FINANCE

Report: EBay resets passwords; will sell auto services

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – EBay has had success with the password reset it launched in May 2014, following the public revelation of a February 2014 security breach that may have exposed user information. According to Bloomberg, more than half of EBay’s existing 149 million customers have returned since the rest, and the company has also experienced 10-15% growth in new customers since that time.

In addition, EBay reportedly plans to start testing the sale of auto mechanic services in a couple of unspecified U.S, cities in fall 2014. EBay executives also told Bloomberg that the company expects consolidation among e-commerce companies and may pursue strategic acquisitions as a result.

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FINANCE

Study: Global e-commerce to reach $1.47 trillion

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Business-to-consumer e-commerce sales are expected to reach $14.7 trillion globally in 2014, up about 20% from $1.23 trillion in 2013. According to a new study from EMarketer, this figure will gradually increase to almost $2.36 trillion in 2018.

Slowing e-commerce growth in China will lead to North America remaining the leading global region for e-commerce spending in 2014, with more than one-third of all e-commerce spending occurring there. But Asia-Pacific is expected to take the lead in e-commerce spending in 2015, growing from 31.2% to 33.4% of all e-commerce spending while North America’s share dips from 32.9% to 31.7%. North America, Asia-Pacific and Western Europe will continue to represent about 90% of all e-commerce spending through 2018.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Smartphones drive cross-device orders

BY Dan Berthiaume

Charlottesville, Va. – Smartphones generated 19% of paid search clicks and 9% of search spend in second quarter 2014, while tablets produced 18% of clicks and 19% of spend. According to the Q2 Digital Marketing Report from RKG, which surveyed retailers in its client base, cross-device tracking surfaces 7% more orders overall, but 14% more smartphone orders.

While smartphones produce 12% of traditionally tracked conversions, they contribute nearly 25% of cross-device orders.

In terms of comparison shopping engines (CSE), share of total CSE spend going to Amazon dropped from 17% in second quarter 2013 to 9% in second quarter 2014 as large advertisers were moved out of Amazon Product Ads by Amazon, which RKG says was ostensibly to encourage them towards the Amazon Marketplace. Among advertisers running both Amazon Product Ads and Google paid listing ads (PLAs), revenue volume from Amazon’s program was just 7% that of PLAs, down from 9% in first quarter 2014.

Google saw a 24% increase in ad spend from second quarter 2013, as PLAs continue to produce huge growth, while Bing Ads search spending grew 19% from the prior year across Bing, Yahoo, and search partners. Mobile traffic continues to produce strong growth, while desktop traffic continues to decline. Smartphone clicks grew by 47% year-over-year, compared to a 43% increase for tablets and a 2% decline for desktop.

Image-based product ads continue to see much higher growth than traditional text ads. Search advertiser spending on product ads in the second quarter rose 72% over last year, while text ad spending grew just 6%. PLA share of total Google clicks remained steady from last quarter, at 26% of overall paid search clicks and 50% of non-brand clicks.

With Google’s upcoming transition to a new PLA campaign structure next month, RKG data found that conversion rates continue to be higher for PLAs, resulting in a 13% higher ROI than text ads, and suggesting continued growth opportunities for this ad format.

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