Weekly Roundup #127 – Mastercard, Shoppable & Reviews

Scroll down for the latest digital marketing news and developments from the past week – or catch up on our last edition, where we took a look at building mailing lists, custom affinity audiences and why content marketing is so crucial

Back to this week, where we cover:


Google Outed for Selling Mastercard Users’ Data to Advertisers

google analytics tools

A report by Bloomberg has discovered that Google has been offering a number of its advertisers the Mastercard data of more than two billion people. The data from these Mastercard users has created a ‘potent tool’ for advertisers to gain insight into how their campaigns and ads affect offline spending.

Insider sources report that the Mastercard data was bought for millions of dollars, and that the partnership was created over four years of discussion and negotiation. Mastercard has denied that the data they sold to Google could identify precise purchases, however, in the wake of recent data privacy scandals it has added fuel to the fire.

Myles Jackman, Director of Open Rights Group noted that,

“This raises serious concerns regarding the use of private financial data … [and if] Mastercard be compensating their clients for the data they have given away to Google for their own financial gain?”

Google issued a statement, explaining that they had,

“built a new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users’ personally identifiable information … We do not have access to any personal information from our partners’ credit and debit cards, nor do we share any personal information with our partners.”


What we can Learn from ‘Shoppable’ Social Media Platforms

Instagram Shoppable
Source: artnet.com

Social media for businesses is far more important than likes and comments. through these platforms, brands can show each user a curated range of products that has been chosen according to the user’s browsing and intent behaviour.

Instagram recently reimagined itself with the launch of its ‘Shopping’ feature, which has turned the platform from a place for image sharing to an eCommerce platform.

Snapchat also launched their shoppable AR lenses, to much the same effect. Although platforms are becoming more eCommerce friendly, in the UK there has been a very slow uptake, with just 8% of UK retailers using Instagram Shopping.

Brands are wary of social shopping thanks to its lack of sole access and control of customer data; when customers buy through Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat eCommerce managers lose control of the user experience, and the customer insights that go along with it. Instead, the social shopping platforms gain all of the benefits, such as customer insights and other data.

As a work-around, some brands are trying to recreate ‘social design’ – personalised content, visual-first, easy search-ability – within their own websites.

By mimicking the design of social media platforms, and combining that with a machine learning capability, brands can entice customers to use their site whilst uncovering valuable insights that can be actioned in real time.

Fashion brand, Diane von Furstenburg, is using machine learning technology to personalise the products and information shown to web visitors, and the brand reports seeing 2.5x more product views, and engaged users convert 80% more often.


Google Search Console Update Comes out of Beta

Google Search Console

After a year of testing in beta, Google has launched the latest Google Search Console. The new console has an addition in the sidebar, called ‘manual actions’, which is available in both the new and old versions, however its interface has been redesigned.

Google also announced that they had launched a ‘Test Live’ feature for the URL inspection tool, which now allows you to run live tests against your URL in real time. Google noted that these changes are,

“useful for debugging and fixing issues in a page or confirming whether a reported issue still exists in a page. If the issue is fixed on the live version of the page, you can ask Google to recrawl and index the page.”

Google continued, saying that,

“The old Search Console still has some features that are not yet available in the new one, we believe that the most common use cases are supported, in an improved way, in the new Search Console. … When an equivalent feature exists in both old and new Search Console, our messages will point users to the new version … [and] We will continue working on moving more reports and tools as well as adding exciting new capabilities to the new Search Console.”


How To: Getting More Customer Reviews

Online Reviews

Online sales are rarely influenced by a sales representative, instead personal recommendations, thorough online research and positive reviews are far, far more likely to influence an online sale.

A brand’s existing customers are their best tool to gain more customers, and data from HubSpot Research backs this up, with customers reportedly trusting recommendations from friends and family over any type of marketing or branding.

If a personal recommendation is not possible, then the next best thing is customer reviews, with 85% of consumers trusting online customer reviews as much as they do personal recommendations (according to BrightLocal).

Positive customer reviews are a company’s best advert, and thankfully, happy customers are more than likely to leave a review; one survey found that of the 74% of customers who were asked to leave feedback, 68% were willing to do so. This acts as proof that asking for a review is well worth the effort, as the majority of customers are happy to help out.

We take a look at 8 strategies for how to get customers to write a great review:

  1. Make sure that reviews can be found on all of the sites that customers may use in order to learn about a business or product. Choose sites that are relevant to the specific customer and products – popular sites include Google, Yelp, Facebook and Amazon.
  2. Make it easy for customers to leave a review on your site – rather than leaving and putting their feedback on a third-party website. Add an option to leave a review on the website, blog, social media sites and email that is quick and easy for the customer to do.
  3. Offer an incentive for leaving a review, such as a discount or coupon code, entry to a contest or a gift.
  4. Choose the right moment to ask for a review, such as after they experience success with it, after a re-purchase or re-order, after tagging the brand in a social media post or after a long time spent on the website browsing for other products.
  5. If you want reviews on a certain site, then make it easy to do so. For example, send a request via Messenger for more reviews on a Facebook page or make the link in an email send the customer directly to the site where feedback is needed.
  6. Instead of directly asking for a customer review, start the conversation with open-ended questions. Ask ‘How are you liking the product?’ or ‘Are you ready to renew/repurchase the item again?’ as a way to gauge whether the person is happy with the service and the product before asking for a review.
  7. Respond to all reviews – good and bad – in a thoughtful and personal way. Customers respect companies that acknowledge negative reviews, and a good response to bad reviews can actually increase the overall rating.
  8. Share positive reviews that you have received by marking certain reviews as helpful, which moves them further up the site so that other people can find them. Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and many other sites allow business owners to ‘mark’ reviews.


Lower Online Sales for Technical Consumer Goods in Europe

technical consumer goods

Globally, online sales of technical consumer goods accounted for a third of the total, however, in Europe the number was much lower, coming in at 25%.

Although eCommerce for technical consumer goods has been steadily growing in Europe (the online share was 21% in 2015), there are areas where European consumers are less comfortable making an online purchase.

European customers buy 38% of their IT products online, however the numbers are smaller for telecommunication (21%), small domestic appliances (28%) and consumer electronics (22%).

GfK performed a study into the online sales of technical consumer goods, and concluded that the categories in which European sales are currently lagging behind are, “the product sectors to watch for increasing levels of online sales activity.”

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.