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Net Briefs - Dec '14

Posted on 11.30.2014

Online Reviews Get a Response

Consumer reviews hold incredible power over prospective buyers. In a study conducted by Dimensional Research only 12 percent of those polled stated that consumer reviews had “no influence” on their buying decisions. To help businesses better manage and respond to reviews, Google recently unveiled an update to its Google My Business platform, which allows businesses to receive push alerts when new reviews are published as well as respond to Google reviews from within the app.

Bing Makes a Move

While the crown has by no means been passed, Bing has seen major growth in their online advertising programs. In fact, in a recent report by The Search Agency titled “State of Paid Search Report for Q3 2014” Bing saw a 55 percent increase in year-over-year (YoY) ad spend, a noteworthy difference from Google’s 2 percent decline. The report indicates that Bing’s big jump was spurred by an increase in Bing’s cost per click (CPC) ads jumping 40 percent YoY.

In China We Trust

Even though Alibaba is one of the most valuable Web technology companies on the planet, U.S. consumers have been slow to accept China’s e-commerce powerhouse. In fact, according to a survey of more than 3,500 online buyers by Bizrates Insights, more than 50 percent of consumers (regardless of generation) indicated that they would neither browse nor purchase products from Alibaba. The main concerns cited by those surveyed were long delivery windows, distrust, and fear over security of personal and payment information, as well as their preference to “Buy American.”

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Lightning Strikes App Building

Salesforce, best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) system, released a new development platform for mobile apps dubbed Salesforce1 Lightning. The new platform enables developers to quickly bring their visions to life with an easy drag-and-drop user interface. Apps that are created using the new platform will be automatically optimized for any device on any platform.

Facebook Ads Get Personal

As consumers become increasingly blind to banners, advertisers have started focusing on personalizing their creative assets – sending the right message to the right person at the right time. And, what better place to get the data they need to customize those ads than the world’s most popular social media network? Facebook recently opened its Audience Network ad program to all advertisers and apps, allowing brands to leverage Facebook’s demographic data to send relevant ads to consumers on their mobile devices that direct them either to an app or the company’s mobile site.

More 'Net News

  • Bigcommerce’s inaugural E-Commerce Report revealed interesting findings about merchants leveraging its platform, including:
  • Retailers saw a 25 percent higher gross merchandise volume (GMV) in Q3 2014 than Q3 2013.
  • More specifically, merchants in the electronics and computers category saw a 25 percent increase in average order value during Q3.
  • Those in the lifestyle and home category saw the strongest performance during Q3, enjoying a 71 percent YOY increase in GMV as well as a 41 percent per-store average increase.

Don’t miss Website Magazine’s 2014 industry roundups, available online at

Mobile App Watch


Today’s professionals are a mobile group. It is important that they can be in constant contact with the rest of their team in order to make sure everyone is on the same page. With Hangouts, users can text (SMS), chat and even attend video meetings with their entire team.


Seasoned business professionals know how important it is to travel as light as possible. Thanks to Google Drive, no longer must professionals carry around briefcases filled with 5-inch binders. Instead, they can upload their reports and documents to Drive and access them at will. Drive delivers 30GB of storage for free and has plans all the way up to unlimited storage.


Just like professionals, websites never rest. With business hours on the Internet being 24/7 it is important that professionals can find out how their website is performing in real-time whenever they desire.


Currently available on an invitation-only basis, Inbox reimagines the way users interact with and organize their email. Inbox gets rid of folders entirely and introduces “bundles,” which places messages of the same type together – to be managed quickly. Other interesting features include the ability to display message highlights without needing to open the message, set reminders and even snooze items for later.

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
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