As Visual Search Takes Off, Brands Adapt to Shifting Demands

Visual search and image recognition are capturing the attention of investors, retail insiders, and everyday consumers. To find out more about where visual search is heading, and what marketers can do to adapt their strategies with the latest trends in mind, we checked in with Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, a social commerce company that turns images and videos into storefronts.

The Future of Location in Retail: Beyond Ad Targeting

Location data is serving as the conduit to connect consumer-facing marketing initiatives with behind-the-scenes merchandising and logistics. According to a survey by Blis, WBR Insights, and Future Stores, the majority of retail marketers (71%) have some type of location strategy in place, with the primary goal being to drive foot traffic and trigger location-based mobile advertising. That’s not a particular surprise, given how popular the latest location-based marketing tactics have become. More surprising, however, is how common it has become for retailers to use location data for local product and inventory search (60%) and localized online customer service (51%).

Amazon’s Dash Buttons Have Met Their End. Does Their Demise Truly Signal Failure?

Dash buttons were met with detractors right from the get go. Some called out the “hideous” design, while others lambasted Amazon for creating $5 buttons that would inevitably end up in landfills. But at Amazon, the Dash button initiative isn’t considered a failure. Rather, the project was designed to get consumers more comfortable with the “connected home” concept and the idea of shopping through devices other than desktop computers and smartphones.

WeQ Launches Influencer Agency, Backing up Influencers with Analytics

Global mobile advertising firm WeQ announced on Tuesday that it’s launching an agency dedicated to influencers, aiming to pair the analytical power of a broader ad tech firm with the new possibilities for branding offered by the influencer sector of the digital marketing industry.

Foursquare Launches Hypertrending, A Next-Gen View of the Hot Spots in Town

Foursquare announced on Friday, coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of its launch at SXSW, a new feature called Hypertrending that shows users the most popular places where people are meeting up around them.

These 6 Location Data Providers Are Changing the Way Brands Target Consumers

Location data providers power the vast majority of mobile targeting strategies we’re seeing brand marketers implement today. An incredible 80% of marketers say they plan to boost their use of location data over the next two years, and in the U.S. alone, it’s expected that location-based advertising spend will reach $38.7BN by 2022. In order to achieve those goals, marketers will have to work closely with top location data providers. Here are six companies they’ll be working with.

At Retail Conference, Google Dangles Shiny New Visual Ad Format

The visual-first ads are here. Google announced at the retail conference Shoptalk on Wednesday that it is launching shoppable ads in image search, propelling the search giant into the center of the visual zeitgeist that has made Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat hot targets for advertisers.

Native Ad Industry Booms, Capitalizing on Hunger for Ads That Don’t Look Like Advertising

Native ad firm AdYouLike is staking its reputation on the assumption that the ads you like may not look like ads. That bet appears to be paying off, as a report from the firm shows the native ad industry set to grow to $400 billion by 2025, a 372% jump from the projected size of the market in 2020.

Poor Data Quality Is Hurting Location-Based Campaigns—Here’s How to Fix It

“Location data offers the ability to turn universal ads into local ads. Same as local TV. The issue is how location targeting is being executed,” says location-based ad veteran Warren Zenna. “People don’t look at ads on their phones when they are out doing things like shopping and driving around. They look at them, sometimes, when they are inactive. Mobile ad creative needs to be better — more engaging and more contextual — and presented when someone is in a contextually relevant mindset.”

Voice is Rising as Medium for Local Discovery

Voice is not only booming as a search tool but also seems to be cannibalizing search volume from the medium that last revolutionized the practice of digital discovery: mobile. That’s the headline from Stone Temple Consulting’s third annual survey of consumers regarding their use of voice-enabled devices.

How Marketers Are Making In-Store Metrics More Reliable

In-store marketing platforms are designed to spit out all different types of metrics. Return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), customer acquisition costs (CAC), cost per visit (CPV), and customer lifetime value (CLV) are just a few of the metrics that marketers regularly track. But how reliable are these metrics, and what do they mean for big-picture business growth? The ad tech company S4M is aiming to answer that question. The company recently released a new feature as part of its FUSIO drive-to-store platform.

Local Search Association Crowns the Best Solutions in Local

At its annual conference in Dana Point, CA, this week, the Local Search Association recognized the best solutions in location-based search and advertising with its annual Ad-to-Action awards. Award winners, who competed in a field of over 80 entries and were selected by judges representing companies such as Google, Amazon, and Walmart, included Brandify, PlaceIQ, and Vendasta.

7 Delivery Trends You Should Know in 2019

Greater customer expectations and technological advancements are driving big changes in delivery. What’s more, the delivery experience has emerged as a differentiating factor for customers when choosing one retailer over another. eCommerce retailers that operate solely online and omnichannel retailers that offer a physical and digital presence are both beginning to expand their delivery options to meet customer demand. Here are seven trends that will define retail delivery during 2019.

In Age of Social Media, Brands Must Stay On Top of Reputations Capable of Changing on a Dime

A single video posted to YouTube was all it took for Chuck E. Cheese’s online reputation to go up in flames this month, at least temporarily, when an internet celebrity posted his theory about the pizza chain’s misshapen pies. As viral conspiracy theories on social media become increasingly common, brands are finding that their initial response can set the tone and create a carry-on effect that impacts customer sentiment across dozens of multimedia channels.

AR in Local Commerce: Google Shows the Way

Mike Boland: A recent and relatively understated development from Google could portend the future of augmented reality. Its previously teased “VPS” was released into the wild for a small set of users. For those unfamiliar, VPS (visual positioning service) guides users with 3D overlays on upheld smartphone screens. Sort of a cousin of AR, this type of experience could represent the sector’s eventual killer apps. Though we’ve seen the most AR success so far in gaming (Pokemon Go) and social (Snapchat AR lenses), it could be more mundane utilities like navigation that engender high-frequency use cases.

Communicating on GMB Poses Some Challenges, but the Local Ecosystem Has Answers

Google has been hard at work on local in 2018 and 2019, taking strides toward making its Google My Business app the one-stop-shop for local businesses hoping to connect with customers through digital means. Nevertheless, local is a tricky, 24-7 business, and when it comes to connecting brick-and-mortars with customers nearby, Alphabet’s core business has some room for improvement.

5 Platforms Using AI to Analyze Customer Reviews

Beyond the star ratings lies a wealth of information. Sentiment and opinions can be used to shape the way brands develop their highest-selling products. Given the volume of reviews posted each day, however, it would be impossible for most major brands to analyze every customer reaction individually. Instead, a growing number of brands are utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to extract and analyze the sentiment from product reviews. Here are five examples of platforms that offer this type of AI technology for analyzing customer feedback posted online.

How Brands Are Using AR to Generate Buzz, Promote Loyalty

The push into AR can be seen as a way for brand retailers to differentiate themselves from Amazon, bringing the in-store experience into the online world. It’s also a way for retailers to jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing, with the hope that using innovative technologies is new ways will have a viral effect and get people talking.

DoorDash Will Put an End to Old-School Delivery—And Smaller Rivals

What does the big money for DoorDash mean for the crowded on-demand delivery space? The market is growing as a whole, but there isn’t all that much growth share to go around. DoorDash CEO and founder Tony Xu has said as much.  “If you look at where the U.S. is, there’s two players gaining share. It’s DoorDash and Uber. And DoorDash is growing 65% faster,” Xu said in a conversation with Recode editor-at-large and co-founder Kara Swisher earlier this year.

Alexa Has the Confidence of SMB Marketers. Should It?

Forty-eight percent of marketers surveyed by Uberall said they trust the e-commerce giant over its competition when it comes to marketing applications of voice technology in these early days of the medium. Google Assistant had the vote of 29% of the market, with Apple’s Siri scoring a surprisingly high 17% given the widespread consensus that voice is really a two-way race at the moment.