Amazon's advertising business is taking off | Etsy begins migration to the cloud with Google | Groupon's instant gifts come to the rescue of last-minute shoppers
December 15, 2017
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Amazon's advertising business is taking off
Amazon's advertising business is taking off
(David Ryder/Getty Images)
Crealytics, Possible and Kenshoo report an increase in media investment going to Amazon Marketing Services, the company's self-service ad platform. Amazon has been ramping up its ad offer, allowing advertisers to buy Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals ads via the self-serve platform and pushing its sponsored product ads, with brands taking note this holiday season, writes Seb Joseph.
Digiday (12/14) 
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Companies in the News
Etsy begins migration to the cloud with Google
Etsy begins migration to the cloud with Google
(Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
In an effort to use third-party service providers, Etsy has signed a five-year agreement with Google as its primary cloud provider. The shift, which is expected to take about two years, has begun with Etsy migrating some of its applications and having its employees train on Google Cloud Platform infrastructure.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Groupon's instant gifts come to the rescue of last-minute shoppers
Groupon's new campaign from O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul aims to reassure panicked holiday shoppers who've forgotten that special someone that the brand has them covered with instant gifts. The push is running across TV, digital and radio.
The Drum (Scotland) (12/14) 
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Consumer Engagement
Facebook unveils a host of changes for video ads
Facebook has confirmed that it will start testing a pre-roll six-second ads platform for Watch. The company also announced that videos on the platform featuring mid-roll ads now need to last at least three minutes, and it's also updating its News Feed and Watch algorithms to prioritize videos from creators and publishers that users regularly search for and watch.
Bloomberg (free registration) (12/14),  Marketing Land (12/14),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/14),  Reuters (12/14) 
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Snapchat opens up Lens Studio to all
Snapchat has rolled out its Lens Studio to everyone, enabling advertisers to create lenses without having to work with the platform's team. The toolkit provides guidance and templates on how to create standard lenses as well as those with more advanced 3D effects, but advertisers must collaborate with seven authorized studios to make selfie lenses.
TechCrunch (12/14),  Digiday (12/14),  The Drum (Scotland) (12/14),  Adweek (12/14) 
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Online Retail Trends
Shippers promote package pickup points to lower costs
United Parcel Service and FedEx are establishing more package pickup points at supermarkets and drugstores in a push to cut costs associated with home delivery of online purchases. Online sales are on track to grow as much as 15% this season, according to NRF data.
Bloomberg (free registration) (12/14) 
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Ocado feels pinch of Brexit-related labor shortage
UK online grocer Ocado Group saw sales growth slow in the most recent quarter amid a struggle to find enough drivers to fulfill orders, the company said. The number of workers entering the UK from other European Union countries has dropped drastically as Britain prepares to exit the EU.
Bloomberg (free registration) (12/14) 
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Shop.org Spotlight
Bringing promotion optimization into the 21st century
Promotional activity in supermarkets has traditionally been a time-consuming process, producing a limited sales kick at best. Grocery chain Earthfare introduced artificial intelligence software to streamline promotion optimization, resulting in a lift in basket size and an increase in profits. Learn more about the AI platform here.
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Shop.org SmartStat: Dec. 15, 2017
During the 2016 holiday season, eight in 10 Generation Z consumers made returns on holiday merchandise. Source: NRF's 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook.
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NRF Foundation announces scholarship finalists
The NRF Foundation has announced this year's finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship and its annual Student Challenge. The top recipients of both scholarship programs will be announced at the NRF Foundation Gala during NRF 2018: Retail's Big Show. See the finalists here.
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