4 min read

Is COVID-19's eCommerce Acceleration A Boom or Bust? 🫧

Amazon goes even deeper into eCommerce. Users don't mind being tracked online as much as we thought. Are Facebook Ads going completely black box? And what the data is telling us about the COVID-19 eCommerce boom.

Forgive my prolonged hiatus from Cache. Our Easter break led directly into jury duty, which led directly into the passing of my 97-year-old grandmother. But the waters are calmer now, and we're back at it.

Buckle in for a mega-issue as I catch you up on all the news you may have missed.


📰 The News You Missed

Amazon Launches "Buy with Prime"

The company on Thursday launched a new service, Buy with Prime, that lets third-party merchants use Amazon’s vast shipping and logistics network to fulfill orders on their own sites, while also appealing to Amazon’s 200 million-plus Prime customers.

These web sites will be able to put the Prime badge on their websites next to items that are eligible for free two-day or next-day delivery. Prime members will use the payment and shipping information stored on their Amazon accounts to place an order.

Buy with Prime won’t be free for sellers, and pricing will vary depending on payment processing, fulfillment, storage and other fees. | via // cnbc.com
Ottawa-based Shopify is in talks to buy delivery startup Deliverr, according to people familiar with the matter, in a bid to expand its own fulfillment services. | via // bloomberg.com

The Reports of eCommerce's Acceleration Were Greatly Exaggerated

My fellow Forbes contributor Jason Goldberg calculated that “non-store” sales (a decent proxy for “e-commerce”) were up about 35% when compared to two years ago when the Covid crisis first hit. That’s significant growth to be sure. But when you consider that e-commerce’s compound annual growth rate has been around 15% over the past decade, that’s not even one year of acceleration. | via // forbes.com

Nearly Half of Users Opt-In to Apple’s ATT Tracking

However, a recent study from mobile attribution firm AppsFlyer, which helps marketers measure mobile campaigns, shows that user opt-out rates have somewhat stabilized over the last year, based on data from March 2022.

According to the report, the consent level was highest when users launched the app for the first time. Here, 46% selected “Allow” on the pop-up. AppsFlyer arrived at these numbers by observing 4,600 iOS ATT-implemented apps across its network.

“The industry was very much concerned that very few users are going to say yes,” said Shani Rosenfelder, head of content and mobile insights at AppsFlyer. “But the numbers are higher than expected.” | via // adweek.com

SMS Continues To Cannibalize Email & Social

Starting in late 2020, the men’s soap company began offering customers a discount if they signed up for text messages, which it uses to communicate promotions and new products an average of five times a month.

It’s been ridiculously successful. The money spent texting goes some seven times further than any Instagram ad, with text messages now driving 15% of the company’s over $200 million in revenue.

“Brands are realizing that there’s at least a subset of their audience, if not the majority of their audience, that would prefer to be contacted this way,” said Adam Turner, CEO of Postscript, which powers text-message marketing for Dr. Squatch and other retailers. | via // forbes.com

I would rather die in a fire than get texted by a bunch of brands. But not everyone is me. 15% is a lot of percent.

Is Facebook Going Completely Black Box Soon?

The leaked document also refers to a new, unreleased, product called “Basic Ads,” which the document authors refer to as a “short term” response to requirements of regulations around the world.

“When launched, Facebook users will be able to ‘opt-out’ from having almost all of their 3P [third party] and 1P [first party] data used by Ads systems - page likes, posts, friends list, etc,” the document reads.

The document said that Basic Ads “needs to be launch-ready in Europe by January, 2022.”

As of this writing, Facebook has yet to launch Basic Ads, showing that the company is late to the deadline its own employees established. | via // vice.com

Meta Says Reels Now Makes Up Over 20% of The Time Users Spend On Instagram

Meta announced during its Q1 2022 earnings call that Reels, its short-form video feature and TikTok rival, now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram. The company also noted that video, overall, makes up 50% of the time that users spend on Facebook. Although Meta didn’t specify how much of that time is made up by Reels, it noted that Reels are performing well on Facebook as well. | via // techcrunch.com

In my experience, if you tap on almost anything within Instagram, a Reel starts playing. So this number might be a little inflated.

iOS 14.5 Has Meta Pressuring On Shopify, Straining Partnership

Since 2020, Meta has consistently been asking Shopify’s product and engineering teams to make more merchants opt in to sharing data about their customers to improve ad targeting, three people familiar with such conversations told The Information. But Shopify was not willing to be as aggressive as the social media company urged it to. | via // theinformation.com

TikTok Ad Revenue Set To Triple in 2022

Short-video app TikTok’s global net ad revenues are poised to triple to $11.64 billion this year from $3.9 billion in 2021, according to a new estimate from Insider Intelligence.

More than half of TikTok’s ad revenues are likely to come from the U.S. in 2022, Insider Intelligence estimated, giving it about a 2.4% share of domestic digital ad spending.

TikTok today represents a small percent of advertisers’ budgets but many companies are experimenting with it because the app is widely used by young people, and its users spend more time on it than on many other social media networks. | via // theinformation.com

Quick Hits 🥊

  • Google Shopping is testing new "Higher" and "Lower" price labels in product listings. | via // seroundtable.com
  • Matteo Zambon is compiling a working list of GA4 bugs. | via // docs.google.com
  • Instagram has expanded product tagging to all users. | via // about.instagram.com
  • A new study shows adding more hashtags to Instagram posts doesn't boost views | via // marketingprofs.com
  • Pinterest released a new extension that enables WooCommerce merchants to convert their product catalogs into shoppable Product Pins. | via // adweek.com
  • There is a real-time reporting bug in Google Analytics and Google doesn't plan to fix it. | via // seroundtable.com
  • Performance Max campaigns now allow bidding for new customers only. | via // twitter.com
  • CTV ad spend grew to $15.2 billion in 2021, a 57% increase from 2020, and is projected to expand another 39% in 2022, hitting $21.2 billion. | via // adweek.com

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