities to the previously quiet silica sand industry. In 2014, the market for frac sand in North America was 20 times larger than it was a decade earlier, according to a recent study published by The Freedonia Group.

But for every boom, there is a bust. In late 2014, consumption began to decline as oil and gas prices plummeted across the world. Now, instead of embarking on ambitious expansions, frac sand suppliers have idled production and mining operations. The stock price of Fairmount Santrol, the US’s largest frac sand producer, dropped from $16.98 at the time of its IPO in 2014 to a low of $1.23 in January 2016.

Topics: Energy & Resources Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Cool Roofs Are Expected to Gain Popularity Across the US

Owners and tenants of commercial properties usually only think about their roofs when there is a leak that needs repairing. However, many are discovering that their choice in roofing materials can help them save on their bottom line. 

“Cool roofing” products help reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills — important considerations for all business owners. Materials are classified as “cool roofing” if they reflect a significant amount of sunlight off of a roof surface while also absorbing solar radiation. By doing so, cool roofs prevent heat from being transferred to the interior of the building, causing less strain on air conditioning and keeping cooling costs at a manageable level.

Topics: Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

How Amazon Changed the Hosting Cloudscape

Unquestionably, the leading infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud hosting service provider is Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company began offering data storage services in 2006, launching Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) in March of that year, and Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) in August.

The service has now been operating for over 10 years, and starting in the first quarter of 2015, Amazon began reporting AWS as a separate segment. In its 2015 Annual Report, Amazon disclosed that AWS net sales expanded from just over $3.1 billion in 2013 to nearly $7.9 billion in 2015. AWS’s revenues have continued to expand rapidly, with the segment experiencing average quarterly growth of 12.5% over the period between Q1 of 2014 and Q2 of 2016, and its revenues for the first half of 2016 already nearly match the first three quarters of 2015.
Topics: Software & Enterprise Computing Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

Why Hotels and Airlines Are Fighting Their Distributors

The US travel services industry, which includes both traditional and online travel agencies, increasingly faces a new source of competition for booking services: the airlines and hotel operators themselves.

A growing number of airlines and hotels are adopting strategies — such as loyalty programs, fees on third-party bookings, or discounts on direct bookings — to encourage consumers to book services directly with them.

Topics: Travel & Leisure Industry Insights The Freedonia Group

Motorcycles: Visions of the Future

The future of motorcycles is being forged today. Leading manufacturers are developing new technologies with the potential to revolutionize the riding experience. 

This wave of innovation, however, has garnered sparse news coverage. The media has focused on developments in the automotive industry such as self-driving cars and electric vehicles, paying little attention to similar trends in motorcycles. 

Topics: Transportation & Shipping Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Is Social Media a Friend – or Frenemy – to Newspaper Publishers?

You may not realize this, but the newspaper industry has long been in the advertising business, deriving the majority of its revenue from the sale of ad space in print publications. In exchange, businesses purchasing these ads were assured a broad audience of readers. For many years, it was a win-win situation for both sides.

But the digital revolution has changed that. Between 2005 and 2015, newspaper publishing revenues fell at an average annual rate of 7.0%, largely due to advertising losses. In 2015, advertising services accounted for 55% of publishing revenues, down from 71% in 2005.

Topics: Advertising Media Industry Insights The Freedonia Group