This week’s roundup has some notable insights about shopper behavior this holiday season, how a popular e-commerce site is urging customers to ‘buy black,’ the dangers of uncharted data privacy waters and the pervasiveness of ‘bro culture’ in advertising
Despite Truncated Holiday Shopping Season, Sales Rise
Overall holiday retail sales ticked up 3.4% over 2018’s numbers, thanks in part to record e-commerce levels and the convenience factor of same-day delivery. Experts note that United States wage growth may have played its part as well. Many retailers embraced an expanded holiday shopping season, complete with an omni-channel marketing strategy, to counteract the effects of a truncated period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as the former fell almost a week after it typically is celebrated.
Read more: Reuters
Amazon Alexa Was a Hot Gift this Season
Often, iOS apps tied to hardware don’t crack the top 10 in most popular apps, but the list this year, measured after Christmas Day, noted that Amazon Alexa reigned supreme. The associated app is used to control Alexa voice assistant devices, and the fact that it was the most downloaded app leads many to believe that a strong number of Alexas found their way into stockings. Brands can take advantage of this trend by developing a “skill,” Alexa’s version of an app, as a way to interface with these new users. Other top apps included YouTube and Disney+.
Read more: CNBC
It’s Easier Than Ever to Buy Black
A popular e-commerce site, We Buy Black, is enabling customers to patronize black-owned businesses rather than typical big-box retailers. The site provides social-conscious shoppers to not only put their dollars toward equality, particularly bridging the wealth gap in America, but simplifies the search process for black-owned businesses. The industry is growing rapidly: Nielsen forecasts that “black spending power” will reach $1.5 trillion by 2021. Plus, some black-owned businesses have partnered with big brands, such as Airbnb and Jack Daniel’s, to create pop-up shops and other e-commerce sites. Expect to see more black-owned businesses soon.
Read more: The New York Times
Uncharted Data Privacy Waters Could Put Companies Out of Business
Major trade associations have warned against the vague language and rushed publication of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Now, similar legislation in other states heralds forthcoming complexity and confusion of data privacy laws. With so many laws in operation, many of which are expected to possess slightly differing intricacies, marketers and government officials alike fear a growing number of privacy violations are inevitable. “A single breach under the CCPA, even if no harm can be shown, can face companies with hundreds of millions [of dollars], if not larger, penalties,” says Dan Jaffe, group executive vice president of government relations at the Association of National Advertisers.
Read more: Marketing Dive
‘Bro Culture’ Abounds at Ad Agencies, Despite #MeToo
To many, recording artist Pitbull is everything wrong with the industry. It just so happens it’s not music, this time, but advertising. Booked as the closing night act of Advertising Week, which highlighted gender equality throughout the conference, the rapper and his performance exploiting women was a sign that the industry has a long way to go. “A number of agencies have tried to address the concerns by signing on to diversity initiatives meant to improve gender and racial representation in ad campaigns and in the workplace, but their attempts have clashed with a workplace culture still fueled by testosterone and booze.”
Read more: The New York Times
Photos: Shopping bags by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash; waves and cliff by Fiona Smallwood on Unsplash.