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Net Briefs: May 2017

:: MARKETING NEWS ::

Influencer Marketing for E-Commerce

One of the hottest marketing trends is that of influencer marketing, a practice where brands align themselves with someone possessing a large, active social media following in order to promote their product or service for a lump sum, commission or both. Amazon is throwing its hat in the ring with its new Influencer Marketing program (beta), an offering where select influencers receive a unique URL that will be used to drive sales from their social pages to an Amazon product listing. Details are currently limited, but experts suggest that the system will match influencers to sellers, with the latter having some manual control over approving, declining and monitoring influencers’ activity. Read more at wsm.co/socialzon.

Returns Matter (A Lot) for Retailers

How infuriating would it be for an online buyer to return an incorrect order, only to receive the incorrect item for a second time? Voxware surveyed more than 500 consumers for its third biennial report and found that nearly a quarter (24 percent) of shoppers have experienced this mishap. The product return process does not have to be so bad as to turn away repeat sales, however. The survey revealed that 96.8 percent of respondents agree that how well an online retailer handles returns influences whether they will decide to order items from them again in the future.

Churn is Turning Heads

Of the 150 customer success leaders surveyed by UserIQ, 55 percent of them indicated that measuring account health and user behavior is their biggest challenge to retaining customers. Respondents reported difficulty in getting intelligence on how users behave to make sure they are reaching their goals and knowing what to do to get customers back on track if they lose momentum.

:: TECH UPDATES ::

Let’s Encrypt Issues

Over 15,000 SSLs to PayPal Phishing Sites Having an SSL on a website is a wise decision as it keeps users safe – at least it is supposed to. Research from The SSL Store revealed that during the past year, Let’s Encrypt (a provider of free SSL certificates) issued a total of 15,270 SSL certificates that contained the word “PayPal” in the domain name. Of those, 96.7 percent were issued for domains that hosted phishing sites, highlighting the need for more rigorous standards for SSL certificate issuance to keep the certificates’ integrity intact.

Small Businesses Need to Wake Up About Cybersecurity

According to a new Manta poll of 1,420 small business owners (SBOs), 87 percent do not feel at risk of experiencing a data breach. Further, just 69 percent of SBOs have controls in place to prevent hacks—meaning 1 in 3 have no safeguards whatsoever. Learn more at wsm.co/sbosecurity.

Publishers Slow to Adopt Header Bidding

Ad technology firm GetIntent has released data indicating that most publishers (more than 80 percent of the Alexa 100) have not embraced header bidding, a programmatic technique where publishers’ available inventory is offered to several ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to ad servers. Perhaps most surprising about the GetIntent study is that there seems to be one dominant player in Criteo, which was far and away the leader in its study. Among the 121 publishers that most commonly used header bidding solutions, 42.1 percent used Criteo and 24.4 percent chose Amazon. Fewer (17.1 percent) are using the open-source and free Prebid.js container.

:: MOVERS & SHAKERS ::

Acquired: E-commerce and subscription billing solution Avangate has announced the acquisition of online payment solution 2Checkout. Avangate will now be able to settle transactions in more than 30 languages and 130 local currencies thanks to the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Acquired: Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone has sold his question-and-answer service Jelly to Pinterest for an undisclosed sum (along with co-founder Ben Finkel). Stone wrote on Jelly’s blog that they’re still working out the details (like if Jelly will remain separate or be integrated somehow).

Funded: Predictive analytics company Prevedere closed a $10 million Series B funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Microsoft Ventures and existing investors PointGuard Ventures and Rev1 Ventures. Prevedere closed a Series A funding round of $4 million in 2015.

:: POPULAR WITH WM READERS ::

Trend Assessment: Chatbots & Your Website

It has become much easier for businesses to perform tasks with little to no human intervention and improve conversion rates as a result thanks to technologies such as chatbots.

+ wsm.co/chattysite

4 Guest Blogging Hacks for SEO Pros

Marketers looking for a way to increase visibility and establish trust with their prospective audience should consider guest posting – and use these strategies to get the best results.

+ wsm.co/guesthack

This Too Shall PaaS? The Ins & Outs of Your Product as a Service.

It often takes a disruptor for others to pay attention and act. The disruptors – connected products, subscription services, self-service technology – are already here, so it’s time for action.

+ wsm.co/takeapaas

:: WEB TECH WATCH ::

FullStory: Record and replay visitors’ sessions.

Google Optimize: The testing and personalization solution is now free.

Reddit Self-serve Ad Platform v2: Manage native ads on the Reddit network.

Shoutem v5: Create React Native, cross-platform mobile apps.

Evrybo: Free design collaboration and prototyping tool.

Amazon Connect: A self-service, cloud-based call center.

HTTPS Everywhere: Chrome extension that encrypts and secures users’ browsing.

HelloWorks by HelloSign: Convert documents and forms into workflows.

Fyle: Track businesses expenses from an email client.

KWAlert: Keyword tool showing new and trending suggestions.

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