Weekly Roundup #67 – Voice Search, Snapchat Adverts & Luxury eCommerce

If you missed last week’s digital marketing roundup on AI, UX and Vids check it out here. If not, let’s get straight to it. This week we’re talking about:


– How British luxury brands have a long way to go with eCommerce.

– What the ‘filter bubble’ means to people like you.

– The latest on Snapchat’s game-changing advertising suite.

– What scary surprises AI has in store for your bank account.

– How voice-enabled assistants will change SEO for ever.

Luxury eCommerce: Are We Doing Enough?

Luxury eCommerce Blog Image


According to a report from leading digital agency Oban International, the British luxury market is thriving. This comes in the wake of the vote to leave the EU and the subsequent drop in value of sterling, which has heralded a rise in tourism from across the globe. As an example, Burberry reported a 30% increase in sales in the three months following the Brexit vote. However, according to the consultancy company McKinsey, 57% of British luxury brands are not investing enough in eCommerce. So whilst tourists are standing on British soil sales are going great, but what can British companies do to ensure sales are equally as impressive once they’ve boarded their flight?

The following are the 7 take-aways from Oban International’s report:


1. ‘British Brand’ labels need to be used throughout your digital marketing materials. These come with an unwritten emphasis on heritage and quality, and are valued particularly in markets like South Korea.

2. Counterfeiting is a big problem, especially in the Asian markets. By showcasing brand universality across all platforms, you can help allay these worries.

3. Using higher production media (video, imagery and written content) can go along way, and luxury brands need to be doing the most to publicise these globally.

4. In order to capitalise upon foreign markets, brands need to create content that not only demonstrates value, but cultural sensitivity and the ability to meet local needs.

5. A local bricks and mortar presence will authenticate sales made not only in the store, but online.

6. Markets such as Russia and Thailand are particularly receptive to social media adverts; more so with British celebrity endorsement.

7. Brands need to be aware of social media usage in their target markets; for instance, in China WeChat and Weibo are ubiquitous, and other social platforms unavailable.



Bursting Your ‘Filter Bubble’

Filter bubble blog image


If you found this blog post on social media or via search, chances are it’s because Spot Studio are in your ‘filter bubble’. Haven’t heard of the term? Don’t worry, 82% of Britons haven’t either according to new research by media agency the7stars and Newsworks.

Simply put, the filter bubble is an artificial filter which restricts the content you are delivered. Though, perhaps, restricts is the wrong word. You see, social media channels and search engines, in pursuit of delivering personalised content, are filtering out posts and results that it thinks you won’t be interested in. So their ‘best intentions’ are at heart, however this does mean that you are going to be seeing the same channels cropping up over and over again. Stifling for brands trying to break into the bubble, but also for those who are searching for fresh content.

What does this mean for business?

The suggestion is that agencies and brands need to take a more sophisticated approach to digital marketing. By better planning, and improved usage of data targeting and retargeting, they need to do away with the irrelevant media campaigns that simply infuriate users.

To back this up the report reveals that audiences are ‘curious’ (33%), ‘surprised’ (27%) and ‘intrigued’ (25%) when they see adverts that are relevant but unexpected. Conversely, the same respondents said that they felt adverts which were based on recent searches felt ‘targeted’ (37%), ‘intrusive’ (30%) and ‘annoying’ (26%).

Helen Rose, Head of insights at the7stars, Helen Rose had this to say:


“This study reveals there is a huge opportunity for brands and media owners if they pop people’s filter bubbles in a way that is sophisticated. It shows just how complex the digital world shaped by preferences, ad-blocking and algorithms has become – consumers do not mind a curated information experience so long as that is done with some thought; they simply want a better balance between targeted advertising and serendipity.

“Adopting an industry-wide consumer-centric planning approach addresses this, but it will only work if we all commit to making the online environment a more enjoyable place for brands to be discovered, shared and bought.”



Snapchat Copy-Cat

Snapchat cat


In the past we’ve reported time and time again that Facebook are pilfering their latest ideas from the fastest rising social media platform Snapchat (#33, #62). However, it now seems that the boot is on the other foot with Snapchat introducing a suite of self-service advertising tools.

Over the past year we have seen the introduction of various advertising tools by Snapchat, however, this latest introduction is a confident lunge into the world of social advertising, seeking to supersede its competition and get a bigger share of ad spend.

Being rolled out in the beginning of June, marketers will be given the option to buy Snap Ads as well as long-form video, and base their targeting on things such as age, gender and device. Much like Facebook’s Ads Manager, you will also be able to set a bid type such as CPM and CPC. Talking about the pressure put on Snapchat advertising by Facebook and Google’s already well established platforms, principle analyst at eMarketer Cathy Boyle had this to say:

“Those two companies in particular have set a high bar for any new advertising platform entering the market, particularly in the areas of campaign reach, audience targeting, performance measurement, automated and self-service buying.”

Stay tuned for our ultimate guide to Snapchat advertising coming soon 😉



3 Totally Non-Threatening Near Future A.I. Advances

Artificial Intelligence Image Search


As we discussed last week, AI is coming to steal your customer service jobs, but it seems it might be here to do a helluva lot more. Don’t worry, these three things aren’t nearly as scary as I’m making out, and might actually make the whole eCommerce experience a whole lot easier.

Image Based Searching

Google’s Cloud Vision API has already started paving the way for image recognition software to aid online searches, but we are only seeing the first draft. Future iterations will be powerful enough for users to search for a product that they want straight from an image source – whether that’s a photo they’ve taken or an image they’ve found online. Ideal for those who struggle to find that one product anywhere. (White Slipknot tee-shirt I’m looking at you.)

Though Google are not the only company going down this route. Microsoft’s Cognitive Services already allows you to build on top of a collection of visual image recognition APIs, including emotion, celebrity and face detection. And Yahoo’s open source neural network can detect whether an image is adult in nature and preclude them from search results.

Incredible Recommendations

Ok, this one may be a little bit scary for those of you who don’t like your data being collected. Deep learning tools are being developed that mimic the human mind in order to understand the attitude, intention and overall state of users that visit a webpage – all by monitoring their mouse movements, clicks and data entries. This information can in turn be used to create highly-targeted product recommendations and soup up the current retargeting campaigns run by eCommerce stores. Getting creepy now…

Automatic Purchases

Alright, I lied. This one is scary too. There are suggestions that AI machines will be used in order to anticipate what you want to buy before you even know about it, and then actually make the purchase for you. Horrible.

Plans have been announced by Amazon to develop an ‘anticipatory shipping’ system. By hyper-precisely evaluating customer purchase behaviour, they hope to predict products that will be bought based on brand, price range and other prior purchasing data. They will then go ahead and send this product to your nearest distribution centre just waiting for you to place an order. Then when you do, it can be with you in a matter of minutes.

Scary, convenient stuff.



Hello, Alexa.

Voice SEARCH function Image


It has been revealed that Amazon controls 70% of the voice-enabled speaker device market. A lion share if ever there was one.

Though still in its infancy (around 27.5% of smartphone users have adopted the technology), virtual assitance devices are becoming widely used with an increase in uptake of over 128% from last year.


“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement,” said Martín Utreras, vice president of forecasting at eMarketer. “As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices.”


This trend is set to increase and increase as convenience trumps all else. And as voice recognition gets even better, we are starting to see the emergence of conversational search – where devices can interpret and understand the meaning and context behind words that are used. What does this mean for digital marketing? Well, this is going to be a massive game changer for SEO.

Where previously users would type in short, keyword phrases “Italian Restaurants Cambridge”, for instance, now users will be making enquiries more along the lines of, “can you recommend me a good Italian restaurant in Cambridge?” Though not the death knell for short tail keywords, this will certainly mean that brands will need to dramatically improve upon their written content, producing copy written in a conversational tone which can target more colloquial long-tail keywords.

Read more on how Voice Search Will Change SEO Forever Here.

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

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