Commerce Adding Offline To Online; About-Face for Facebook?

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Commerce Adding Offline To Online

J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth shares his notes about eBay’s recent analyst day. He calls eBay “the next generation of commerce featuring the convergence of online and offline shopping, and significant impact from mobile devices.” More notes (PDF).  Jefferies analyst offers his own thoughts: “eBay is ready for the age of omnichannel commerce. eBay management believes the transition is already underway towards a world where mobile is expanding commerce beyond conventional stores and eCommerce websites.” Read that note.  The media in and around commerce will be infused with online/offline attribution data, too.  And the new eBay Commerce Network should help (was Shopping.com). Read about it.

About-Face for Facebook?

AdAge’s Cotton Delo wonders if Facebook’s willingness to push News Feed ad inventory into Facebook Exchange means it is sacrificing its high ideals. “Social context is now an ingredient in Facebook's marketing recipe instead of being the whole meal.” Delo writes.  Read more. Meanwhile, the Facebook Engineering team introduces "Link Bench" as FB intern Tim Armstrong (you can't make this up) says, "[Link Bench] allows us to simulate the load generated by subsets of the social graph, which is important when evaluating database configurations tailored to specific association types." There's a lot more.

The Do-It-All E-Commerce Brand

More online retailers are bringing the supply chain in-house, morphing into manufacturing and distribution giants. New York Times examines the trend, noting some brands zig where others zag. “In some cases, the online brands are choosing not to discount, keeping the extra profits from cutting out the middlemen for themselves.” The marketing implications only grow as browsing and purchase data increasingly inform areas like R&D and pricing. More.

Patents And Mobile Targeting

On MediaPost, Laurie Sullivan covers patents that she says were approved by the U.S. Patent Office for Yahoo recently. Is it the mobile Yahoo future that CEO Marissa Mayer seems to be collecting startups for?  Sullivan writes, “The Yahoo patents point to a mobile authentication framework that ties in desktop content and searches; cluster cookies for identifying unique mobile devices.” Read more. And, see it on USPTO’s website. This sounds like a way many companies will use their first-party data to effect ad targeting.  Which begs the question - if these patents are that broad, would Yahoo enforce them?

Premium, Publishers, Programmatic...

Ever since private marketplaces/private exchanges arrived on the programmatic scene two years ago as a way for publishers to feel more comfortable about real-time bidding, there’s been a lot of speculation about their value. But some buyers approve of the model, suggesting they’re seeing the benefits as well. "Premium publishers should go about their monetization strategy through a combination of private marketplace and programmatic reserve," said Brian Lesser, CEO of WPP's agency trading desk Xaxis, tells Adweek’s Tim Peterson. "We’re not going to encourage a premium publisher to participate in open exchanges because it devalues the inventory and doesn’t provide control of what advertisers go up against their content." Read more.

Phablets Are a ‘Phad’

There’s no point trying to walk the middle ground sometimes, particularly if you’re a device whose description falls between a tablet and a smartphone. Mobile analytics provider Flurry looks at usage and finds that “phablets,” as it calls these in-betweens (Samsung’s Galaxy Note is the chief example), hardly registers when it comes to app usage. “The ‘Is it a phone or is it a tablet’ devices otherwise known as phablets have attracted interest, but currently command a relatively small share (2%) of the device installed base, and their share of active users and sessions is also relatively small,” Flurry’s report says. Read it.

The Facebook Phone

On the desktop Internet, Facebook has been called “a better cookie.” If the company is close to launching its own phone, as  reports indicate, it begs the question what advantage (targeting or otherwise) does “owning the smartphone” create? There may be potential to renew its fading claim on consumer app usage. But that’s only if people buy the thing. As Jan Dawson, a telco analyst at Ovum, tells The New York Times, “There are lots of people who love Facebook, but I doubt if any of them feel like they need a more Facebook-centric experience on their phones. There isn’t anything obviously missing.” More.

April Fools

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