Amazon hits record $2.5bn quarterly profits driven by online sales and cloud demand

Amazon’s profits hit a record $2.53bn (£1.9bn) in Q2 this year, driven by its dominance in e-commerce and growing demand for its lucrative cloud computing services.

Takings for the last three months amounted to 12 times that of the same period last year, with sales rising 39% to meet $52.9bn (£40.4bn) and its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division raking in $6.1bn (£4.7bn) in sales - a 50% hike year on year.

Amazon’s shares jumped 3% as a result of the financials, casting a further shadow on the...

By Mark Jones, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, E-Commerce, Marketing Cloud.

E-commerce giant Alibaba makes $1.43bn bid for digital OOH ad tech

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has made a $1.43bn (£1.09bn) bid for a 6.62% share of Focus Media, a Shanghai-based specialist in digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising.

Focus Media’s digital advertising screens can be seen on the street, subways and in elevators across 300 Chinese cities, reaching 200 million “middle class” consumers, according to Alibaba’s own news outlet Alizila.

The investment is part of the company’s wider ‘New Retail’ strategy, which looks to...

By Mark Jones, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Commerce, E-Commerce.

7 secrets for managing tech-driven change

Digital transformation is a crucial consideration for many SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in their business strategies. 

With technologies emerging at a fast pace and business models continuing to evolve, new revenue streams and opportunities for previously technophobic companies are now becoming a reality.

For SMEs, digital transformation is seen more as a business transformation as it is not just about technology, but also people, including staff, customers and stakeholders.

Research by 

By Paul Whitelam, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Customer Experience, E-Commerce.

UK’s most martech-driven SME exporters most optimistic about Brexit

With an increasingly uncertain Brexit emerging, UK SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) exporters with a “progressive” and data-driven mindset are most confident about future business success.

A study by marketing agency Croud on 100 leaders of exporting SMEs, including companies such as UNiDAYS, Monty Bojangles and Kit for Kids, looked to shed light on the biggest challenges and opportunities smaller companies expect to face in the run-up to, and after, Brexit.

With all businesses in the...

By Mark Jones, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Commerce, Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce.

Alibaba develops AI tool capable of writing 20,000 lines of ad copy per second

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has developed an AI tool (artificial intelligence) capable of producing 20,000 lines of content per second.

Created as part of Alibaba’s digital marketing unit Alimama, the tool aims to reduce the heavy and arduous workload of producing copy for product listings by retailers, working by scraping “millions” of existing human writing samples from the company’s e-commerce platforms which it interprets using deep-learning models and natural language...

By Mark Jones, 09 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Content Marketing, E-Commerce.

DMA Email Benchmark 2018: Clicks driven by relevance, opens driven by interest

Yesterday (July 5), the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) published its annual Email Benchmarking Report.

Analysing the performance of over 23 billion emails over the course of 2017, results showed that email has yet to be unseated as digital marketers’ top-performing channel.

At 97.5%, delivery rates remained extremely high - that figure represents just a slight dip year on year - although this does equate to over 500 million emails missing the target.

On the other hand, open rates have seen a 0.5%...

By Mark Jones, 05 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce, Email marketing.

Connecting head and heart: The new anatomy of advertising personalisation

Personalisation in the advertising industry probably began 60 years ago when Lester Wunderman first invented the idea of direct mail and the concept of targeting messaging to individual consumers.

It took the rest of the industry a few years to catch up but catch up it did and so began half century of mailboxes piled high with “personal offers” addressed to you, or similar(ish) to you, or someone who lived in your house three moves ago.

While it was understood that the more personalised the...

By Kieron McCann, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, E-Commerce, Personalised Marketing.

Unilever’s top marketer says influencer fraud requires ‘urgent action’

As we’ve seen within the last year, the big-spending FMCG giants have demonstrated some hefty lobbying power when it comes to holding the digital marketing industry to account. This time, they’re getting tough on influencer marketing.

At Cannes Lions today (June 18), Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said that the growing influencer marketing industry was at a pivotal stage and that its members must take “urgent action” in order to rebuild...

By Mark Jones, 18 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Google announces Shopping tweaks to drive ‘brick and mortar’ sales for retailers

Google has announced a string of new updates to its Google Shopping platform, aimed at attracting online customers to retailer’s offline ‘brick and mortar’ stalls.

Announced at Search Marketing Expo Advanced (SMX Advanced) yesterday (June 12), the search giant claims despite the massive growth of e-commerce driven by the likes of Amazon, when customers want an item right away, 80% will head to the high...

By Mark Jones, 14 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, E-Commerce, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

UK consumers five times happier online shopping than on social media

A new study by e-commerce martech company Rokt has given refreshed credit to the concept of retail therapy, with 71% of UK consumers claiming to be at their happiest when shopping online.

The survey of over 4,000 consumers worldwide found that the majority are not only at their happiest when browsing the virtual aisles, but are at their most “engaged, focused and open-minded”, presenting marketers with a prime opportunity to target customers in a buying mindset.  

For the UK segment of the...

By , 14 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Facebook calls Marketplace onto the pitch for new ad revenue stream

Facebook has announced that businesses will now be able to advertise within its classified ad listing hub, Marketplace, in a duo of updates that finally open up the channel for monetisation.

In addition to news feed, videos, Instagram and Messenger placements, businesses will now be able to advertise directly within relevant Marketplace product feeds, although so far the new feature is only available across the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The second update comes for users of Marketplace themselves,...

By Mark Jones, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Closing the sales and marketing gap - to maximise eCommerce opportunities

With rapid advances in digital marketing, data and technology, the journey from awareness to sale can now be very short thanks to eCommerce solutions. You can learn about a product, consider a brand and buy all in one go from a shoppable Instagram post. eCommerce is driving the majority of retail growth and presents a significant opportunity for brands. However, as customer behaviour changes, brands need to ensure they don’t get left behind with legacy sales and marketing models.

Traditionally, many...

By Cassandra Stevens, 10 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Commerce, E-Commerce.

Four ways to maximise Amazon's social marketing power

Whilst Google is known for dominating search marketing, Amazon has started giving the search giant a run for its ad revenue – something that astute marketers will have seen coming for some time now.

According to WPP, 55% of product searches in the US now emanate from Amazon, and advertising has been a key contributor to their strong growth - 60% year on year.

This should come as little surprise; after all,  the e-retail giant has not only completely transformed the way we do business, both in...

Google Shopping vs. text ads: Where should digital marketers spend their AdWords budget?

With ever-growing opportunities to promote businesses via Google, it can be difficult for digital marketers to know where to focus their efforts. Whilst a number of search specialists are – quite rightly – deploying clever tactics to boost organic listings, businesses should also remember the benefits that paid search can bring – speed, insight and ROI. However, if budgets are limited, what’s the best way to invest time and money with AdWords?

Google Shopping is not new – in...

By Andy McCaul, 24 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Commerce, E-Commerce.

Counting time: Understanding ecommerce ROI

In the age of digital transformation, ecommerce teams have become one of the most vital commodities for businesses, especially for companies struggling with loss-making traditional channels to market.

And, yet how many organisations are actively empowering these teams to maximise their corporate value? Facing the escalating cost of talented ecommerce experts, there is a pressing need to unlock the potential of existing teams.

Right now, far too many ecommerce teams are operating blind, using gut-feel and best...

By Duncan Keene, 29 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce.

Try-before-you-buy trend will see retailers face “returns tsunami”

As online companies continue to exert an ever greater influence over the consumer products market, a new trend has emerged that could be dangerous for unprepared retailers. The last year has seen companies like ASOS, Topman and schuh introduce try-before-you-buy options for consumers.

ASOS is a leading pioneer of this kind of approach, introducing their try-before-you-buy initiative in November 2017 in partnership with payment company Klarna. The scheme, which has been adopted by other retailers, allow...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 21 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce.

How E-Commerce teams can benefit from Marketing Calendar Software

It is a new year and several e-commerce marketing teams are looking for improved methods of operating efficiently. Lightly resourced are these departments considering the number of marketing channels or tactics utilized to promote their products and brands.

They’re inundated with communicating plans, changes to plans by constantly updating and sending spreadsheets across the organization. These activities are literally occurring until final publication of content to all digital, social and mobile...

By Rahim Kassam, 23 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce.

Five ways to combat shopping cart abandonment

It’s February, and that means only one thing - its 11 months until the next set of January sales.

A few years ago, consumers would have to battle huge crowds, trudging from shop to shop in the freezing cold, elbowing people out the way to get the best deals only to find they’ve run out of stock...but, this year it is likely that many of us were getting our hands on cut price products from our warm and cozy living rooms.  

In 2018, sales shopping on the high street is but a distant memory for...

By Sam O'Meara, 16 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce.

Embracing the chill: how brands can cash in on winter weather woes

British winter weather. We all know it, and we all hate it - driving rain, biting frosts, and evenings spent huddled under the duvet. But as consumers are holed up inside wishing they were sunning themselves on an exotic beach, advertisers should be aware of the lucrative opportunities that exist to cash in on weather-induced shopping.

At The Trade Desk, we recently looked into consumer receptiveness to advertising during last year’s cold snaps, with some interesting revelations.

Consumers shop as the...

By Sacha Berlik, 09 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, E-Commerce.

Three ecommerce content marketing lessons from Etsy

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Josh Silverman, the new CEO of global craft marketplace Etsy, discussed giving the company a much-needed shake up.

As part of a lean new marketing strategy, Silverman has reportedly scrapped any activities that aren’t likely to immediately grow sales for Etsy’s vendors – including TV advertising – to focus on driving performance instead. These changes are already benefiting the business, with the share price reporting a

By Ed Bussey, 05 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, E-Commerce.