Germany: Facebook abuses dominance in the way it harvests and monetizes user data

(Reuters) — Germany’s cartel office has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, in a ruling that questioned the U.S. social network’s model of monetizing the personal data of its 2 billion users through targeted advertising. Presenting preliminary findings of its 20-month-old probe, the Federal Cartel Office said Facebook held a dominant position among social networks – a characterization that Facebook repudiated as “inaccurate”. Continue reading “Germany: Facebook abuses dominance in the way it harvests and monetizes user data”

Apple is rattling ad tech with Safari’s anti-tracking moves

On its earnings call last week, retargeting firm Criteo revealed that Apple’s crackdown on ad tracking hurt its business more than expected. In the wake of the announcement, the performance of Criteo’s stock resembled its downward swooping logo as its shares tumbled 26 percent within hours. Since Criteo’s entire business is driven by retargeting and they are the most recognizable vendor in that category, the company is the poster child for how Apple’s ad-tracking changes affect ad tech. But while Apple’s anti-tracking moves may hit Criteo the hardest, other vendors like attribution companies and data platforms that also rely on ad targeting for portions of their business are caught in the crossfire of Apple’s customer privacy campaign. Continue reading “Apple is rattling ad tech with Safari’s anti-tracking moves”

5 best practices for implementing voice marketing in 2018

Hey Alexa, play some music.
Ok, Google, turn on the lights.

Five years ago, these commands would have made no sense. But for the past two and a half years, voice-enabled speakers have steadily gained traction, introducing the world to voice-activated technologies. As we approach 2018, there’s no sign of slowing down the smart speaker revolution. Continue reading “5 best practices for implementing voice marketing in 2018”

Viewpoint: Platforms are the new context that matter

Barry Lowenthal is president of The Media Kitchen.

I’ve always believed context counts. It helps consumers understand why one brand is different from another. When a brand chooses a particular environment, it’s an indication of the brand’s values and beliefs. If a brand advertises in Vogue, it says the brand is very fashionable. It says a lot about a brand if they decide to run on Rush Limbaugh’s show, et cetera. But context is changing, partly because where we consume media and the media format most brands use has changed, namely, to video on platforms like Facebook. Continue reading “Viewpoint: Platforms are the new context that matter”

15-second countdown ads could be the new killer format

Luxury Italian retailer Yoox has announced it is running an exciting new type of pre-roll ad on YouTube: 15-second buy-it-or-lose-it offers. The company will be runnign the ads until mid-December in a few regions globally.

The ads are 15-second countdowns featuring a unique product, so. The user has to make a decision to buy on the spot or they will lose out and the item will be offered to someone else. Even if they go looking for it later, they won’t be able to find the product on the Yoox website, as it will have been exclusive to the pre-roll ad. To add to the tension, the creative depicts impending threats to the product to bring the countdown to life, so the ad positions the item as needing “saving” from dangers such as laser beams creeping towards it.

Continue reading “15-second countdown ads could be the new killer format”

Chrome for Windows will start blocking third-party software injections in 2018

Next year is going to be big for Chrome, if you believe everything Google has announced so far: going to war against low-quality ads, autoplaying content with sound, and unwanted redirects. The company today added a smaller, but still significant, initiative to its to-do list: reducing Chrome crashes caused by third-party software on Windows.

Continue reading “Chrome for Windows will start blocking third-party software injections in 2018”

On Black Friday, Home Depot saw more mobile traffic than desktop

Home Depot redesigned its mobile site and mobile app last year to offer more customized shopping experiences, and those efforts seem to be paying off in a big way. This Black Friday, the home improvement chain, which has over 2,200 stores across the U.S., saw mobile traffic outpace desktop traffic, said Prat Vemana, vp of online for Home Depot, declining to disclose specific sales numbers. Continue reading “On Black Friday, Home Depot saw more mobile traffic than desktop”

How Petco is Amazon-proofing its e-commerce strategy

When Brock Weatherup needed a mailbox after moving to San Diego for a job at Petco, he did what a lot of people do and went on Amazon. After he made his purchase, Amazon recommended other mailboxes he could buy.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve bought one mailbox in my life,” said Weatherup, Petco’s evp of strategic innovation and digital experience. “I’m not sure anyone ever buys two mailboxes, and sure as heck not in a couple days.”

Weatherup is trying to bring a more personal touch to Petco to compete with the commerce giant and other retailers, such as PetSmart. For example, Petco is providing services to pet owners as well as products. “If you think about where the world is, almost every business that sells a product or service is trying to figure out how to be Amazon-proof,” said Weatherup.

For Petco, with 1,500 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, this means thinking like a startup. Petco hired Weatherup in April after acquiring his startup PetCoach, a pet advice website and app that pairs pet owners with vets.

Three weeks ago, he rolled out Petco’s own social platform, a pet selfie app called Heads & Tails, which rewards users with $25 Petco gift cards and $25 donations to the Petco Foundation. Petco also made PetCoach services available in stores.

Last week, Petco acquired “Shark Tank”-featured PupBox, a monthly subscription box service with toys, treats and advice to fit a puppy’s stage of development and physical characteristics. The boxes are sold online and in stores, starting with a $29 holiday-themed box.

The pet-care industry used to be able to compete on repeat deliveries, but that’s gotten harder with the rise of Amazon and other e-commerce platforms, said Weatherup, who was svp and chief digital officer at PetSmart before launching PetCoach. PetSmart itself bought pet-food delivery company for $3.35 billion, the same month that Petco acquired PetCoach. Petco did not say how much it spent to acquire its new properties. To differentiate, Petco is selling engagement.

“Products can be bought anywhere at any time,” Weatherup said. “The question for us, and what our focus has been through our acquisitions is, how do we get people to participate with the Petco brand 24/7, all days of the year, and not just because they ran out of food?”

The retailer has also adopted e-commerce strategies. Petco worked with Instacart in 2015 to deliver pet food in less than an hour and teamed up with DoorDash to provide delivery straight from Despite competing against Amazon, Petco opened its own marketplace on Amazon for pet food and toys.

With the services it offers, Petco can collect data to personalize shoppers’ experiences as well. For instance, Petco knows a customer’s last visit to the vet, their past purchases and their pet’s grooming schedule. Weatherup said this gives the company an edge over Amazon.

“All that data allows us to then turn around and create an incredible personalized relationship that is really about my ownership of a 5-year-old retriever called Boulder,” he said.

The post How Petco is Amazon-proofing its e-commerce strategy appeared first on Digiday.

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