ECOMMERCE: But two-digit percentages don’t paint the full picture. I look at it this way: in 2014, mobile shoppers spent $19 billion, and in 2016, that number is expected to hit $31 billion. There’s nothing to tell us this prediction won’t be reached, which means 2016 should be a year of more mobile shopping from the consumer side than ever before. Retailers will also get better at advertising on mobile and optimizing their m-commerce experience before their e-commerce experience in order to capitalize on this.
DATA: Workplace chat service Slack will now let users interact with third-party services without ever having to leave the app. The new feature, called message buttons, lets companies create interactive Slack apps for performing tasks from within the chat window, like approving expense reports or booking a trip. For example, companies that rely on the project-management software Trello can now create new project cards, add members to those cards, and set due dates for the project all by clicking buttons in a Slack channel.
MEDIA: By next year, advertisers will spend a projected $32.6 billion on social media ads, edging out display. Online video will almost catch up to display by 2018. It’s good news for Facebook, which claims a bulk of social dollars and a growing video share. It’s less comforting for Google, which dominates display ads — although it has YouTube and Zenith sees search ads continuing to grow, albeit at a slower clip than video and social. Both companies are probably parsing reports like this for another nugget: By next year, per Zenith, the biggest mobile ad market won’t be the U.S. It will be China.
ECOMMERCE: When it comes to drones, there are the well-wishers: “What an advance in farming, search and rescue, construction, engineering, forestry, firefighting, law enforcement, filmmaking and photography!” And there are the naysayers: “I don’t want eyes in the sky invading my privacy, churning up a deafening racket and crashing into crowds!” Today, after years of trying to reconcile these two viewpoints and wading thousands of proposals, drafts and public comments, the FAA has finally issued its rules for commercial drones.
MEDIA: One in three podcast listeners expect to increase their podcast consumption over the next six months, the study found, following a similar increase in their behavior in the past six months. Nearly one in five Americans aged 18-49 report listening to podcasts at least once a month, while nearly one in three men 18-34 do so. And compared to the average consumer, podcast listeners are more likely to have a college degree or higher education, $100k+ household income, and to be early adopters in multiple categories including movies, electronics and consumer packaged goods.
DATA: It brings together the platform services that our community of Salesforce Trailblazers love—the no-code rapid app development capabilities of Lightning; the powerful clicks and code development services of Force and Heroku; the ability to bring the best of Salesforce, like Wave Analytics and Lightning Snap-ins, into any mobile app—with new mobile back-end services for security, data integration and scalability that accelerate the development of any kind of business app.
INNOVATION: The startup is called Pearl, and it was co-founded by three former Apple engineers — a crew that helped lead the design and development on several generations of iPods and iPhones. That core group has since hired around 70 employees, 50 of whom previously worked at Apple, and has been working for over two years on its first product, a rearview camera it's unveiling today. Wait, you're thinking, all that fancy Apple heritage and the first thing they release is a boring aftermarket auto accessory? It's sort of an anticlimactic entry to the market, true.
DATA: Access to high-quality training data is critical for startups that use machine learning as the core technology of their business. While many algorithms and software tools are open sourced and shared across the research community, good datasets are usually proprietary and hard to build. Owning a large, domain-specific dataset can therefore become a significant source of competitive advantage, especially if startups can jumpstart data network effects (a situation where more users → more data → smarter algorithms → better product → more users).
BRAND: The report - released during the Cannes Lions here - queried global consumers about which brands are well-rounded in both traditional metrics and newer influences across social media. The report then measured these findings through four key dimensions: How agilely brands adjust to changing market conditions; Responsiveness to which brands listen and respond to customers; Innovation; and Sociability to assess how large and engaged a brand's audience is on social media.
MEDIA: Instagram also announced it has more than 300 million daily active users who use the service to socialize with friends, as well as to follow interests ranging from fashion, to basketball, cheese shops, dance, surreal landscapes, abandoned urban centers and latte art. The app has more than 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone, and more than 80% of users live outside of the U.S. “It’s grown to be very global, which I believe comes from the fact that images are a universal language,” System said.
MEDIA: One solution eMarketer suggests, not surprisingly, is coming up with ad experiences that are at least acceptable enough that people won’t bother to block them. But the more existential problem is that perhaps advertising, at least as conceived today, doesn’t really work anymore, especially on mobile phones where bandwidth and screen size create potentially insurmountable obstacles.
ECOMMERCE: The Frontier(less) Retail reports also touches on some of the broader evolutions happening in this industry at present, from borderless buying to the future of delivery, alongside providing a deep-dive on business in China. But backing all of that, it additionally serves as a reminder to brands to get their omnichannel strategies right. Immersive technologies aside, a “seamless commerce experience is paramount.”
Last Word: The Lagging and Leading Indicators of Digital and Commerce
If online media would have seen this graph in 2010, would investments in mobile ad tech have been more common (earlier)? In 2016, the iPhone drives over 65% of Apple's revenue, while the Mac is less than 10%. American consumers use smartphones to purchase movie tickets, media subscriptions, eBooks, and even apparel. Unless we are working, desktops are no longer necessary to perform our daily tasks.
One of the original theses: the accelerating convergence between media and eCommerce. What we've seen? Brands are decreasing influencer advertising spend on non-mobile optimized publishing partners. They are focusing on curating their own, primed communities - through publishing and other means. At the same time, media companies are hedging their existing dependency on dwindling ad tech by pursuing integrated mCommerce and eCommerce solutions.
One of the goals of 2PM Links is to identify these trends earlier. Some companies want to act on them, allowing themselves more opportunity to pioneer these shifts rather than merely responding to them.