Key Digital Trends for B2B and B2C Marketers in 2014 - Infographic

Sunday, 23rd February 2014

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="615"] Source Econsultancy[/caption]

Murdoch university experts signal QR codes as vulnerable to web fraud

Sunday, 23rd February 2014

According to this,Murdoch Universityinternet security-related group of experts have voiced their worries concerning the incremental use of Quick Response (QR) codes.

"Murdoch university expert, Dr Nik Thompson, underlines that consumers cannot really figure out what type of content lies behind each and every internet download because the codes can only be read by a machine like a smartphone or tablet."

"Moreover, the expert exemplifies QR-based web fraud types through QR codes which, used maliciously, can either direct users to install malware or link them to possible threat websites. Another example are the marketing campaign codes that can also be used to subscribe people to unwanted services, such as premium SMS."

"As an extra example, the expert highlights, a poster with a QR code was displayed on the wall at a security conference, inviting passers-by to scan the code to win an iPad. As long as the conference lasted, 445 people scanned the code and visited the embedded link address without investigating about the reliability of the code. The passers-by behavior, the expert remarks, reflects the possibly dangerous level of trust that is invested in printed materials such as posters."

"Relating to QR code features, they can carry up to thousands to characters in comparison with standard barcodes which can represent up to 20 characters of information. Originally used in the automotive industry, QR codes are now used to direct people to URLs, contact details and other online content."

"To avoid the scammers, Dr Thompson suggests using QR code readers which allow you to preview the entire URL before proceeding to the website. He also recommends seeking out one of the many anti-malware apps available, developed by well-known internet security companies."

Is travel e-commerce reaching a saturation point?

Friday, 21st February 2014

According to this, travel e-commerce is reaching a saturation point.

"Travel ecommerce (online travel, digital travel the terms often vary) has been on a roll for quite a while now. The emergence of technology-fueled travel ecommerce can be traced back to the 1995/1996 time window when Preview, Travelocityand Expedia first appeared. It was of course much earlier, but lets just use 1996 as the year where the category really started finding its feet. And, lets face it, for nearly two decades its been an amazing ride. But perhaps now its time to start using the S Word: Saturation. Growth in digital travel will top out in many markets over the next four years. With air travel and indeed the whole sector operating in a consistent 3-5% growth model, anything less than 5% represents a reasonably steady state, eMarketers recent publication of two sets of datapoints illustrates the point."

"The first shows the total growth of ecommerce (defined as unmanaged business travel and leisure): Using this data, only five of the top 20 markets will experience growth rates of over 6%, and all of the markets will have declining growth rates. Indeed, two of the largest markets Germany and Japan will have growth rates below 2%. This should be a wake up call all those who are bullish on the long term growth of the sector. We must therefore accept that the glory days are coming to an end. Perhaps, even, time to change from a growth strategy to a share shift one. This change will gave far reaching implications across the entire marketplace."

"However, there is another interesting observation that can be drawn from the eMarketer data. Travel is perhaps not so special any more, compared to other ecommerce categories. Air travel, for example, may lose its cachet of being the most important or special element in the ecommerce food chain, and perhaps eventually take a smaller percentage of the total market. Whilst travel will still remain a significant portion of overall ecommerce, erhaps in the 25-30% range, so many other sectors will start to command a larger chunk of the consumer eommerce spend that the market will potentially start to see a flow of cross-technologies. This lesson has to be learned now, not least in areas of financial fulfillment, mobile, personalization and purchase process ."

"So perhaps now is the time to start rethinking how travel will be powered in three to five years time. Given the long gestation time for travel technology and its respective adoption, this means if you are not already aware then you are perhaps probably a bit too late already. Some argue that those whose iron grip on travel technology have inhibited innovation will eventually be swept away. The future of the sector is both exciting and terrifying, and we who live here have to accept this new reality. In travel technology the assumption has been that change is constant. True, except this time the change is not just intra-sector but inter-sector as well. "

Shop like an e-Gyptian

Friday, 21st February 2014

Economist.com published an article about the state of Egyptian e-commerce.

"Egypt should be fertile ground for e-commerce. Hellish traffic in its cities and an undeveloped retail sector in many parts of the country make online shopping an attractive option. And Egyptians have long been accustomed to having things delivered, particularly food. In medieval times fires used to heat the public baths also served to cookfoul, a traditional dish of brown beans, which was then dispatched to locals. Today many convenience stores, pharmacists, tailors and even hairdressers are in the delivery business."

"Yet e-commerce currently generates only 0.3% of Egypts retail salesmuch less than in other countries in the Middle East according to the Boston Consulting Group. The cultural proclivity for delivery seems to be overwhelmed by practical problems: internet speeds are slow, few people have bank accounts let alone credit cards and digital literacy is low. Still, online revenues are expected to groweven with the country in political turmoil."

"One reason is better infrastructure and more experience: internet penetration has more than doubled to nearly 40% in the 90m-strong country since 2011. The share of internet users who have shopped online has risen from 1.4% to 8.7%. But Facebook, which helped bring about Egypts revolution three years ago, may be a more powerful factor: with about 15m "friends", the social network now has three times as many users in the country as it did before the Arab spring."

"Egyptians are also among the worlds most highly engaged Facebookers: they like more, share more and click more on advertising than many fellow netizens. This makes ads on the social network very cost-effective. Amid Egypts dire economic situation every dollar counts, says Sara Metwally, boss of StarcomMediaVest, part of Publicis, a French advertising group."

"Word-of-mouth marketing is especially important here, says Sherif Barakat, head of Samsungs division for hand-held products in Egypt. According to a 2010 study by McKinsey, a consultancy, recommendations from friends are the most important factor in purchase decisions in developing countries."

"Samsungs Facebook page is the most popular in Egypt, boasting 4.7m likes. Facebook users are the opinion leaders when it comes to technology, says Mr Barakat. The Korean electronics maker expects online sales in Egypt, which today account for 5% of its total revenues in the country, to grow to 20% by the end of 2015, boosted in large part by the firms Facebook page, which links to affiliated online retailers.".

"Ironically, further political turmoil in Egypt could be a boon for e-commerce. Lack of security and night-time curfews following the ousting of President Muhammad Morsi last summer has already provided a boost, says Omar al-Sahi, the country head of Souq.com, the regions biggest online retailer. Sales spiked after the curfew was introduced in August, he reports. But even when it was lifted in November, many stuck with online shopping. If you provide Egyptians with good service they will never leave you, explains Mattia Perroni, chief executive of Jumia in Egypt."

E-commerce Sales Up 8% In January, With 20% Of Mobile Orders Happening On An Android

Friday, 21st February 2014

According to this, marketing analytics firm Custora saysUS e-commerce saleswere up eight percent this January over January 2013.

"While combined offline and online transactions were down 0.4 percent last month compared to a year ago, Custora claims January was a strong month for e-commerce, with a 6 percent increase intraffic to e-commerce stores."

"Based on e-commerce transactions from over 100 retailers and 70 million shoppers, Custoras data also revealed a slight increase in the average conversion rate last month, holding at 2.2 percent compared to 2.1 percent in January 2013."

"Mobileaccounted for a third of Januarys online transactions according to Custora. The companys data revealed 20 percent of online orders occurred on an Android device, up 6 percent from last January when 14 percent of orders were made on an Android."

Custora ecommerce mobile sales

"Custoras data also showed Januarys Average Order Value (AOV) climbed 1.3% over January 2013?s AOV numbers."

"This indicates that the e-commerce environment remained stable and did not become more promotional and discount-driven compared to last year, reportedCustora on its company blog."

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