Mar-Tech Roundup: Amazon Digital Ad Revenue Surges 123%, Merry Holidays for E-Commerce

Our bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Brands are flocking to Amazon to advertise according to the giant online marketer’s third quarter financial report. Amazon is expected to double its advertising revenues by the end of this year, according to reporting by ClickZ. Revenue from advertising topped $2.5 billion in the quarter, 123% greater than the same period a year ago.

Marriott is facing criticism from cyber experts and a class action suit after revealing that hackers stole data from 500 million of it guests, including passport numbers. Cyber experts told USA Today the hack could have been avoided if a smaller data breach in 2015 had been properly handled.

Facebook is facing more problems after a cache of its executives’ emails were released by lawmakers in the United Kingdom. According to reporting by The New York Times, the emails reveal Facebook executives gave some brands, including Airbnb and Netflix, favored access to users’ data, while shutting out others. Facebook responded saying it has never sold its users’ data.

Cyber Monday sales reached $7.9 billion breaking all records this year in the US, (a 19.3 percent increase over 2017), making it the biggest online shopping day in US history, according to reporting by ClickZ and Adobe. Mobile commerce shattered records on Cyber Weekend, with smart phones and tablets making up more than 65% of retail site visits, a 32.1% increase over the previous year. Direct website traffic showed a slight decline.

The season is looking very merry for online holiday shopping in the US this year, according to a survey by Splitit. The survey showed 40% of consumers planning to do the majority of their shopping online. Local stores ranked second at 25%. Brick and mortar stores offering payments with monthly installments could find a significant advantage over online sites without that option, the survey showed.

Instagram has announced it will use AI tools to go after and eliminate paid-for likes and followers. The social media site plans to aggressively seek to identify users that are paying third-party providers to increase their numbers of likes and followers. “Recently, we’ve seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience,” Instagram said in a release reported by Netimperative.

The US government may be under-reporting the number of Americans without access to high-speed broadband internet. A Microsoft study found that 162.8 million lacked the access compared to the 24.7 million reported by the FCC. According to reporting by Endgadget, the fault lies with FCC’s data gathering which over-reports actual access to broadband services.