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Net Briefs - August 2013

Posted on 6.30.2013

Each month within the print edition of Website Magazine, our editors research and report on some of the most interesting developments in the world of web business in the 'Net Briefs column. The most recent edition features numerous acquisitions by such names as Salesforce, Rakuten, and Hybris, as well as coverage of other big names including Google, Yahoo and Facebook. Stay up to date on the news and information important to Internet professionals - visit 'Net Features, the official Website Magazine weblog.


 

SALESFORCE TO BE EXACT…

Big-time customer relationship management platform provider (and more, of course) Salesforce made its largest purchase ever in early June when it acquired marketing platform ExactTarget for $2.5 billion (yes, billion). ExactTarget, which specializes in technology for email and social marketing campaigns, will be integrated into the Salesforce Marketing Cloud suite, and may even be the next step in Salesforce’s move toward releasing more technology in the always-growing e-commerce market.

Rakuten Feeling Fulfilled

Global Web brand Rakuten has continually extendedits reach through a series of acquisitions. Most recently, it acquired logistics and e-commerce service provider Webgistix, which helps merchants manage their supply chains via software built for order fulfillment, freight management and shipment optimization. Since it owns many U.S. fulfillment centers, Webgistix makes it possible for merchants to reach 98 percent of their customers within two business days. This most recent purchase is likely a way for Rakuten, who also owns the huge Ichiba retail company in Japan, to establish itself in the U.S. ecommerce market.

Hybris Gets SAP-ed Up

SAP has acquired hybris, an e-commerce-focused software company that offers a cross-channel platform for mobile, call center, in-store and Web commerce. SAP, a world leader in business software, plans to leverage the hybris technology to provide an advanced customer experience that allows users to choose between on-premise or cloud deployments. Ultimately, this should help optimize the overall experience for both businesses and consumers across delivery channels, devices and touchpoints.

What Can't Google Do?

Looks like Google is trying to maneuver its way into one of the few parts of the Web that it hasn't totally dominated, yet: design. The company announced plans in early June to release Google Web Designer, a free HTML5 development tool that lets advertisers develop their own creative assets. The tool will be closely integrated with DoubleClick Studio and AdMob, which means that it’s probably got something to do with Google attempting to break into the native ad market. That being said, Google Web Designer is clearly being designed to do much more than just make ads, even if that is its initial focus.

Yahoo’s Google-Esque Makeover

Marissa Mayer certainly knows how to get Yahoo's name (and her own) in the news, overseeing a major facelift for Yahoo’s long-abandoned search engine. While officially the redesign is meant to emphasize the top search results on a page, it mostly just seems to make Yahoo look more like Google. All results are now visible higher on a page, and features a single-line navigation bar at the top and smaller Yahoo branding next to the search bar. Now, where have we seen that before? Yahoo also has another navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page that lets users select the type of search category they want.

Facebook Cuts Ads

In an effort to simplify its ad offerings, Facebook has decided to cut its ad units from 27 to fewer than half of that. According to the social network, the cuts will aim to eliminate redundant units and make them appear more consistent, among other goals. One of the units being axed is Facebook Offers, as the social network states that marketers have found using Page post link ads more effective to drive people to deals on their websites. The changes will be implemented over the next six months, and Facebook hopes that the alterations will help marketers better reach the right people and achieve their desired results.

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