Shopify launches an Amazon-like marketplace called Shop. Google’s COVID-19 Marketing Playbook on consumer trends, behavioral changes & business impact. Remote work is messing up advertising data and targeting.

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E-COMMERCE

Shop with “Shop” on Shopify

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Shopify announced the launch of Shop, a digital shopping assistant that will allow Shopify to directly compete with Amazon’s marketplace. Good or bad? Let’s have a look, shall we?

The good

  • Your Shopify store can be discovered in the app.
  • Customers have all info, such as tracking, purchase history and updates from shops they follow in one place.
  • Simplifies the checkout process.
  • Product recommendations from your store based on past interest.
  • It’s already installed on 16M devices, so it has become one of the most installed e-com marketplaces in the world

The bad

  • Shopify has more control, similar to Amazon.
  • While not available now, ads could be implemented and competitors can outbid you.
  • Recommendations: At the moment it doesn’t recommend competing brands, but if Amazon taught us anything…

The Crew’s Take

We think that, at least for now, the good heavily outweighs the bad. This is another significant marketplace where brands can sell their products. There will be more efficient ways to upsell, cross-sell and recover abandoned carts. We’ll be keeping an eye out for how stores react to this change.


ADVERTISING

Going strong even during the pandemic: Q1’2020 Earnings Report

Alphabet reported their Q1’2020 earnings amid the pandemic and, like Snapchat, it also managed to beat all expectations despite the slowdown.

The stats

  • Total Revenue: $41.16B.
  • Search and other advertising revenue: $33.76B.
  • YouTube revenue: $4.04B.
  • Cloud-based revenues: $2.78B.
  • Traffic acquisition costs: $7.45B.

Due to a strong showing in the first two months of Q1, year over year revenue was actually up by 13%, although earnings per share were down. Advertising still accounts for 82% of Google’s total revenue.

There are three ways experts are reading this report

  • It could have been much worse.
  • This is confirmation that the industry faces a major slump.
  • Google, Facebook and Amazon will be okay. Others, not so much.

Most businesses reduced their marketing budgets around March, and this earnings report reflects that. However, paid-search has historically been more “recession-proof” than other forms of digital advertising.

Therefore, we’ll need to look at the Q2’20 stats to clearly understand the impact of COVID-19 on the advertising industry.


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GOOGLE

Navigating uncertain paths

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We know that you (and us) have always enjoyed the Google Playbooks shared in the past. So, we clearly can’t pass up on the chance to share this one as well: Google COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Playbook.

Thirty-eight pages jam-packed with information on what’s happening to consumers, how businesses are adapting and what you can do as well.

Let’s try to give you an idea of what’s inside.

Consumer insights to drive your approach

Google analyzed changes to searches and released some trends. The three patterns have been:

  • Shock: There’s been a sudden change in search behavior. An example here is the quick rise and fall in school-related searches.
  • Step-change: The sudden change stabilized. A quick rise in exercise-related searches then showed signs of stabilization at elevated levels.
  • Speed up: There’s been an acceleration of this behaviour, such as the exercise-related searches.

In addition, Google offers a lot of stats about Internet usage, including what kind of content has seen a spike in consumption and how users have changed the way they act online.

What can you use to track behavioral changes?

  • Google Trends.
  • Shopping Insights.
  • Google Alerts.
  • Find My Audience.

Assess the impact on your business

Each company has different goals, so every business has been impacted differently by the outbreak. However, Google recognized four main trends:

  • Experiencing new challenges: Disruption to supply and demand chains, as well as logistical challenges.
  • Reassessing priorities: Adapting your approach and mitigating the risk.
  • Pivoting to create new offers and reach customers in different ways.
  • This last point gathers businesses that are trying to meet a sudden surge in consumer demand.

Take action now

For each one of these four situations, Google outlined various strategies. This is the main meat in the Playbook.

+ Experiencing new challenges – Here Google suggests three different roads you can follow:

  • Find ways to get better results from your digital ads.
  • Focus on your most valuable customers.
  • Make sure your updated offerings are shown in your creative.

+ Reassessing priorities

  • Focus on your business and let automation help with your digital ads.
  • Make sure you’re communicating your new priorities to customers.
  • Communicate with any high-priority customers you already have.

+ Pivoting to adapt products and services

  • Keep your creative updated based on your current business strategy.
  • Use automation to match your approach with changing customer behavior.
  • Align your campaigns to your goals and priorities.

+ Investing to meet increased demand

  • Scale your bids and budget to meet demand.
  • Serve more people by using a variety of formats and targeting approaches.
  • Make sure to use best practices and do what you can to help your ads perform well.

This might be a long post, but it doesn’t even do justice to all the information packed in this Google Playbook. Let’s say these are just some tidbits.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

  • SEARCH: We hope this doesn’t come as a shock to you, but 92% of total US organic search visits come from Google. Who knew they were so popular?
  • ADVERTISING: Remote working may have messed up data, analytics and targeting for B2B, with companies with 10k+ employees no unable to use their usual corporate devices.
  • MARKETING: When you need some stock images but can’t afford them, these six options could help you out.
  • INFLUENCER: New to influencer marketing? These seven key points will help you start on the right foot.

BRAIN TEASER

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You can find the solution by clicking here.


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POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane… No, it’s a UFO?!”

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Yes, it is!

The Pentagon officially released three short videos showing what they called “unidentified aerial phenomena”.

This isn’t the first time the public have seen these videos after they were released by a private company previously, but it’s very interesting that the Pentagon has made things official.

Naturally, there are a few big questions people are asking:

  • Are these aliens?
  • How often does this actually happen?
  • Whether they’re aliens or not, what does this mean for national security?

Well, we’re a marketing newsletter so we have no idea how to answer those questions…

That said, if you often find yourself wondering whether we’re alone in the universe, this piece on the Fermi paradox on the “Wait But Why” website is a classic and worthwhile read.


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