The advertising landscape is always changing and shifting. From remarketing to shopping feed optimization, there are always new techniques and technologies that are designed to help us squeeze every drop of promotional goodness from our campaigns.
As mobile becomes faster and more pervasive in our lives, so too are intelligent customer data profiling solutions popping up to help us build more targeted personas for our target audience. With that in mind, here are four of the newest ad technologies to watch, and how they could affect your conversion rates.
Facebok’s acquisition of Microsoft’s Atlas ad platform earlier this year has paved the way for its recent relaunch as a system for tracking the consumer’s path to purchase. Similar to Google’s own DoubleClick network, Atlas isn’t so much an ad network as it is an ad serving mechanism that lets marketers build a campaign and track how customers interact with the brand and ultimately purchase.
So why is this important? Because the traditional method of tracking users, cookies, can’t track a user as they move from a website, to an app, and back to a website. In today’s increasingly inter-connected mobile world, this kind of user behavior is crucial to making well-informed marketing decisions.
How It Could Impact Your Conversion Rate
Knowing the behavior and the triggers that ultimately cause users to buy is vital for learning what gaps exist in your ordering process. By being able to track them across a variety of platforms, you’ll gain invaluable insights that you need to create a cross-system strategy that meets the customer’s expectations on every level.
Agile Payment Systems
With companies like Apple debuting the Apple Pay system integrated into its Passbook mobile wallet, all eyes are on PayPal to see how the web’s most popular payment site will react. With PayPal spinning off of eBay and becoming its own publicly traded company, there’s definite room for growth, but can it handle the competition?
By breaking apart from eBay, PayPal now has the flexibility to tackle challenges from Apple and other payment processors head-on. So far, they’ve been keeping a reasonable pace.
With the built-in fingerprint identification that Apple’s TouchID and Alipay (a branch of Alibaba) give to certain mobile phone models, PayPal can’t afford to be complacent. By becoming its own company, PayPal can stay competitive without worrying about affecting eBay’s retail operations.
How It Could Impact Your Conversion Rate
Outwardly, it may not seem like much of a difference. But you can expect that once the spinoff is completed in 2015, new innovations will start coming out of PayPal in an effort to beat Apple, Alibaba and others and use its considerable name recognition and credibility to forge ahead at full speed. It’s likely that new technologies and features will be made available on both the website programming end, as well as the location-based transaction and biometrics/mobile payments end.
Bridging the Gap Between TV and Apps
TV? People still shop through TV? Well, yes, but not like you’d expect.
Delivery Agent, makers of the ShopTV brand, have partnered with well-known networks, top news stations and cable channels to bring television merchandise to the people by way of a smartphone app. It’s omnichannel marketing at its finest—combining merchandise with television and smartphones in a way that only modern technology can.
But if you’re not the executive producer of a top-rated TV show, why would you care? Because this technology paves the way for an even greater blurring of boundaries between advertising and consumers. Now, it’s no longer just about commercials, but about buying the actual items you see being worn or used in the show itself.
As an example, Delivery Agent just recently signed on with Sony to integrate its ShopTV app with Sony’s own SideView app for a richer media shopping and buying experience. According to Sony, it works like this:
Sony’s TV SideView app offers a dynamic graphical interface through which consumers can interact with their TV, view listings and operate embedded applications on a smart TV. By integrating ShopTV into TV SideView, the two companies are enabling consumers using the app to search, browse and buy products related to the programming or commercials they’re viewing. Sony’s TV SideView app, available for smartphones and tablets running Apple iOS and Google Android, has been downloaded 4 million times, Sony says.
Delivery Agent’s proprietary contextual database maps products to a network, show, episode, character, scene or ad and then displays those products for sale. The partnership with Sony advances a technology that Delivery Agent says is critical to the future of TV commerce: ACR, or automatic content recognition. Television networks, content producers and advertisers embed their programs and commercials with what amounts to an electronic fingerprint that is emitted by a smart TV and enables a “handshake” between a smart TV and a mobile device.
So, for example, HBO could embed an ACR code in “Game of Thrones” that indicates when a Targaryen Three-headed Dragon Pin for which it sells a replica is onscreen, and that can trigger the TV SideView app of a consumer watching “Game of Thrones” to display the product, information on the product and a Buy button, with quick checkout via a PIN for ShopTV customers who have stored payment and shipping information. Similarly, a retailer could run a ShopTV/TV SideView promotion that is displayed in TV SideView when the retailer’s commercial appears on TV.
How it Could Impact Your Conversion Rate
This is one of those technologies which might not seem like it outwardly applies to you, but even though this type of system is still in its infancy, there’s no reason that it couldn’t apply online, to things like native advertising or retargeting platforms. Many clothing retailers already take advantage of this kind of built-in browsing option, where they link to a model’s accessories even if you’re looking at the shirt.
Smartphones Make Coupons and Loyalty Rewards Easier to Access
It used to be if you had a coupon or code on your smartphone that you wanted a retailer to scan, you were out of luck, as the laser would bounce right off the screen. For users of certain Samsung smartphones, those days are over.
Since it’s easier to update smartphone technology than the 165 million laser scanners being used at retail points of sale, a handful of Samsung devices can now be used to redeem coupon codes and loyalty rewards right from the device itself. Newer laser scanner terminals bypass this problem entirely by using optical scanners.
How It Could Affect Your Conversion Rate
If you’re a retail store owner who has always wanted to increase customer participation and engagement through the use of a branded app with coupons and loyalty initiatives, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Mobeam, the company behind the tracking identification technology, says that more than 140 million smartphones embedded with its technology will be shipping worldwide by the end of the year.
What Are Your Thoughts?
The biggest temptation with any new technology is to lean your entire marketing strategy on it in the hopes that it will be that “magic pill” that will breathe new life into a floundering conversion rate.
But be careful not to be too swayed by the potential of shiny objects. The best improvements to your conversion rate are those that are made when you look at how the technology helps the customer get the results they want (and not the results you think they want!).
What do you think about these new innovations? Do you see potential with these ad technologies? Share your thoughts with us below in the comments!
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.