Influencer Marketing Stands Out during Pandemic

Covid-19 is capable of producing a special kind of advertising fatigue in which consumers tire of receiving a maelstrom of indistinguishable messages from brands: This is an especially uncertain time. Here are the precautions we’re taking. This is what we’re doing to help out.

It’s not that these messages aren’t necessary, especially as they relate to safety precautions. The fatigue comes from the unrelenting sameness and impersonal character of the content. That’s where influencer marketers can prove to be a brand’s special weapon, and a new report by influencer marketing platform Linqia suggests marketers are capitalizing on the channel.

The Video Ad Market’s Challenges and Future

Short-form video platform Quibi drew a slew of mainstream headlines beyond advertising trade publications for far underperforming expectations. The platform’s execs blamed its relative failure on coronavirus. 

While coronavirus alone may not explain the fate of Quibi, the virus and related drops in economic and social activity have left the video ad market in a paradoxical state. Viewership is up; ad demand is down. To explain the state of the market and where it’s headed, Tal Chalozin, CTO and co-founder of video ad platform Innovid, spoke to Street Fight.

Location Data Firm Unacast Generates Hyperlocal Covid Recovery Metrics

Location data and analytics firm Unacast is hoping its new recovery analytics tool might guide businesses through this chaotic time. The interactive tool allows retail operations professionals, real estate developers, and property management companies to drill down to the census block level to get visibility into real-world economic recovery scenarios and plan for future investments.

Using data that compares real-time public behavior in the current environment to pre-Covid time periods, businesses can estimate recovery rates and more accurately plan for future reopenings.

6 Contactless Payment Solutions for Retailers

Retailers have dozens of ways to go when implementing contactless payments in brick-and-mortar stores. The best option usually depends on the retailer’s size and budget. Smaller businesses tend to rely more on app-based contactless payments and mobile solutions as a way to minimize the costs associated with integrating an entirely new point-of-sale system.

Here are six mobile payment and contactless payment options that retailers can use to help curb the spread of coronavirus inside their stores.

How Google’s Review Attributes Expansion Impacts Local Businesses

Businesses that understand these changes and find ways to harness review attributes stand to see major gains in search. Google’s new feature could be a big improvement for small and mid-size businesses, in particular, since it provides marketers with both comparative structured feedback and sentiment. But whether businesses benefit from Google’s decision to expand review attributes into new categories depends largely on how they capitalize on the changes.

Restaurants Are Using Technology to Bring Back Customers Post-Pandemic

How do local restaurants implement coronavirus-driven changes, and what role will technology play in helping those businesses reemerge from lockdown status?

Statewide regulations, like sanitizing protocols and spacing between tables, are in many ways easier for restaurants to implement because they are clear-cut. Certain diner expectations are harder for restaurants to gauge, and that has presented a new opportunity for technology providers catering to the restaurant market.

Can a Pandemic Inflect Local Commerce Tech?

Could forced adoption of alternative shopping methods like curbside pickup lead to user acclimation? Will millions of shoppers get exposed to the merits of these streamlined options and like what they see? Will new habits be born that sustain throughout normal times?

If so, these technologies — along with virtual-office enablement — could benefit from this period as a blessing in disguise for exposing their value propositions. But who stands to benefit most? We’ve identified five local commerce tech areas to which this could apply.

Cannabis CBD

Cannabis Businesses Are Running More Geofenced Campaigns. Here’s Why

While geofenced campaigns and foot traffic attribution are old hat for mainstream brands, they represent a new frontier for cannabis businesses.

Despite widespread legalization in many states, the cannabis industry has been shut out from many of the most effective marketing and advertising strategies. In some cases, those restrictions come in the form of strict state and federal laws. In other cases, it’s simply due to a lack of ad tech platforms willing to accept their campaigns.

But times are changing, and new doors are opening up to businesses in the cannabis industry.

Ridesharing Inches Forward as Industry Looks for New Path

Years of rising demand for ridesharing services came to a full stop this spring, as coronavirus spread and communities across the globe were put under lockdown. Now, as ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft begin inching their way forward toward a new normal, they’re looking at how to adapt to the completely new environment in which they find themselves.

MarTech Firms Pivot to Meet Post-Pandemic Demands

The marketing automation company Act-On Software is relaunching today with an affordable solution for companies that are bogged down by budget cuts and lay-offs due to Covid-19 shutdowns, but they’re not the only company making big changes.

In fact, Act-On is just one of a number of martech firms gunning to help businesses as they emerge from Covid-19 shutdowns. Jungle Scout has released a solution for brands leveraging the power of Amazon, Agora.io is expanding its reseller partnerships, and BounceX is using SMS to help retailers recover revenue lost because of Covid-19. Act-On is refining its approach to marketing automation, with new product capabilities meant to drive personal product engagement and a tighter focus on helping marketers evolve their businesses.

With Covid Insights Tracker, GroundTruth Looks to Democratize Location Data

GroundTruth’s new Covid-19 Insights tracker gives brands a way to track foot traffic down to the zip code level. The tracker is updated weekly, with the ability to search for daily foot traffic across a number of categories, like auto dealers, banks, restaurants, and retail.

Data comes from the 30 billion annual global visits GroundTruth observes on its platform. The company uses indexed foot traffic to demonstrate the relative increase or decrease in visits to different places of interest, with weekly and daily charts depicting foot traffic indexed against average weekly/daily visits starting from December 30, 2019.

As Retail Reopens, Voice Tech Takes Center Stage

Voice technology has been on the verge of going mainstream for nearly a decade. Despite big players like Amazon and Google launching their own smart speakers, and millions of consumers using the devices in their homes, investors in the voice technology space have been patiently waiting for the spark that would set off a new touchless world.

That spark is Covid-19.

retail order pickup

Rakuten Ready Gives Merchants Access to Advanced Pickup Technology

Industry-wide curbside pickup has surged 208%, but statistics alone do not tell the complete story. Although large retailers were quick to pivot to a pickup-only strategy, small and mid-size retailers were largely boxed out. That’s because the ordering technology used by many large retailers comes with a price tag that small retailers cannot afford, and implementing the most sophisticated programs requires a level of technological sophistication that SMBs don’t usually have.

Rakuten Ready believes it has the answer to this problem.

Social Conversion Rates Climb During Covid-19

Covid-19 has changed the social media playbook, but brands who’ve been quick to adjust are seeing social conversion rates continuing to climb.

In an analysis of data pulled from more than 120 retail websites, the digital experience solutions company Episerver found that social conversion rates have increased steadily during Covid-19 shutdowns, from 1% in April 2019 to 1.2% in April 2020.

Street Fight’s June Theme: Retail Recovery

As the country starts to re-open and recover (some places more quickly than others), we’ll shift our focus to cover specifically how that’s happening. And what better vertical to represent local business recovery than retail? It will be a leading indicator for several other local commerce verticals.

So we introduce our June editorial theme: Retail Recovery. The goal: to chronicle the steps local businesses are taking to reemerge from locked doors and empty streets. Who’s doing what, and what can we learn from them? By “them” we mean businesses and the tech providers that support them.

GDPR is Two Years Old. Here’s How It’s Working and What the US Can Learn from It

This week marked the two-year anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe’s major privacy law. GDPR was the first major European effort to put some legal and regulatory power behind demands for less free-wheeling data collection and selling.

To gauge just how GDPR is working out and what regulators might do to move the ball forward on privacy, Street Fight got in touch with Russell Sutton, SVP of data, EMEA, at MightyHive.

Mobile is Our “Cure for Boredom.” What Does That Mean for Marketers?

A recent survey by mobile app ad firm Digital Turbine found that more than a quarter of consumers open their phones more than 75% of the time without a specific app in mind. Digital Turbine Matt Tubergen checked in with Street Fight to share how mobile app marketers can reach mobile users and the discovery tools those people are seeking.

mobile notifications

Brands Are Pushing More Notifications During Covid-19. Here’s Why

According to a benchmark study of more than two billion app installs, recently released by the notifications and customer engagement platform Airship, users are quicker to click on notifications now than before the pandemic began. Thirty-two percent of website visits by opt-in users in March were from direct opens of web notifications, as direct open rates for mobile app push notifications reached their absolute-highest average rate in more than four years.

Why Brands Are Turning to Influencers During Covid-19

Brands are on delicate ground as they look for ways to promote their non-essential products during the pandemic. Stay the course with existing marketing strategies, and it looks like the brand is ignoring a global health crisis. Push too strong with coronavirus-themed ads, and brands run the risk of being seen as capitalizing on the tragedy.

The solution that some brands have come up with is to put the ball in the influencer’s court.

7 Ways Retailers Are Using Mobile Messaging to Connect During the Pandemic

By most measures, it appears that retailers have a tough road ahead of them. While deep investments into ecommerce and steep discounts on existing merchandise are expected, many retailers are exploring other avenues in a bid to connect with customers and offer a sense of assurance during the pandemic. Mobile messaging platforms are being utilized in new and unexpected ways. With open rates close to 100%, texting has become the communication channel of choice during the ongoing pandemic.

Here are seven examples of ways that retailers are using mobile messaging to connect with customers during Covid-19.