Tech happenings in November 2017

Holiday shopping season kicked off in style this year with record ecommerce sales; whilst Oath, Facebook and Snap start planning for 2018.

Black Friday vs Single’s Day

Single’s Day (11th November) kick started the holiday season sales wars between East and West as Alibaba saw $25bn revenue in 24 hours — up 39% YoY — with a reported 90% of transactions being driven by mobile. Brands outside of China are also beginning to see the potential in Single’s Day as many Chinese consumers look beyond their borders for products — China’s cross border ecommerce to top $100bn in 2017.


Adobe estimates that US holiday ecommerce will reach $107.4bn (up 13.8% YoY). After Thanksgiving ($2.87bn/20% up YoY), Black Friday ($5.03bn/16.9% up YoY) and Cyber Monday ($6.59bn) holiday ecommerce had already passed $50bn. Mobile played a key role in all key days e.g. 54.3% of visits and 37% of sales on Black Friday, with this year seeing mobile surpass desktop for retailer site visits for the first time.

Oath Partners day

On November 14th Oath hosted its inaugural partner day; where 150 executives from top partners met in New York to hear about the latest innovations, monetisation opportunities, and to share ideas. The key takeaways are the renewed strategic direction based around mobile, content and brands; and vowing to create a safer and engaging ecosystem. As a result, we’re aligning our strategy too:

‘This is the third seismic shift we’ve seen in our decade-long partnership with Yahoo. This sweeping change forces us as a business, to pivot quickly, work even more closely, to align ourselves and ultimately achieve even greater successes long term, in an ever-changing industry which year-on-year breeds more savvy consumers and online advertisers.’ Jay Bhojani, CRO @ Clicksco

To learn more about Oath’s Partner Day and how Clicksco plans to adapt, click here.

Facebook continue Ad innovation

Ecommerce players continue to plough money into Facebook’s ecosystem; for instance, ecommerce advertisers spent 20% more YoY on Facebook ads in Q3’2017 with video ads and retargeting campaigns particularly popular. Facebook’s Dynamic Ads — its product catalogue promoting ad format that retargets the people who browsed a brand’s site or app — increased by 284% YoY alone. As a result, Facebook continued to launch its Dynamic Ads offering into new verticals such as Travel and Autos.

Keep an eye out for Facebook’s continued innovation into Messenger as they began rolling out Sponsored Messages to more businesses, and launched a Messenger web chat feature as a plugin for websites.

Snap: Weak growth doesn’t deter ambition

Snap clearly needs to ramp up its ad buying on the back of weak revenue & user growth in Q3’17. It was no surprise then to see Snap acquire Metamarkets — a programmatic focused adtech startup — to beef up its in-house team and automation tools for ad buying on its platform. However; making the app more user friendly (and more personalised), adding brands’ site links on ads (to generate brand traffic), and giving Promoted Stories their own slot could all help monetisation and engagement.

Meanwhile; Tencent’s part ownership is one to watch with long running rumours suggesting Tencent could acquire the company completely.

The UK Autumn Budget


The UK Government announced the Autumn Budget on 22nd November with key announcements being £75m injection into AI, £160m into 5G development as well as a nod to driverless cars and digital skills boost.

“UK is in a global race when it comes to the adoption of AI technology, and it cannot afford to lose.” Phillip Hammond, UK chancellor of the exchequer
According to the BBC, the AI funding announced by the Treasury will support start-ups and raise the number of new PhD students in the field to 200 each year. It is also thought some of the money will go towards an advisory body to remove barriers to AI development.

Other things to check out

Looking forward into 2018, a number of people are starting to make their predictions:

  • Emerging tech such as Voice, AI and AR could be key to marketing. Voice in particular will bring a new SEO and keyword (or conversation) optimisaton challenges.
  • Display Advertising will see more programmatic ($40bn globally); more mobile; more native (74% of ad revenue by 2021); new formats (such as playable ads); and an increased focus on viewability.
  • Check out the 8 key trends in SEO for 2018 including voice search and mobile — particularly the need to optimise for both — as well as increasingly personalised SERPs.