Tag Archives: online shopping

How Big a Hurdle Is Ad Blocking in 2017?

17 Feb

Ad blocking is becoming an enormous problem for online marketers, going from a nuisance a couple of years ago to a major threat today. ARE YOU PREPARED TO HANDLE IT?

Technopedia describes ad blockers as follows:

“An ad blocker is a program that will remove different kinds of advertising from a Web user’s experience online. These programs target certain kinds of ads, such as pop-ups, banner ads ,and other common forms of online ad blockers work in many different ways. Some are standalone programs, while others are features of more comprehensive customizing services, or add-ons for a particular browser or operating system. Some browser-specific programs, like PithHelmet for Safari, or other programs for browsers, like Opera, are designed to work well in a particular environment. Others work with Windows or another operating system to block pop-ups or other kinds of ads.”

“Users have a wide range of options for blocking out different kinds of ads. Some programs delete cookies and other Web markers to effectively limit ads. Web proxy programs like Privoxy can be effective ad blockers. Some users will choose to block Adobe Flash in order to block annoying video ads, which are now common on some websites. There are also freeware programs that may use simple principles to block out advertising.”

So, how much of a threat is ad blocking in 2017? Even though eMarketer has scaled back its estimates slightly; ad blocking is still growing significantly. As eMarketer notes:

“eMarketer has scaled back its estimates of ad blocking users in the U.S., reducing the number to 75.1 million. At that level, more than one-quarter (27.5%) of US internet users will use ad blockers this year. While the estimate has been reduced, growth is still significant, at 16.2% in 2017.”

“Ad blocking is much more common among desktop/laptop users than smartphone users. For smartphones, the incidence of ad blocking is less than 8%. That’s partly because mobile ad blockers are often not as effective — especially within apps — as they are on desktops and laptops. Ad blocking continues to be far more prevalent among younger people. This year, 41.1% of millennials will use ad blockers, r estimates. The use is lower among Gen X internet users at 26.9%, and for baby boomers, ad blocking is at 13.9%.”

 
Click the image to read more.

US Ad Blocking User Penetration, Desktop/Laptop vs. Smartphone, 2014-2018 (% of population)

 

Bravo, Patagonia!

7 Dec

Patagonia is a remarkable company that is true to its original mission: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire, and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Today, it “is a designer of outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports: climbing, surfing, skiing and snowboarding, fly fishing, and trail running.” It operates online and through 30 stores.

What makes Patagonia distinctive from a social responsibility perspective is its giving back to the community, especially with regard to the environment. For Black Friday 2016, Patagonia pledged to donate all of its SALES revenue to environmental issues. Other companies sometimes pledge to donate from their PROFITS. But it is very, very rare for a firm to donate all of its sales.

As reported on the Patagonia blog by Rose Marcario:

“When we announced we’d give 100 percent of our global retail and online Black Friday sales directly to grassroots nonprofits working on the front-lines to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations, we heard from many of our customers calling it a ‘fundraiser for the earth.'”

“We’re humbled to report the response was beyond expectations. With your help, Patagonia reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales. We expected to reach $2 million in sales — we beat that expectation five times over. The enormous love our customers showed to the planet on Black Friday enables us to give every penny to hundreds of grassroots environmental organizations working around the world.”

“Many of these environmental groups are underfunded and under the radar, and they are overwhelmed with your commitment. On behalf of these activists and every Patagonia employee, we extend a heartfelt thank you to our customers, friends, and community worldwide who showed up to #loveourplanet.”

“You can learn more about the past recipients of Patagonia environmental grants in your community here. This additional infusion of resources will go a long way toward addressing climate change and other serious environmental issues.

 

Click the image to read more about Patagonia’s Black Friday 2016 environmental efforts.


 

Not Trying to Keep Scaring You About Online Security, But …

30 Nov

Yes, we at Evans on Marketing have made a number of posts about about online security, privacy, identity theft, and related issues. We’re not really trying to scare you, but we are trying to get you to be more alert and to protect yourself better online. That’s why we we’ve posted several tips, such as: 1, 2, 3 (a short video quiz),  and 4 (video tips).

So, here’s another alert for YOU!!  🙂 

Recently, AV-Test, a nonprofit organization that monitors online security, published its latest report. To grasp the highlights of this report more easily, TechRepublic has summarized what it considers to the top four points made by AV-Test:

  1. “Android is becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats — While the majority of malware deployed in 2015 and 2016 targeted Windows, the most widely-used operating system in the world, Android is increasingly under fire as well. Malware attacks on Android platforms jumped from about 3% in 2015 to nearly 7.5% in 2016. Though it seems like a fairly small percentage jump, it represents an increase of millions of attacks, and marks ‘a significant trend away from Windows and towards Android,’ the report stated.”
  2. “Mac’s security fortress is just an illusion — Many Apple Mac users believe that the devices cannot be infected with a virus—even those using Macs in the enterprise, the report stated. And compared to Windows, the number of malware programs attacking Apple’s Mac platform is tiny: Just 819 malware threats targeted Macs in 2015. [Due to the small percentage of Macs in the marketplace — which remain at a 7.5 percent market share as of the date of this post.] However, that does not mean that these attacks were not serious. Plus, attackers would not need to program a large number of malware applications to obtain data from Mac users, as they rarely have antivirus solutions installed, the report said.” [Is this YOU?]
  3. “The rise of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) — A new cyber risk comes in the form of potentially unwanted applications (PUA), which are deployed by the advertising industry to track personal information on user and movement patterns, and to then display personalized advertising without the consent of the user. PUA represented nearly one-third of the online risks in 2015, the report stated, and are steadily increasing.”
  4. “The top 10 Windows malware of Q1/Q2 2016 — More than 85% of malware attacks occurred on Windows machines in 2015, with that number dropping to 67% in 2016. Some 12 million new Windows malware programs enter the market each month, the report found. Here are the top 10 malware for Windows to keep an eye out for.”


 
Click here to access the full AV-Test report. Click here to access the TechRepublic synopsis.
 

Can You Personalize Marketing without Shopper Participation?

16 Nov

One of the toughest issues for marketers to deal with in this high-tech world is how much to personalize their communication and offerings. On the one hand, marketers need as much customer information as possible to target individual shoppers more specifically. On the other hand, many customers want their privacy and do not appreciate it when they think they are overly tracked.

What do YOU think is the proper balance?

Here the thoughts on this subject by Louis Foong, the founder and CEO of ALEA Group Inc., (a B2B demand generation specialist):

“You want to give your prospects and customers a seamless, personalized, and sublime experience, and you know that you can’t do that without collecting their personal data. The trouble is, a lot of your customers don’t like the idea of sharing their information with you – what exactly are they so afraid of?”

“Findings by Boxever show that attitudes toward personalization and privacy are complex, and there are a few reasons why many of them are so against sharing their personal information with companies. The infographic below shows the trickiness of balancing privacy concerns and effective personalization.  Customers are also wary about receiving spam mail or offers that aren’t relevant to their interests. Only 14% of people say data collection through connected devices will improve their life.The other 86% either aren’t sure or don’t think it will improve their life.”

 
Here is the challenge.


 

2016 China-Based Singles’ Day to Dominate Global Holiday Season

14 Nov

Last year, we wrote about the phenomenally successful 2015 online Chinese Singles’ Day, an annual event scheduled for November 11 that dwarfs Cyber Monday, which occurs on the first Monday after Thanksgiving each year. As reported by The Street: “Singles’ Day is the biggest retail event in the year, beating Cyber Monday and Black Friday.”

What is Single’s Day? As recently described by Lauren Davidson, Emily Allen, and  Ashley Armstrong for the Telegraph:

“Singles Day started as an obscure ‘anti-Valentine’s’ celebration for single people in China back in the 1990s, but it has spawned into the world’s biggest online shopping day. Astute readers will notice that November 11 is written 11.11, or one-one-one-one. Known in China as ‘bare sticks holiday’ because of how it looks numerically, Singles Day began as an anti-Valentine’s Day in the 1990s when students at Nanjing University started celebrating their singledom. It was then adopted by E-commerce giant Alibaba (China’s Amazon equivalent) in 2009; and it is now a day when everyone, regardless of their single status buys themselves gifts.”

“Alibaba chiefs spotted the commercial opportunity in Singles Day back in 2009 and began launching ‘Double 11’ deals just as online shopping was starting to explode. It was also seen as a chance to boost sales in the lull between China’s Golden Week national holiday in October and the Christmas season. When sales almost quadrupled the following year, Alibaba trademarked Singles’ Day. Some of the featured sales center around singledom, such as boyfriend pillows and single travel tickets, but the day has now widened to an all-inclusive shopping holiday.”

Angela Doland, writing for Advertising Age about the 2016 Singles’ Day, notes that:

“Alibaba’s annual online shopping festival started with just 27 merchants taking part. It has grown into the world’s biggest shopping day, and has just smashed its own record, with sellers on its platforms logging nearly $17.8 billion in transactions in 24 hours. Over 11,000 foreign brands joined in [from more than 25 countries], including first-timers Apple, Sephora, Target, Victoria’s Secret, and Maserati.”

“The Chinese Internet giant has created a whole entertainment offering around its shopfest, including a 4-hour live-streamed variety show that drew stars like Scarlett Johansson, Kobe Bryant, and David and Victoria Beckham. That’s a surprising departure from its small-scale start in 2009, when Alibaba latched on to the fact that some Chinese college students were celebrating Nov. 11 as a day for singles, an anti-Valentine’s day. Other E-commerce firms have joined in, including Alibaba’s chief rival JD.com, and much of China shops on Nov. 11. It’s not just for singles anymore.”

How well did the 2016 Single’s Day just do? It has crushed last year’s revenues — going from $14.3 billion in 2015 to $17.8 billion in 2016. Here are a sales curve (reported by BBC News) since online giant Alibaba first embraced Single’s Day in 2009 and a 2016 video from CCTV News.
 
singles-day_-alibaba-breaks-record-sales-total-bbc-news
 

 

GoSpaces, a Free Web Site Builder and E-Commerce Platform

23 Sep

Go Spaces (also known as Spaces) is a rather new Web site designer and host. It has a free design package that “Brings your business online. Get access to 15 free business tools. Branded Space. 3% per transaction + gateway  fees.” It also offers a premium package for $4 per month: “Take your business to the next level. Get access to 15 free business tools.Unbranded Space. 2.5% per transaction + gateway fees. Free custom domain name with annual subscription.”

According to ere’s what’s distinctive about GoSpaces:

“GoSpaces is expanding into 38 countries and 20 languages, making it accessible to more than one-third of the world’s population (2.7 billion people) in their native tongue. The platform will be tailored to each country’s needs regarding use of language and will include local payment gateways, full translations on the backend, and soon to come, auto-currency settings that will help international customers see how much products cost in their local currency.”

“Supported languages include Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Turkish, Italian, Thai, Polish, Dutch, Czech, Swedish, Bulgarian, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian, its blog post says. GoSpaces touts the expansion as advantageous based on the fact that most E-commerce platforms are only available in English, even though English speakers make up just five percent of the world’s population.”

“Kasper Christensen, GoSpace’s co-founder, says the platform’s flexibility in language and payment options opens it up to audiences across the globe. He expressed his excitement in this quote. ‘Already we’ve seen creative uses that we never imagined, like tour guides advertising their services, restaurants posting their menus, and bands using it to sell concert tickets. “Now that we’re in 38 countries, I imagine we’ll see even more variety in the Spaces being created by our community.”

 

Click the image to view the firm’s blog.

 

More Bad News on Our Privacy

9 Jun

As we have noted several times (see, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), the hacking and theft of people’s vital information remains quite rampant around the globe, despite some technological advances.

To show how bad the situation is, consider this recent Russian example reported by Eric Auchaud for Reuters:

“Hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for E-mail accounts and other Web sites are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters. The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular E-mail service, and smaller fractions of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft E-mail users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security. It is one of the biggest stashes of stolen credentials to be uncovered since cyber attacks hit major U.S. banks and retailers two years ago.”

“The latest discovery came after Hold Security researchers found a young Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected and was ready to give away a far larger number of stolen credentials that ended up totaling 1.17 billion records. After eliminating duplicates, Holden said, the cache contained nearly 57 million Mail.ru accounts — a big chunk of the 64 million monthly active E-mail users Mail.ru said it had at the end of last year. It also included tens of millions of credentials for the world’s three big E-mail providers, Gmail, Microsoft, and Yahoo, plus hundreds of thousands of accounts at German and Chinese E-mail providers.”

 
Click the image to access a video clip featuring Auchard.
 
Reuters TV
 

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