MarTech Net Briefs from May 2018

Evolution of the Online Shopping Experience
Omnichannel commerce platform Kibo released its annual 2018 Consumer Trends Report and revealed that today's consumers favor interactive content, multiple fulfi llment options and an enhanced shopping experience as top factors that drive their purchasing decisions. While 61% of Kibo's survey participants named price as the top factor infl uencing their purchase decisions that percentage is actually down by more than 12.8% year over year. By contrast, according to the study, the importance of the shopping experience actually doubled, and the percentage of participants naming the variety and speed of fulfi llment options as deciding factors grew by 1.3x and 3x, respectively. 


+ Further Reading: AMP for Ecommerce

Google Could Eliminate Pagination on Mobile Results
Google is always running tests on its search results pages but one such recent modifi cation could ultimately provide some very good news for those focused on mobile SEO.  The search engine is reportedly testing a "more results" button in the mobile search index. What this means is that instead of enabling users to click to a "next page" of the results, they will now be able to click/tap "more results" and additional listings will be displayed beneath the other results. This is good news for those concentrating their eff orts on mobile SEO because users typically do not go beyond the fi rst page of results. This change could lead to more interaction on those listings that don't top the list of mobile results at the search engine.

Further Reading: Mobile-First Indexing Arrives

The Rise of Programmatic Display Advertising
A recent forecast from eMarketer suggests more than 80 percent of digital display advertising will be bought programmatically in 2018, and that by 2020 more than $65 billion will be through automated spend.  Perhaps more important, however, is how those programmatic dollars will be spent. eMarketer's research suggests that of the nearly $19 billion that will be spent in the programmatic display space between 2018 and 2020, the majority will go to private marketplaces (PMPs) and programmatic direct transactions.

Further Reading: Brands Take Programmatic Buying In-House

Do Something About Data Theft
Newly released data from ACI Worldwide and Ovum shows that more than 80 percent of organizations that have been impacted by a data breach have introduced a new security framework and 79 percent have reduced employee access to customer data. That's certainly a start but is it enough considering that one in five organizations has experienced theft of payments data in the past 12 months? The report also revealed that over 70 percent of organizations that experienced theft of payments data intend to increase their investment in payments technology in 2018.

Further Reading: Big Data in Action

Interacting with Shoppers Post-Purchase
Email plays a central role in the digital experience - before and after conversion. A recent report from Coherent Path explored how retailers currently interact with shoppers in the 45 days after they make their first purchase. One of the most interesting findings in the study is that retailers are not personalizing their purchaser emails. 62 percent of the time, in fact, retailers sent the exact same email on the same day to purchasers and nonpurchasers, and only 26 percent of all emails were unique to the purchaser, despite having access to clickstream and purchase data.

Further Reading: Brands Struggle with PersonalizationTech

The Rise of Voice Interfaces & the Conversational Experience
Voice interfaces are the newest (and trendiest) digital vehicle for information discovery and exchange and companies are becoming increasingly interested in their use, particularly those seeking to improve and maximize customer engagement. Developing such solutions can be challenging of course but there are some offerings emerging which aim to eliminate much of the complexity. IBM, for example, recently launched Watson Assistant, a service of its cognitive computing platform that is focused on helping companies actually build out voice-activated virtual assistants for conversational experiences. What's interesting about the release is that it is a whitelabel product - which means there is no IBM branding (the animated globe) or "wake word" as there is with Amazon's Alexa or Google's Home Assistant.

Further Reading: Low-Code Apps with Zoho

+ In its biggest deal ever, Salesforce paid $6.86 billion to buy MuleSoft, an integration platform for connecting SaaS and enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise.

+ TravelPerk, a SaaS platform for business travel, has closed a $21 million Series B round led by Target Global and Felix Capital.

+ Marketing platform and loyalty card service Punchh announced it has raised a $20 million Series B round to expand into more verticals.

+ Checkr, a company that provides a platform for background checks and employment verifi cations, announced $100 million in Series C funding led by T. Rowe price.

+ Customer data company Zaius has raised $30 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $50.8 million.

+ Streaming music platform Pandora acquired audio ad technology firm AdsWizz for $145 million in a cash/stock deal.

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