Plan for Black Friday with this E-Commerce Holiday Checklist

Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast projects that e-commerce holiday sales will grow by 25% to 35% year over year, compared to a sales increase of 14.7% last year. Here’s a five-point holiday prep list to help ensure your digital commerce experiences stack up and are ready to engage the influx of shoppers this holiday season.

Social Media is Not Enough: 3 Reasons Why Websites are a Must for Businesses

During the Covid era, the value of a website has increased exponentially. According to a recent survey, 82% of US small business owners find their website to be an essential part of their businesses’ success, and 54% reported a boost in website traffic since the beginning of quarantines.

Whether you’re a small business owner or someone with an idea, developing a website as your home base is beneficial to growing your customer base and online brand. Here’s why.

How To Grow Your E-Commerce Sales Outside of Amazon

I do not mean to suggest that you should stop using Amazon as a means to make a sale – just that investing in a marketplace that you personally have more control over and leveraging an integrated strategy (that will also include your Amazon pages) can prove to be the more lucrative option.

Here’s what you need to do to grow sales on your own website. 

As Political Messaging Shifts to CTV, Email Backs Up Campaigns

In a loud election where social media is overrun with fake news and unsolicited user-created opinions, campaigns must communicate in a consistent and streamlined way with voters, serving only ads that they want to see in their preferred channels. Campaigns might not win a voter on one issue but could sway or motivate them on another if they know what resonates with them. 

This election year, the power of email should not be underestimated.

Google My Business Posts: Your Unexpected Holiday Hero

We’re in an era that allows enterprise businesses to tap into the API and upload Google Posts at scale (with help from a local platform management partner). Year-round, businesses can feature new product launches, new store openings, in-store events, and more, but perhaps one of the best times of year to leverage this space is during the months of November and December, when shoppers are gearing up for the holiday season. 

Let’s walk through the top five best uses for Google Posts over the holiday season.

Foursquare’s New Audio Assistant is a Peek into the Future of Local Tech

Dubbed Marsbot for Airpods, Foursquare’s virtual assistant will whisper insights to users about their surroundings, unprompted, as they move throughout the world. This may be a recommendation for a local coffee shop or a fun fact about a landmark.

For brick-and-mortar businesses and the technology providers that help them connect with customers, the marketing possibilities are tantalizing.

Location Weekly: Location Data Gets Political, Taco Bell Personalizes Menus

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers using location data to influence US elections, Brandify and Rakuten Ready partnering, ZoneTail teaming with Radical Road Brewing, and Taco Bell using Certona AI to personalize menus for app members.

Connecting the Dots on Google’s Visual Road Map

Google continues to double down on visual search and navigation. Its latest move came last week with updates to its Live View visual navigation to help users identify and qualify local businesses. This follows soon after its Earth Cloud Anchors that will let users create digital content on physical places.

Both developments tell us something about what may well be the future of local search: augmented reality-enhanced visuals.

Identifying Content Opportunities from SEO Keyword Trends During Covid-19

Keywords that were optimized to improve inbound sales aren’t doing their job because people are no longer inputting those search terms. Does that mean that your product or service isn’t needed? No, absolutely not. Your brand’s content is needed. But the keyword trends that you had been relying on have changed.

To be able to once again reach your audience, you need to study search trends as they stand now and determine how you can create content around those terms.

7 Shoppable Video Platforms

How do you engage customers when in-store shopping is in many places all but obsolete? One solution that brand retailers around the country have been digging into this year is shoppable video. Using recorded and live video streams, brands have been able to capitalize on the shift toward mobile video and give customers direct links to buy their products online.

Here are seven examples of shoppable video platforms brands are using right now.

Location Weekly: Party City and Nextdoor Launch Halloween Campaign

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Ferrara’s Trolli brand creating an AR game for Halloween, Party City and NextDoor launching a Halloween campaign, Burberry teaming with IBM for product traceability, and Walmart redesigning its stores with a touch of airport way-finding tech.

What Happens to Drive-to-Store Campaigns After Apple’s IDFA Update?

Given that Apple’s Limit Ad Tracking feature already renders roughly one-third of iOS users totally anonymous, drive-to-store conversion measurement has been limited at the device-level for some time. The iOS 14 update from Apple simply adds another challenge on top of what was already a difficult endeavor. For marketers who haven’t done so yet, they should take this opportunity to pivot to measurement strategies that are less reliant on the ever-shifting policies of tech giants like Apple.

Location Data Says Krispy Kreme’s Times Square Plan May Be Half-Baked

As someone who studies human mobility in New York routinely, I am compelled to question the pandemic-era business logic behind this aggressive expansion. The world will go back to normal or something like it one day, but, by using our human mobility data sets and assuming a continuation of current trends, we can see there is little evidence that these new Krispy Kreme locations will draw enough foot traffic in the coming months and quarters to survive, let alone thrive. 

Covid-19 is Boosting Mobile Use, and These Apps Are Taking the Lion’s Share

With many social options put on hold, people find solace in retail therapy. Between April 2019 to 2020, the cost to acquire a user who completes a first purchase in a shopping app has decreased by more than half (50.6%), compared to the same period in 2018. Similarly, the cost to acquire a registration ($8.76) has dropped nearly 40%.

Plus, with a 40% increase in purchase engagement year-on-year — and 110% increase over two years — it’s clear conditions are positive for marketers to reach and engage a highly motivated, high-value audience.

Facebook, Holocaust Denial, and the Refusal of Politics

Facebook’s long-term refusal to strike down Holocaust-denial content is not a problem specific to Facebook. It’s not a decision limited to Zuckerberg or a few feckless executives. The problem is not even limited to tech.

Facebook’s purported refusal of politics — its reluctance to accept that it has always been a political actor and that its content-moderation policies and algorithms have real-world effects on what people believe and what they do, up to and including acts of physical violence as in Myanmar — is a structural feature of shareholder capitalism. A content ecosystem whose leaders are so timid as to let Holocaust denial flourish is the logical result of an approach to management that views its only responsibility as minimizing costs and maximizing market capitalization.

How In-House Agencies Can Provide Value During and After Covid-19

When asked what the most critical resources for producing ads post Covid-19 were, 55% of ANA members said in-house teams, as compared to 42% for other internal teams and 26% for external agencies.

In many respects, Covid just accelerated the already impressive growth of in-housing. Moving forward, these teams’ proximity to the business and growing strategic importance mean they are in a good position to deliver greater value to their organizations in three critical ways.

Here’s Why October Is the Perfect Time to Pressure-Test Holiday Strategies

With consumers still spending – and their evolving shopping preferences and behaviors becoming increasingly clear for Halloween and beyond – October presents a prime opportunity for retailers to pressure-test and refine their holiday 2020 strategies. 

Here are three considerations as we enter one of the most critical quarters in retail’s history.

Location Weekly: BMW Geo-Fencing, Gimbal Acquiring TrueX, Amazon One Payments

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers BMW geo-fencing E-Drive zones, IKEA’s “Buy With Time” campaign in Dubai, Gimbal acquiring TrueX from Disney, and Amazon One letting you pay with a wave of your hand.

Self-Serve Restaurant Ordering in a Post-Covid World

We expect to see a continued rise in touchless retail shopping and contactless transactions à la Amazon Go Stores.

But one of the less-discussed technologies in the Covid-advantaged bucket is self-serve mobile restaurant ordering. The idea is that ordering and paying from your table can reduce server interaction — which has Covid and non-Covid benefits considering it can save diners’ lives and their time.

How to Turbocharge Social and Email via Cross Promotion

At a time when marketers have limited resources to create new content, social posts and user-generated content can be a welcome addition to email marketing campaigns and newsletters. Email and social media can also be used to cross-promote, creating two sticky channels that drive home important messages. What’s more, while everyone is at home and online more than usual, marketers can get creative with new forms of social engagement over email, too.