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Net Briefs: June 2017

Posted on 6.01.2017

:: MARKETING NEWS ::

Internet Retailers Look Beyond Amazon

Amazon might be the dominant force in the retail industry today, but a new Feedvisor report suggests that 60 percent of its third-party sellers plan to expand into other marketplaces in 2017, suggesting e-commerce merchants are looking to new opportunities for business growth. The research also indicates that 65 percent of Amazon sellers currently sell on eBay as well (down from 73 percent in 2016) and 22 percent of those merchants have an existing presence at Walmart’s Jet.com too (down from 27 percent in 2016).

Digital Ad Fraud in Focus

With ad fraud remaining a top concern for digital advertisers, comScore has announced it will begin offering a free viewability measurement solution that will enable digital media buyers and sellers to measure the advertising metric across display, video and mobile inventory. By enabling media buyers and sellers to measure viewability at no cost, the new comScore offering (reportedly available late summer 2017) should help increase and improve its clients’ ability to focus on more meaningful performance metrics such as reach within geographic and demographic targets and lift in brand awareness, purchase intent, visits or product sales.

The Biggest Threat to Google & Facebook Revenues

Ask any digital advertising professional which platforms receive the bulk of their promotional budget and they’ll likely be quick to tell you Google and Facebook. That could begin to change, however, as both advertisers and publishers embrace native advertising. A recent survey from AdsNative, for example, found that nearly 54 percent of publishers do not believe that ad budgets are going to just a few players, with 92.3 percent reporting increased native ad revenue in the last year and 69.2 percent indicating they currently receive the most revenue from direct sales.

:: TECH UPDATES ::

The Expectation Gap Between IT & Customers

Do you understand your customers or do you just think you do? New research out from Talend, a provider of open source integration software products, indicates that companies apparently have a longer way to go than they might think in terms of using the wealth of data on customer behavior and purchasing choices at their disposal to actually meet consumer expectations. While 88 percent of IT leaders believe their organization truly understands its customers, for example, only 61 percent of consumers feel companies understand their needs.

The Use & Popularity of HTTPS

Competitive intelligence software company SEMrush has published data on websites’ use of the HTTPS protocol and if there is a correlation with better rankings in Google. SEMrush analyzed the top 100,000 domains in its U.S. database and found that over the past three years, HTTPS usage has tripled among these websites (from 7.6 percent to 31.5 percent). SEMrush also discovered that nearly 45 percent of results in the first position and nearly 50 percent of results in the second position used HTTPS.

Online Fraudsters Test Small, Purchase Big

Businesses accepting payments over the Web must be able to manage fraud without compromising revenue or customer loyalty. Over-cautious is likely the best approach, however, as Radial released data indicating a 200-percent increase in credit-card testing so far in 2017, a tactic used by fraudsters to test stolen credit card numbers with small incremental purchases before paying for large-dollar items on the card, compared to the same quarter in 2016. According to Radial, fraud is also up 30 percent year over year, which was expected as Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip-based transactions reached greater adoption at brick-and-mortar businesses.

:: MOVERS & SHAKERS ::

Acquired: Affiliate network Clickbooth announced that it has acquired affiliate tracking dashboard Thrive. The product will reportedly be rebranded to ThriveTracker and Clickbooth is expected to operate it as a stand-alone division and as part of its current suite of performance marketing technology offerings.

Acquired: Amazon will reportedly acquire SOUQ, a popular e-commerce destination in the Middle East. SOUQ.com attracts more than 45 million visits per month with localized operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Funded: Marketing technology company Zeta Global has secured $140 million in a Series F financing round from GPI Capital and funds sponsored by Franklin Square Capital Partners and sub-advised by GSO Capital Partners LP. Since its inception, Zeta has raised more than $250 million in capital, with the latest round being its largest to date. 

:: POPULAR WITH WM READERS ::

Marketing Mistakes that Kill SMBs

+ wsm.co/marmistakes

In order to maximize efficiency of their market budget, it is important small- and medium-sized businesses have a clear vision of who their customers are and how exactly they will reach them.

Interactive Content that Boosts Sales

+ wsm.co/byestatic

It is time businesses ditch static pages on their websites in favor of interactive elements that speak directly to consumers’ desire for personalization and self-service. The reward? Higher conversions.

Design Your Portfolio Site Like This

+ wsm.co/resume4web

Creating and hosting a personal portfolio website as a visual résumé available to peers and potential clients is an effective way to showcase a designer’s work quickly to anyone who might be interested.

:: WEB TECH WATCH ::

Avachato for Slack: Send and receive text messages to customers.
JawsDB: MySQL-as-a-service with one-click provisioning.
Showaround: 360-degree object visualization technology.
Launchpad for Sketch: Publish responsive websites directly from Sketch.
Storyheap: Manage Snapchat and Instagram stories.
Vize: AI API for image recognition.
DashMetrics: Data dashboard that can be modified manually.
Fontbase 2.0: Popular free font manager receives an update.
SendPulse for Slack: Email plugin for the collaboration system.
Emoj: Add emotional intelligence to chat bots.
Postal: An open-source mail server and delivery platform.
Subscribe with Amazon: Amazon’s self-service subscription marketplace.
Zoomifier Lead Incubator: Reduces cost of AdWords lead capture.
Huntr: A Kanban board for job applications.  
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