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Google’s E-Commerce Push to Fill the ‘Messy Middle’

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Google’s domination of the online advertising 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.

Search ads — a mainstay of Google’s revenues in the United States — are trending lower; but Amazon’s and Facebook’s digital ad revenues will grow, according to a recent forecast by eMarketer.

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.

The key is to ensure brand presence, make their proposition compelling, and reduce the time between trigger and purchase, Google found.

“Anything that will remove the messy middle is key,” Ray Wang, a principal analyst at Constellation Research, told the E-Commerce Times. “If I can get you to buy faster because you see a recommendation, a rating, a review, a seal of approval — that’s the first step. The second step is to be able to replicate Amazon’s one-click purchase capabilities. Make it easy to buy now.”

Google “needs to monetize its advertising business with commerce in the long run,” Wang said, because its ad business “is being chipped away by Amazon’s digital ads based on product search and listings.”

Google’s latest e-commerce initiatives could play into the dissatisfaction some retailers harbor for Amazon.

“Retailers are looking for an alternative to Amazon,” Wang said. Also, “they want to integrate commerce, advertising, search and even payments.”

Google’s Moves to Boost E-Commerce

Earlier this month, Google added support for keyword recommendations and campaign level optimization to the Google Ads application programming interface (API) and added a performance planner feature that lets retailers predict clicks, conversions and conversion values based on different customer spend levels and return on investment targets.

Google ads keyword recommendations and optimization score

Google also announced new ways to showcase and augment the brand of businesses advertising with Google as well as those with an e-store on Google Shopping.

One is a beta program that lets businesses upload or automatically curate relevant images from their website to their Google search ads, using Google’s machine learning capabilities.

Another feature lets businesses dynamically highlight sales or time-sensitive deals with a countdown. Google will also provide suggestions on shipping, returns, and how to promote online availability.

‘Smart Shopping’ Ads

Google is also offering more visual ways retailers can stand out from competitors with Smart Shopping campaigns.

One is an icon to highlight features like free and fast shipping. This has increased conversion rates by nine percent, Google says.

Free and fast shipping “provides small businesses with the opportunity to compete with larger retailers,” Adam Jones, director of business development at Logical Position, told the E-Commerce Times. “Seventy-seven percent of shoppers now indicate that reliable two-day shipping is the leading factor when completing a purchase.”

Logical Position is one of two ad management partners Google selected for a pilot run in October involving use of the “Free & Fast” icon. The other was Sales & Orders.

Other new features, for retailers who have Google display ad campaigns, is access to new creative layouts, automatically generated video ads, and updated dynamic ads.

Dynamic ads show previous visitors to a retailer’s site tailored messages containing products and services the visitors previously had viewed on the site.

The dynamic ads feature displays the retailer’s business name and logo, and lets the retailer showcase the latest promotions and spotlight a single product.

Google has introduced portfolio bid strategies and bid strategy reports for Adwords Smart Bidding, in an effort to help retailers maximize returns from ad spending.

A bid is the maximum amount an advertiser will pay for an ad to show in the search engine page results when a consumer conducts a Google Search. The actual position of an ad is calculated by the maximum bid times the quality score. The quality score is based on the ad’s expected clickthrough rate, its relevance, and the landing page experience.

The Smart Bidding offering evaluates relevant contextual signals during an auction such as time of day, device type and operating system, so retailers can target the right shopper.

Another new Google e-commerce feature is a conversion value for sales to new customers in their Smart Shopping campaigns. A conversion value helps retailers track, optimize and report on their return on ad spend.

AI Recommendations

Google has also released in beta its Recommendations AI to all customers. This tool adapts to changing consumer behavior in real time and suggests the next best product to recommend, using deep learning machine learning models. It can scale to catalogs of tens of millions of items, correct for bias with extremely popular or on-sale items, and better handle seasonality or items with sparse data.

“Two out of three consumers now expect personalization,” George Barker, Head of Marketing at personalization software company Qubit, which offers Google’s Cloud Recommendations AI and works with brands such as Kate Spade, Estee Lauder, and Shiseido.

The algorithms Google Recommendations AI uses were built using similar technology to Google Search and YouTube, “two of the most widely used tools on the Internet,” Barker said.

“Much like when you land on YouTube and somehow you’re watching a video you never thought you’d find interesting, but do, those principles apply to e-commerce,” Barker observed. “Rather than views, it’s conversions.”

More to Follow

Google is also launching a pilot program to do away with the commission it charges when consumers buy make purchases directly from search ads.

It will open its platform to other digital commerce providers, beginning with Shopify for inventory and order management, and both PayPal and Shopify for payment processing.

In addition, Google is enabling commonly used product feed formats so retailers can connect their inventories to sell directly on its platform without the need to reformat their data. The goal of this integration is to make it possible for a retailer who already sells on Amazon to more easily list their inventory on Google.

Later this year, Google will offer retailers a dynamically curated carousel of their most relevant products in an immersive, browsable shopping experience.

Sellers will also be able to include video content in their display ads.

Google also plans to add a small business filter on the Google Shopping tab and other e-commerce features for small businesses.

The Struggle With Amazon

Google’s move into e-commerce “is part of a longer-term strategy Google has to compete with Amazon in the e-commerce arena,” Mark William Lewis, founder of Netalico Commerce, told the E-Commerce Times. Google “has always dabbled in e-commerce but in the past few years they’ve gotten more serious about it because so much of online ad revenue is from e-commerce brands.”

The pandemic “has accelerated that strategy because e-commerce is growing significantly more than expected,” Lewis observed.

However, Google “has an uphill battle because Amazon has such dominance on being essentially an e-commerce search engine that many people use it as their default place to search for a product,” Lewis noted.

“Over time, though, if they curate an experience that’s as good as, or better than, Amazon, I think merchants will be less likely to rely on Amazon and trust Google more and there could be a shift.”

Getting to the point where the customer experience offered can match Amazon might be a problem, Rebecca Wettemann, principal at research and advisory firm Valoir, told the E-Commerce Times.

“The challenge for Google is its attention span,” she said. “If I had a dollar for every time Google said they were getting serious about something new, I’d have at least enough for a few large pizzas. Google doesn’t have a good track record of sticking with its plans,” Wettemann quipped.



Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

Source: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/86781.html?rss=1

Ecommerce

Black Friday on track for $8.9B+ in online sales as shoppers stay away from brick-and-mortar stores

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Black Friday — the day that launched 1,000 other shopping holidays — may have lost its place as the “start” of the Christmas shopping season by now (it gets bigger and earlier with each passing year). But the day after Thanksgiving still pulls in a crowd of buyers looking for a bargain and remains a major bellwether for tracking how sales will progress in what is the most important period for the retail and commerce sector.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year was definitely slimmer when it came to actual, in-person crowds — kind of a refreshing break from those times when you feel like it’s the worst of humanity when people are breaking out into fights over TVs at a local Walmart — but online it seems that sales did not disappoint.

Figures from Adobe, which is following online sales in real-time at 80 of the top 100 retailers in the U.S., covering some 100 million SKUs, said that we are “on track” for a new sales record for the day, with between $8.9 billion and $9.6 billion expected in sales online for Black Friday, a jump of 20%-29% on last year.

For some context, in 2019, Adobe tracked $7.4 billion in online sales, and yesterday it said that shoppers spent $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving, with more than $3 billion spent online each day in the week leading up to Thursday.

Adobe was still tallying the final numbers for the day as of this morning European time, so we’ll update this post with the final numbers as and when we get them.

Its analysts say that the evening tends to be big for online shopping — which makes sense since people might have been either going out in person during the day, or just doing something else on a day off.

Not all are in agreement that night time is the right time, however. Figures from Shopify — which analyses activity from the 1 million-plus merchants that use its e-commerce platform — said that the peak shopping hour on its platform was actually 9am Eastern, when there were as many as $3 million in sales per minute. The average cart size for US shoppers was $95.60, it added.

Interestingly, Shopify’s per-minute sales number underscores how the long tail of merchants are still quite a ways behind the very biggest: Adobe noted that its figures, across the sites that it tracks (which have at least $1 billion in annual sales) tally to $6.2 million spent per minute on Black Friday.

In either case, smartphones continue to be a major driver of how sales get made. Adobe said that as of 4pm Eastern some 41.5% of all sales were on handsets, a bit lower than the day before but 7% higher than in 2019. And just as was the case yesterday, it seems that smaller retailers are attracting more shoppers on mobile: Shopify said that some 70% of its sales are being made via smartphones.

We’ll see how all of that plays out later today also with the initial figures from “Small Business Saturday”, which is the latest of the shopping designations added to the holiday weekend, this one trying to hone focus more squarely away from major chains and big box merchants.

One big takeaway from the bigger weekend figures will be that offering items — electronics, tech, toys and sports goods being the most popular categories — at the right price will help retailers continue to bring in sales, in what has proven to be an especially strong year for online shopping after many have opted to stay away from crowded places due to the pandemic, but also a critical year for retailers because of the drag that the pandemic has had on the wider economy.

Cyber Monday is likely to continue to be the biggest of them all, expected to bring in between $11.2 billion and $13 billion in e-commerce transactions, up 19%-38% year-on-year.

Perhaps because of the shift to more online shopping, and the concern over flagging sales, it’s interesting that “holiday season” has also been extended and now comes earlier. Adobe said a survey of consumers found that 41% said they would start shopping earlier this year than previous years due to much earlier discounts. Recall too that Amazon’s Prime Day was delayed to start in October this year, an ‘event’ that many treated as a moment to get a jump start on holiday shopping.

“Black Friday is headed for record-breaking levels as consumers flock online to shop for both holiday gifts and necessities,” said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights. “Concurrently, it’s also worth noting that this year, we’re seeing strong online sales momentum across not only the major shopping days like Thanksgiving weekend, but throughout the holiday season as consumers spread out their shopping across several weeks in reaction to continued, heavy discounting from retailers.”

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/28/black-friday-online-sales-numbers/

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ADvendio Celebrates 10 Years of Product Excellence and Growth

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ADvendio, a leading Salesforce powered solution for media buying and selling, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ADvendio product. Reaching this 10th-anniversary milestone is down to their hard work and unwavering commitment to their customers. The company’s growth projections align with its vision of creating unrivaled advertising solutions that bring teams together to buy and sell advertising on one platform.

Ten years ago, ADvendio had sought to streamline all advertising management processes by leveraging one scalable cloud-based solution. The mission was to provide customers with trusted innovative solutions for their advertising needs while driving results and improving performance. Since then ADvendio has become a leading software for publishers, advertisers and agencies using Salesforce® and it’s relied on everyday by some of the best known companies globally such as CBC, Sanoma, Pedestrian Group to name a few.

As part of the celebrations, and bearing in mind the current limitations surrounding the COVID19 pandemic, ADvendio has planned a remote internal celebration on Thursday, 26th November. The celebration brings together all ADvendio employees across all global offices, who will come together and mark the ADvendio Products 10th Anniversary.

Bernd Bube, ADvendio’s CEO, commented, “We are delighted to have reached this milestone, especially in such a competitive marketplace. ADvendio has achieved this success through the hard work, passion, and dedication of our team members, from product development to customer service levels throughout the organization. We have dedicated ourselves to 10 years of product innovation, process improvement, and efficiencies to provide our clients with the highest quality product and services. We look forward to celebrating this milestone and looking forward to the next ten years!”

About ADvendio:

ADvendio was founded initially as a Salesforce® consulting operation in 2004 by CEO Bernd Bube. After working closely with the advertising business for several years, Bernd recognized a need and a gap in the market to streamline all advertising management processes in order to help publishers, advertisers and agencies improve efficiency and drive revenue. And that is how the idea of creating the ADvendio product was first conceptualized.

To ADvendio, customer satisfaction remains its highest priority. They continue to optimize and enhance their ad management software to improve user experience and integrations with leading ad servers, ad exchanges and other ad tech platforms. A number of new solutions are in the various stages of development and will be rolled out in 2021 to address the strategic needs of their customers across programmatic, media buying, self-service, and marketplace offerings.

Currently, ADvendio has its presence in several regions globally. Its head offices are strategically located in Ireland,Germany, Chile and the USA, to provide customer support in more than 25 countries. Further, expansion is in the pipeline as captured in their ambitious growth roadmap that outlines the company growth path for both short and long term success.

The company boasts of a top-notch team of dedicated, highly-skilled, and experienced professionals who are passionately looking forward to the future of ADvendio. The company has put forth an extra effort into training their employees on the latest technologies and industry trends. Their service technicians are quality pro certified and offer an unsurpassed quality compared to their competitors.

In the last ten years, ADvendio has delivered hundreds of projects to their customers who they now rely on for repeat business and referrals. ADvendio product enables publishers and agencies to get everything you need for premium ad sales management with streamlined cross-media programmatic and linear sales processes. Additionally, advertisers and agencies who use the ADvendio product can deliver excellent cross-media campaigns in Salesforce® with a comprehensive media buying solution.

To find out more about ADvendio and, their products contact https://www.advendio.com/ or

Emma Johnson, Channel Marketing Manager
ADvendio Europe Ltd, Harcourt Road, Dublin 1, Ireland

Email: emma.johnson@advendio.com

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/advendio_celebrates_10_years_of_product_excellence_and_growth/prweb17572812.htm

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Colorful Virgin Human Hair Brand – Incolorwig Makes Its Online Store…

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Incolorwig human hair online store

Incolorwig human hair

Bring color to life.

Incolorwig, a new online store launched, offers colorful human hair wigs and pre-colored virgin human hair extension. Incolorwig targets women who wants to change their hairstyle easily with high-quality hair wigs.

Incolorwig(https://www.incolorwig.com/) focus on providing consumers with colorful, stylish, and price-friendly virgin human hair products, such as Lace Wig, Headband Wig, Lace Frontal Wig and Human Hair Weave Bundles, etc.

Incolorwig Hot Selling Virgin Human Hair Products

Hairline Lace Wigs

14-24 inches all made of 100% virgin human hair and swiss lace in medium brown color. There are many types of Hairline lace wigs on sale in Incolorwig includes bob wigs, straight hair, body wave and jerry curly.

Brazilian Hair Bundles

In addition to best human hair wigs, Brazilian hair bundles are also supplied in Incolorwig. Consumers can freely purchase a combination of 3-4 bundles with a closure.

Headband Wigs

One new series of Incolorwig products. Also a new hairstyle of latest in fashion and styling trends. Headband wigs can effectively save time because it is easier to wear and install.

Products on sale in Incolorwig all have variety colors to choose. No matter classic black or exaggerated colors like blue and pink are all available. The three most popular color wigs are Burgundy Wig, Ginger Wig and Highlight Wig. Any other colors like ombre color you can find in Incolorwig, too.

Incolorwig Online Hair Store

With the concept of “Let every customer can wear a suitable colorful wig”, Incolorwig focuses on high quality of products, also offers 24-hour online service for customers, always being there with every customer from the time before-sale, selling & after sale. There virgin human hair wigs and bundles have been sold to many countries with there fast delivery service, all the order will be shipped at the first time. When you purchasing human hair wigs from Incolorwig, after you paying, your order will picking up and matching ship methods in 2 hours. All orders will be shipped within 24 hours.

After Incolorwig was established this year, it has become a favor brand of many black women. “Wigs bring more than just changes in their hairstyles, but also a pursuit of beauty and self-expression,” the founder of Incolorwig said, “What human hair wigs can do is that free to control one’s own hairstyle and color, at least.”

With the mission of bring color to life, Incolorwig encourage women to pursue beauty and help them to find their own style. The wigs have been sold to the USA, Europe and Africa with a good reputation and feedback. According to a customer’s feedback: ”This is once of the best wigs I have ever gotten from Incolorwig, great seller communication and fast delivery. The wig is as described. I highly recommend this.”

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/colorful_virgin_human_hair_brand_incolorwig_makes_its_online_store_debut/prweb17562726.htm

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Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future

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In 2019, the global foreign exchange market (forex) was valued at a jaw-dropping $2.4 quadrillion.

In fact, this is equal to more than 50 times China, Japan, Germany, India and the U.S.’s economic output combined. Institutional investors, such as investment banks, pension funds, and large corporations have typically dominated this space, but there are avenues for individuals to enter the market as well.

This infographic from Compare Forex Brokers breaks down the world’s most interconnected financial market, and how individual investors can start trading.

The Forex Market: A Global Landscape

Across the forex market, 170 major, minor, and exotic currency pairs can be traded as contracts for difference (CFDs). A CFD enables you to speculate on whether the price of an asset will rise or fall.

Here, trades are conducted on over the counter (OTC) markets—non-centralized markets made up of a network of participants. This is different from traditional markets, such as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which operate on formal, centralized exchanges.

While the forex market is by nature, decentralized, these core regions show where forex transactions are most concentrated by market participants including banks, commercial businesses, or individual investors.

Globally, the majority of forex trading takes place within the following hubs.

Forex Trading Centers (2019) Country Share of Global Over the Counter (OTC) Forex Turnover
1 UK 43.1%
2 U.S. 16.5%
3 Singapore 7.6%
4 Hong Kong 7.6%
5 Japan 4.5%
6 Switzerland 3.3%
7 France 2.0%
8 China 1.6%
9 Germany 1.5%
10 Australia 1.4%

Source: BIS

The UK accounts for over 43% of global forex trading, averaging $2.7 trillion daily according to the 2019 Triennial Central Bank Survey by the Bank for International Settlements. London’s geographic location between the U.S. and Asia makes it an optimal forex trading centre—a trend that has held strong over the last 50 years.

With forex trading in the U.S. jumping over 50% in the last decade, the U.S. is the next most active forex market. Meanwhile, averaging $633 billion in trading volumes in 2019, Singapore is Asia’s largest forex trading center, with Hong Kong following close behind.

The Top Seven Currency Pairs

What are the most highly-traded currency pairs?

Overall, 68% of global forex trading falls into seven major currency pairs.

  Top Seven Currency Pairs Percentage of Total
1 United States Dollar vs Euro 24.0%
2 United States Dollar vs Japanese Yen 17.8%
3 United States Dollar vs Great British Pound 9.3%
4 United States Dollar vs Australian Dollar 5.2%
5 United States Dollar vs Canadian Dollar 4.3%
6 United States Dollar vs Chinese Yuan 3.8%
7 United States Dollar vs Swiss Franc 3.6%

Source: BIS

Currency prices are impacted by factors including inflation, international trade, political stability, among other macroeconomic factors.

Breaking Down Institutional and Retail Trading

While commercial and central banks, hedge funds, and investment managers make up most of the forex market, only 5.5% are individual investors.

Importantly, they differ in a few key ways.

Institutional Forex Trading Retail Forex Trading
– Buy and sell the physical currency

Interdealer market: Large institutions trade on an interdealer market, which is a non-centralized network of dealers

Less formal: Often trades are conducted by phone, email or instant message.

Non-transparent: Execution prices and buy/sell orders are not visible to the market.

– Buy and sell contracts for difference (CFD)

Contracts for Difference (CFD): CFDs allow traders to speculate on the price of an underlying asset. Traders do not own the underlying asset.

Long and Short Trades: Traders can take a long or short position:

Long position: buying a CFD with the expectation the asset’s market price will increase.

Short position: selling a CFD with the expectation the asset’s market price will decrease.

For various reasons, retail forex trading increases in popularity year after year. However, before diving in, it is important to know the stakes involved in this speculative market.

Understanding the High Risk of Forex Trading

Retail forex trading is, at is core, very risky.

In 2019, 71% of all retail forex trades lost money. One explanation is the highly leveraged nature of the market—many investors trade using borrowed money. But while trading with leverage can magnify losses, it also applies to gains.

Key Benefits of the Forex Market

While there is risk inherent in the market, what are some of the advantages in forex trading?

  1. Low transaction costs: No exchange or regulatory fees. Overall trading costs are low with both commission and no commission pricing structures available.
  2. High liquidity: Along with being the largest market globally, it is also the most liquid with $6.6 trillion in daily trading volume.
  3. 24-hour market: Trading is not confined to limited hours or time zones.
  4. Leverage: Forex brokers offer retail traders leverage which allows the to increase their exposure

Unlike equities, currency trading is all about relativity. A currency can depreciate overall, but can also appreciate relative to a currency that has depreciated even more.

Connect to New Markets

While big gains are possible, many trades lose money, but regulatory improvements have helped build trust in the market.

Meanwhile, multiple digital platforms provide a link to global currencies, allowing retail forex traders to enter the market and trade from any location. For those comfortable taking more risk, currency markets offer opportunities with outsized potential.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/investing-in-the-impending-e-commerce-future/

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