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ECommerceTimes.com
Congress vs. Big Tech: Breaking Up Is Hard (and Stupid) to Do
August 3, 2020
Like a lot of you, last week I watched the congressional testimony from the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- and there were a lot of apparent things that were problematic. One is that there are folks in Congress that likely shouldn't be in Congress, and another is that each company has some serious issues they haven't dealt with.
Google's E-Commerce Push to Fill the 'Messy Middle'
July 31, 2020
Google's domination of the online ad market appears to have stalled since Amazon last year became the third-largest digital ad platform in the U.S. behind the Google-Facebook duopoly. This may have driven Google to accelerate its push into e-commerce, focusing on what it calls the "messy middle" -- the space in the customer journey between what triggers the purchase and the actual purchase itself.
Panic Buying Sparks New E-Tail Strategies
July 23, 2020
Panic buying and competition for consumer attention between in-store and online transactions have created a brave new world of retail that is bound to continue into a post-pandemic reality. The E-Commerce Times reached out to several firms that guide brands on how to prepare for, and adapt to, changes in consumer behavior and product demand -- and what this means for the future of retail.
How to Win at E-Commerce on the New Walmart.com
July 16, 2020
Walmart is embracing new strategies, partnerships, and infrastructure that have modernized its e-commerce platform and made it a more formidable rival to Amazon. In particular, three big factors are at play: enhanced content opportunities, the introduction of new fulfillment capabilities, and the introduction of self-service marketing tools.
Google Clamps Down on Ads for Spyware, Stalkerware
July 14, 2020
Advertising for software and hardware designed to stalk and spy on people will soon be banned on Google. Promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization will be prohibited on the platform starting Aug. 11.
B2C Marketers Grapple With Personalization Tactics
June 29, 2020
Marketers at B2C companies realize that personalization is key to business, but they are having problems implementing personalization strategies, according to a recent survey by Adweek Intelligence in association with IBM Watson Advertising. "Defining personalization has to start, stop and be continuously refined through the sole lens of the customer," Liz Miller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research advised.
Brave Browser Caught Redirecting URLs for Cash
June 9, 2020
A browser that has received plaudits for privacy protection has been exposed for redirecting Web searches to make money. Brave, a browser with some 15 million monthly users, has been redirecting searches for cryptocurrency companies to links that produce revenue for the browser's owners through advertising affiliate programs. Brave CEO Brendan Eich said the company would correct the "mistake."
Facebook Sets Up Political Advocacy Group as High-Tech Teeters on Edge
May 13, 2020
Facebook has set up American Edge, a political advocacy group for the high-tech industry, which is drawing scrutiny from United States lawmakers. American Edge will fund ad campaigns and studies by academics to push its efforts. Facebook is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to build support for the tech industry. It formed American Edge as a nonprofit organization in December.
Ad Makers Use Deepfakes to 'Refresh' Old Content
April 28, 2020
With measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 putting a chokehold on their filming capabilities, advertising agencies are enhancing old content with new tech, including deepfakes. Deepfakes typically blend one person's likeness, or parts thereof, with the image of another person. Ad agencies are so restricted in how they can generate content, they'll explore anything that can be computer-generated.
Google Tightens Reins on Advertisers
April 24, 2020
Google soon will require all advertisers to prove their legitimacy, regardless of the advertising content. All advertisers will have to verify their identity, submit personal IDs and business verification documents, said John Canfield, Google's director of product management for ads integrity. Google began requiring political advertisers to verify their identity in the runup to the 2018 elections.
Merchants Now Can List Products on Google Shopping for Free
April 22, 2020
Merchants soon will be able to sell products on Google Shopping at no charge. Previously, they had to pay per click, but the cost was not fixed. There was no minimum, but they had to set a maximum for ad spend and Google would stop displaying their ads once the maximum was reached. Starting next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings.
Marketing on Amazon 101
March 23, 2020
More than 20 million individuals visit Amazon every month, making the platform the top e-commerce website in the U.S. Today's consumers don't use Amazon solely to make purchases -- they use the marketplace to check prices, discover new products, and research items they might want to buy. Amazon continues to dominate the shopping journey, and a reported 66 percent of consumers turn to Amazon first.
Facebook Pledges Funds for SMBs in Face of Shutdowns
March 19, 2020
Facebook has announced a $100M commitment of cash grants and ad credits to help as many as 30,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries where the company operates. The program can help SMBs maintain their workforces, meet rent costs, connect with more customers, and cover operational costs. In addition, Facebook has earmarked $1 million in grants to local news organizations covering COVID-19.
Why Retailers Need to Adopt Omnichannel Personalization
March 13, 2020
The sky starts to dump the first snow of the year. Looking down at your dress shoes, you make a mental note to order some sturdier winter boots. Later that day, you're comparing two boot brands on your laptop and get distracted -- no more online shopping at work. When you get home, you grab your tablet to continue browsing boots. Maybe you can find a recommendation on Twitter?
Reddit Challenges Twitter With Trending Takeover Ads
March 12, 2020
Reddit has launched Trending Takeover ads for its Search tab and Popular feed, on both mobile and desktop versions. One third of the more than 430 million monthly active users visiting Reddit view the Popular feed every day. The Trending Takeover ad unit is in the second slot of the Trending Today module on Reddit's Popular feed and in the Trending Today dropdown in Reddit's Search tab.
4 Ways to Optimize Your Brand's Amazon Advertising
March 10, 2020
Way back in 1995, Amazon made its first-ever customer sale. Within two short months, Amazon was selling $20,000 per week in the U.S. and countries around the world. Today, Amazon has become the go-to marketplace for more than 310 million customers, and more than 54 percent of all product searches occur on Amazon. In other words, Amazon has replaced Google as the No. 1 search engine for products.
Is Amazon OTT Advertising Right for Your Brand?
February 29, 2020
Perhaps you're a direct-to-consumer brand trying to build brand awareness and tell your story. Perhaps you're looking to increase branded search volume across search engines like Amazon, Google, Bing and others. Maybe your brand is focused on new customer acquisition in your sales funnel and you have dedicated marketing resources and asset creation.
How Social Selling Changed the Buyer's Journey
February 27, 2020
Social selling has changed how online consumers are interacting with and buying from e-commerce businesses. Why? Because it's had a huge impact on the buyer's journey as a whole. Today, we live in a digital world, and this means the consumer has the upper hand, thanks to the growth in e-commerce and the Internet of Things. The modern buyer does more research up front and online.
Facebook Bans Coronavirus Ad Scams
February 27, 2020
Facebook is clamping down on ads and misinformation relating to coronavirus. Criticism of social media platforms for spreading fear and confusion about coronavirus is rife. Still, Facebook's decision-making has raised a few eyebrows, as the coronavirus ad restrictions could be interpreted as limiting free speech in a way that is inconsistent with Facebook's general practices.
Extortion Artists Prey on AdSense Users
February 19, 2020
A new extortion scheme targets users of Google's AdSense program. The scam threatens to flood a website with bogus traffic until Google suspends the site's AdSense account, unless the owner pays $5,000 in bitcoin to stop the attack, security blogger Brian Krebs reported. The grifters appear to be exploiting a click-fraud crackdown Google launched last summer.
Latest E-Commerce Trend: The Rise of Shoppable Posts
February 11, 2020
There were 4,521,480,071 Internet users as of Dec. 1, 2019. A month later it was closer to 5 billion users. A decade ago there were fewer than a billion social network users. That's worldwide. That user growth has been a leading indicator of the rise of alternative social networking platforms. Marketers -- and consumers -- are always on the lookout for the newest thing with which to engage.
3 Amazon Trends to Watch in 2020
February 8, 2020
Over the last quarter-century, Amazon has transformed itself from an online bookseller into an e-commerce behemoth that's reshaping retail economics. In 2018, Amazon reported more than $232 billion in revenue -- a number that's sure to jump once 2019's final figures are released. Those eye-popping returns mean the online seller accounts for nearly 50 percent of all e-commerce revenue.
Could Ads Become Potent Weapons Against Streaming Piracy?
January 24, 2020
Though it no longer grabs many headlines, video piracy remains a major issue for pay-TV services, according to consumer research firm Parks Associates. If just 10 percent of pay-TV subscribers should discontinue paying for services by 2023, the loss in revenue to operators could approach $6 billion, according to the firm's report, "Video Piracy: Ecosystem, Risks, and Impact."
Building E-Commerce Wave: Social Media Shopping
January 13, 2020
Consumers are on social media constantly, scrolling through posts. Many have begun clicking on brand posts and making purchases. "Social commerce is becoming increasingly popular for brands," noted Darin Archer, chief strategy officer at Elastic Path. "Even when the transaction itself may be happening outside the app, there's a much smaller gap between discovery and purchase."
4 Keys to a Winning Amazon Marketing Strategy
December 30, 2019
Research indicates that 66 percent of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon, and Amazon shoppers behave differently than buyers on other online platforms and at brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon has set up its listings so that it is simple to "window shop" and compare competitive products. A brand must make sure to position its products in a way that shows how it is different from competitors in the marketplace.
3 Steps to a Winning Google Shopping Strategy
December 14, 2019
The world of paid digital advertising is changing fast. Over the last year alone, marketers have had to adapt to big changes on Facebook's platform. They now have to reckon with the continued growth of Amazon, which is taking an ever-larger bite out of online advertising budgets. Even Google, long the alpha dog in digital marketing, is altering its approach with the changing times.
Apple Feature Forces Change in Online Ad Industry
December 11, 2019
Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature has made it difficult for online advertisers to use cookies to target Safari users. Third-party cookies "serve as the foundation for almost all advertising use cases," noted Jordan Mitchell, head of consumer privacy, identity and data at the IAB Tech Lab. The blocking "negatively affects the ability for brands to target audiences."
EU Digital Czar to Probe Facebook's and Google's Data Wrangling
December 3, 2019
The European Union has launched a probe into how Google and Facebook gather, process, use and monetize data for advertising purposes. The European Commission has begun distributing questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google's and Facebook's data practices. Facebook and Google join Amazon as targets of the EU's "digital czar," Margrethe Vestager.
Facebook Employees Blast Company's Political Ads Policy
October 30, 2019
At least 250 Facebook employees signed a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticizing the company's hands-off policy against fact-checking political ads. "We strongly object to this policy as it stands," says the letter. "It doesn't protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy."
Creating Brand Loyalty in the Era of Now
October 21, 2019
Not so long ago, marketing usually meant gathering some demographic data, placing ads in selected print and broadcast media, stuffing mailboxes with direct mail, plastering the countryside with billboards, and more recently, bombarding the universe with spam. Marketers no longer can focus on delivering static messages, regardless of how "targeted" or "multichannel" they may be.
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Women in Tech
Which Big Tech CEO that testified at the Congressional Antitrust Hearing on July 29 is the most trustworthy?
Jeff Bezos of Amazon
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook
Sundar Pichai of Google
Tim Cook of Apple
All of them are equally trustworthy to some extent.
None of them are trustworthy whatsoever.