Social Media Not Driving Sales; Nokia Pivots

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What Social Bounce?

Ecommerce isn’t the same landscape for everyone. Mike Shields reports for The Wall Street Journal that a specific breed of aspirational, lifestyle retailers, such as trendy home decor or wedding-centric outlets, are driving massive shares of their traffic via Pinterest. But for the 10,000 largest retailers, on average only 4% of all traffic comes via social media. Social media companies are fighting to become important pit stops in the digital shopping funnel, but it’s not so easy. Related: Social buy buttons and direct commerce on social media have largely been a dud.

Old Guard, New Strategy

Nokia’s fall from grace is a well-known cautionary tale: The one-time mobile superpower got smoked by Apple and Samsung before selling off its assets to Microsoft and BMW. NYT tech editor Pui-Wing Tam says Nokia’s current attempt to re-establish itself as a telco player via a $16.6B takeover of Alcatel-Lucent “is a reminder of how fickle and fast-moving the tech world can be. In the waning days of 2015, it’s up to the old guard to keep up.” Desktop display ad titans, take note! Read on.

Another Day, Another ‘Platisher’

The Financial Times launched a quasi-editorial, quasi-marketing initiative with Google Maps, which layers reviews, articles, writers’ opinions and more onto locations across London. The eventual goal is to include audio and video features. The FT said the new touchpoint will elevate its contributor network and broaden the pub’s appeal, as it continues to rebrand to a more city-focused audience over just political and financial news. It also highlights Google’s commitment to leveraging its properties on behalf of publishers (such as a recent Google Cardboard VR project with The New York Times). More.

Cashing In

In the US, consumer adoption of mobile payment tech is plodding along. In China, however, “a fierce battle” is underway between the messenger app WeChat and Alipay, the digital wallet subsidiary of ecommerce titan Alibaba. It’s unclear whether Chinese trends can be transplanted in the US, where laptops and Google have a little bit of traction, to say the least. But as Tom Griffiths points out in Ad Age, “The total spend of China’s outbound tourists reached $498 billion in 2014,” so piggybacking on those budgets alone makes the Chinese platforms a global force. More.

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