Week in tech: brands prepare for the festive season

It’s official, the countdown to Christmas has begun! We’ve dumped what was our impressive carved pumpkins in the bin and are now making plans for the festive season. There is no denying that Christmas creeps up on us earlier and earlier and we’re all looking to shop a bit smarter – thank goodness for big discount shopping days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year over the two days, the total spending was close to £6 billion in the UK; this really is a crucial time for retailers and brands to tweak their strategies to ensure they reap the benefits during this time.  

This week we heard that Amazon has already started to target consumers with their Black Friday deals. The juggernaut announced that they now have a dedicated ‘Countdown to Black Friday’ landing page. Every day they will be posting ‘Deals of the day’ – a clever strategy to get customers to go on the site every day. We’ve taken a look at what else is going on in the digital marketing space in order to help brands and retailers cash-in during the festive season.

Marketers say Snapchat is blowing past Facebook, Google and others when it comes to augmented reality ads

If you happened to open Snapchat last Friday, you would have likely stumbled upon a Netflix lens that was designed to make you feel like you were inside the famous living room from its hit series “Stranger Things.” With a few taps of your mobile screen, you could interact with several items in the digital version of the “Stranger Things” room – like bookshelves that shake and mysteriously boarded up windows – all via an augmented reality experience constructed by the team at Snap.

Luxury brands are changing how they operate internally to react faster to customers

Lisa Pomerantz, CMO of luxury brand Bottega Veneta, spoke at Decoded Fashion Summit in New York this week to discuss the brand’s internal shift to be more accommodating to a modern customer’s needs, including repositioning departments to work cross-functionally and embracing the idea that organisations need to continually be evolving. She spoke about how to capture and effectively use data to better serve customers.

Research suggests this year’s Black Friday could be the biggest one ever

Black Friday 2017 is set to be the biggest one yet in the UK, with growth figures from 2016 indicating a 14% year-on-year increase in global sales compared to 2015, as overseas shoppers increasingly get in on the act. As much as 24% of sales through UK publishers on Black Friday are driven by international shoppers, according to affiliate marketing service provider Rakuten Marketing. The figure rises to 28% on Cyber Monday – with the US, China, and Hong Kong making up 9%.

80% of Christmas shoppers embrace ‘dark social’ to propagate gift ideas

Advertising technology firm RadiumOne conducted festive research indicating that eight in ten Christmas shoppers now share Christmas content such as gift ideas and requests via email or instant messaging. Dubbed ‘Dark Social’ such activities are described as the ‘biggest missed opportunity in marketing’ as many brands are ill-placed to capitalise on such communications. The report found that 30% of consumers shared more content in this way over the Christmas period than normal with 72% of this content shared via dark social channels as opposed to just 22% via Facebook.

Ebay becomes latest ecommerce brand to offer visual search

On Wednesday, Ebay announced broad new image recognition features for its mobile apps which allow users to “use pictures instead of words to search eBay’s 1.1 billion listings.” The first feature, Find It On eBay, allows users to “share” an image they find on the web or through a social platform with eBay. Ebay will then find listings that are similar. The second feature, Image Search, does the same thing using images that users take and have stored in their phones’ camera roll.