eCommerce News of the Week – March 21st 2016

Welcome to the News of the Week, this time for the week of March 21st!  This week I focus on stories out of Google x3 (Mobilegeddon’s Cousin is coming), Dropbox, and Saks Fifth Avenue…

Google focuses on mobile…again.

Something that shook the web industry to it’s core happened on April 21st, 2015, the date of Mobilegeddon from Google.  Many sources at that time warned that it was only the start of the shift to mobile algorithm updates and they were correct.  This year, in May, you can expect another big push (although not as big) to mobile-friendly search results as Google has announced the next algorithm change.  If you are already mobile, then you are safe, but this continuous move by Google to support mobile devices will only continue.  If you are on an eCommerce platform and don’t have a responsive theme or mobile site you’ll need to reach out to a developer (maybe even Gauge Interactive) to help you gain compliance.

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Google Analytics 360 Suite 

Google is launching a new product for enterprise marketers today that will directly challenge Adobe’s Marketing Cloud and similar services for digital analytics.  The idea here, Google senior director of product management Babak Pahlavan says is to provide marketers with a new solution that helps them work more efficiently in a multi-screen world.  Most marketers today base their marketing effort on what they learned during the desktop era and have not focused any effort into mobile conversions. “But this [Google Analytics 360 Suite] is about understanding the customer journey all the way to conversion,” Pahlavan explained.  YES! Let’s take a second to thank Google for changing the minds of people all over the world with their products releases. . . . Ok, now that is done, let’s focus on what their new suite means.  I can only imagine that Google is trying to stem the tide of individual offerings in the A/B testing, analytics, displaying advertising world and simplifying it to “Come Get It All In One Place” methodology.  This might be a great option for eCommerce retailers that use multiple Google Products already and want to consolidate their offerings.

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Do you have a physical store location and use Google Plus?  You’ll want to read this…

Business Name Query w Google Posts

Lastly in Google news, they have announced that Google Posts are going to take precedence in localized searches.  As you may or may not know there are two primary types of local search queries: business name queries (e.g., “Mike’s Shoe Shop”) and business category queries (e.g., “Fancy Shoes in Savannah Georgia”).

While most of these searches bring up “Google My Business” results at the top of the SERPs, there still is a lot of “local organic” traffic to be had.  In general, the main types of sites competing for these searches are local businesses, service area businesses (regional or national players) and local directories of all shapes.  This SERP (see left) is almost 100 percent content presented by the business or Google.  In cases where the business is active on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, there is almost no other content from traditional players in the local organic search area (i.e. TripAdvisor, Yelp, Yellow Pages sites).

Now, this might be a special case, as there are probably not a ton of comic book stores in Huntington, New York and they might just get priority because there is only one. So next, just ask the hundreds of jewelers in the Buffalo area, including the advertisers at the top of the page, how they feel about this SERP.  Andrew Jeweler’s has been active on Google’s platform, especially Google Plus and Google is indexing their content in their search results.  Mix that with text campaigns and possible product listing ads and you could own ALL of the most precious retail space for your localized keywords.  The way to take advantage of this new feature is to write engaging content on your topic, make sure to mention that you are local, and be active with your Google Plus.

Engagement Rings Buffalo

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Amazon gets dumped by..Dropbox? Say What!?

In a shocking move Dropbox has cut ties with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and decided to forge forward with it’s own infrastructure.   There were two factors that made Dropbox realize that the company should get out of the cloud. The first is size and growth of the company. Dropbox has 500 million users and is storing 500 petabytes of data, the scale that very few other companies will get to. Secondly, Dropbox wanted to have end-to-end control of the infrastructure so that they could control the performance, reliability and overall user experience. By optimizing the stack and customizing the infrastructure they will be able to provide a key differentiator in the market and a key value to their users.   Only time will tell if this is a smart move but there are some notable failures in this space, most notable Zynga (the app maker) that used AWS to gain notoriety, created its own “Z-Cloud”, which fell flat on it’s face (stability and downtime was an issue), and went back to AWS.   It is an interesting development for eCommerce retailers because more storage players and more advanced infrastructure, leads to more choice, which leads to innovation in the space and better pricing.

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Custom User Experience per customer; what a thought…

Saks Fifth avenue is dipping it’s toe in the mass market personalization and personal shopping market.  Saks, a 92 year old company, is shifting toward delivering personalized service via what the company calls “its most effective and popular sales channel: Saks.com”.   Their goal is to meet customers where they are in their purchase lifecycle, remove friction, and offer personalized advice.

For example:  If a customer visits a physical location and is shopping for men’s suits they may try on a few in store to get their sizing correct but they may be dumb to the latest fashion trends and styles.  To combat this Saks will designated a sales associate just for you that knows the men’s suit game, give you a custom landing page (custom url) for your items, and provide handpicked recommendations that can easily be purchased and picked up/or delivered.

For the shopper that loves “personal shopping” or to be catered too, this is a great solution.  Other companies in the fashion space are taking advantage of this system as well, such as: Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.   If you are curious to learn more you can read into the platform they are using to accomplish their goals: “Salesfloor“.

What this means for retailers is that brick and mortar (& brick and click) companies are not going to lay down and die, and verticals that need “high touch solutions” are starting to understand the need to communicate properly with their new-aged customers (millennials).

I can see fashion, eyewear, wearables, and apparel companies taking advantage of these solutions.

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That’s all I have folks, if you have questions or want to chat, hit me up in the comments.

Signing off,

Mike Cristancho

Certified Project Manager

Gauge Interactive

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