august 6, 2021

Essence of Email Weekly - Google Retail Search improves the "search" experience

Google recently announced Google Cloud Retail Search, a new tool that will help retailers improve product search capabilities on their eCommerce platforms. The cloud provider says it gives retailers "Google-quality" search capabilities that are customizable for their own unique business needs.

The big picture: Last year was a make-or-break year for retailers, as they had to seriously step up their digital game in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And all the while, they were competing against the retail giant Amazon, which dominated the US eCommerce field.

Google said that "search abandonment" posed a serious problem for brands under the circumstances. According to research, search abandonment costs retailers more than $300 billion a year, as customers are unable to find what they're looking for and simply move on.

Zoom in: That's when Retail Search comes in. It's designed to address the problem with Google's understanding of user intent and context. The service uses that understanding to analyze customer activity across websites and mobile apps, and it maps customer intent to product inventory. Brands can use this tool to build search experiences that include auto-suggestions, personalized results, and relevant promotions. Plus, machine learning-based search results improve with every query.

"Providing quality search results is an industry-wide challenge," Srikanth Belwadi, Google Cloud group product manager, said in a statement. "While traditional search platforms are keyword-based, Google's semantic understanding of query intent and product Knowledge Graph enables retailers to dramatically improve experiences for customers with learning-based search. Retail Search helps get shoppers what they want faster, leading to higher conversion rates and happier consumers."

Macy's has tested the feature and reported improved click-through rates and revenue per visit. How about your brand? Are you interested in trying it out?


The numbers are down ⬇️

Source: Giphy
Morning Brew reports that companies that saw a surge in sales during the COVID-19 boom are starting to experience a decline, as vaccines are rolled out and people are starting to go back to a somewhat normal life.

Amazon, most notably, saw a 7.6% fall last Friday. It was Amazon's worst day in more than a year, causing Jeff Bezos to drop below the French luxury mogul Bernard Arnault on the list of world's richest people.

But other brands are taking a blow too: Etsy, Wayfair, eBay fell as investors "questioned whether they could maintain the Covid momentum''. Pinterest stock also plunged — by 18% last Friday, after reporting a 5% decline in global users last quarter. Meanwhile, Kimberly-Clark reported that organic sales in its home care unit fell by 17% in comparison to Q2 last year.

"People are getting out more and doing things besides shopping," Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky told reporters. The company did bring in $113 billion in sales last quarter but predicted that would drop to between $106–$112 billion for the current quarter due to what analysts are calling "reopening headwinds."

Despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases, and all of the talk about the Delta variant, a sales-boosting lockdown similar to the one in March 2020 isn't likely. MorningBrew also learned that consumer behaviors established during the early days of Covid, such as constant sanitizing, home decoration, binge-watching TV shows, are fading as vaccination rates rise. All of this is affecting the sales of retailers across the world.

Bad news for some companies. But is it good news for the rest of us? ????


Another attack as Validity and Spamhaus join forces on cybersecurity

Source: Giphy
Big picture before we dive in: Chipotle, a famous American chain of fast-food restaurants in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and France, has been a target of recent cyber attacks — similar to when the Russian group Nobelium attacked ConstantContact.

The security firm Inky reports that a Mailgun account used by the brand was compromised, resulting in 121 phishing emails. The victims were redirected to a malicious site and those who clicked were exposed to credential harvesting and malware.

Inky said: "This attack was highly effective because all phishing emails came from an authentic Mailgun IP address (, passed email authentication (SPF and DKIM) for company[.]com, and used high reputation[.]com URLs as redirectors to malicious sites."

Considering the series of cyber attacks that we recently wrote about, it's obvious that this trend isn't stopping.

Bottom line: Validity, the customer data quality platform, and Spamhouse, the IP and domain reputation authority, are partnering up to help brands ensure their emails are secure."This announcement formalizes a longstanding relationship in which Validity and Spamhaus have united under a singular vision to encourage better email practices while simultaneously taking strides to stop malicious, unethical activity,'' a press release states.

''Email is often the most direct route to a business' customers, yet the reality is that it's a growing threat vortex, harming consumer wallets and subsequently brand reputation. In fact, the latest FBI IC3 Internet Crime Report found that business email compromise (BEC) scams continue to be the costliest threat. In the last year alone, largely due to COVID, the FBI received nearly 20,000 BEC complaints which cost victims $1.8B. Phishing scams were also prominent, costing upwards of $54M," it is stated.

In order to put an end to it, Validity will integrate the leading blocklists in its platform, thanks to Spamhaus. "Everyone, including senders and receivers, has a role to play in helping make the internet a safer place. IP and domain reputation data contains fingerprints of malicious behavior. Therefore, it is vital to expand the breadth of data shared, analyzed, and utilized globally," explains Simon Forster, CEO at Spamhaus Technology. "Together, we can increase the reach of this data, reducing threats and consequently brand erosion, meanwhile paving the way to help the industry do what's right."

Source: Cision


How to build a trusted brand ????

Source: ReallyGoodEmails
Brand management matters and you should definitely have a strategy there.

In today's landscape, a faceless company is likely to be ignored — even hated. It's difficult for people to relate if they don't know who they're relating to. By exposing the face of your company, be it a CEO, a Managing Director, or anyone else, you'll gain trust and appear more friendly and personable.

Expose your people and get creative: here's a nice example!

Everlane introduced their designer in this promotional email, which is also a short interview. He answered a few questions, allowing customers to get to know the process behind the products, plus added little something about the materials that the brand is using. Interesting and informative!

What a nice way to promote the product, the brand, and the expert behind the process!

Source: ReallyGoodEmails


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