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Trends

  • ‘Offensive language’ may get you banned from Microsoft’s Skype, Xbox Live

    From 1 May 2018, using "offensive language" on Microsoft's online services could get you banned, this after the company updated its Services Agreement. Although the change was implemented on 1 March 2018, civil rights advocate Jonathan Corbett spotted the change this week. "In the Code of Conduct section, we’ve clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited," Microsoft wrote in a brief summation of the changes. Further digging into the actual change, explains that users are not allowed to "publicly display or use the Services to share any inappropriate content or other material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography,...

  • Bitcoin is pretty cheap right now (compared to its peak)

    February has not been a good month for Bitcoin traders, or traders of any cryptocurrency for that matter. According to CoinMarketCap's figures at the time of writing, Bitcoin's value has fallen by nearly 16% in the past 24 hours, hitting a new three month low. It will now set you back just US$6704 to purchase 1 BTC, this compared to its peak of nearly US$20 000 in December 2017. Overall, its market cap has also fallen to US$112-billion, while the cryptocurrency market cap as a whole is below US$300-billion once again. This is a far cry from the late 2017 value surge. But...

  • Ecommerce conversion trends to watch in 2018

    Ecommerce marketing continues to evolve, each and every year. While there have been a number of interesting trends over the last year or two, from virtual reality to machine learning, chatbots and location-based marketing, some trends will impact on conversion more than others. Ideally, smart retail brands know that to bring in more sales, you first need to find and connect with your audience. Not all trends will add genuine value. Those that are focused on conversion, however, are far more likely to help you get results. Let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting trends that have been...

  • Watch out for the latest OTP scam plaguing MTN’s network

    If excessive spam calls weren't enough, South Africans will now need need to guard against a new MTN scam plaguing the network. Using OTPs, or one-time PIN numbers, scammers can gain access to a users' MTN account, purchase airtime and data, and then transfer said purchases to another number. According to MTN, fraudsters gain the OTP from users directly, asking them to provide it during spam calls. "Unfortunately, fraudsters are everywhere and we want to be sure all our customers are protected at all times, across our entire business," explained Jacqui O'Sullivan, the company's corporate affairs executive. "Our systems are designed to safeguard...

  • Strava’s heatmap inadvertently reveals the world’s military secrets

    If you happen to be a soldier stationed at one of the world's military bases, secret operation centres or covert patrols, you may want to switch off your phone's GPS and consider uninstalling all fitness apps, including Strava. Like, stat. In November 2017, "social network for athletes" Strava published a detailed heatmap of the world's most popular training routes -- be it running, cycling or even kitesurfing -- that its users frequent. The data contained within the map was beyond deep. Some three-trillion GPS points were logged, containing more than 10 terabytes of data in total. This amounted to more than a combined...

  • Drive retention with a post-purchase ecommerce marketing strategy

    Do you have a post-purchase strategy in place? Are you focusing your efforts not only on bringing in new customers but also nurturing existing customers? If you have not begun to think about how you can target customers at every stage of their journey, from the moment they arrive on your site, to their initial purchase, and subsequent purchases, you are missing out on the chance to improve your average order size, value, and frequency. This year, it’s time to take a closer look at your post-purchase strategy to see how you can turn a one-time customer into a brand advocate. Request...

  • 4 lessons for businesses on South Africa’s biggest data breach

    While massive data breaches are associated with international companies such as Ashley Madison or LinkedIn, South Africa is no stranger to customer data being released into the public domain by cybercriminals. In fact, it was in October 2017 when security expert Troy Hunt stumbled across the largest data breach in South African history. The personal data of millions of South Africans was compromised when a database backup file titled "masterdeeds.sql" was leaked publicly online. The data contained millions upon millions of ID numbers, as well as contact details, addresses and income of certain individuals. It's rumoured that even President Jacob Zuma's...

  • 4 apps to monitor Bitcoin, cryptocurrency prices

    The trickiest skill when trading and investing in cryptocurrencies is keeping track of their violent price fluctuations. Bitcoin is a great example of this, rising to beyond US$13 000 early January, only to tank below the US$10 000 mark on Wednesday evening. But how can you keep up to speed with the ever-changing world of digital currencies? Simple. Use an app. Android and iOS users have a choice between a bevy of apps designed to list some of the popular cryptocurrencies around the world. We list four notable examples. CrypTick (Android) CrypTick is a newcomer to the Android app space, but that doesn't...

  • How to build genuine trust with lead nurturing

    In the rush to seal the deal and bring in leads, it is all too easy to forget what an important role trust plays in the process. Without trust, however, even the warmest leads will end up going cold before you have had a chance to convert them into actual sales. Trust is hard to win and easy to break. The good news is that when trust is there, reputation, engagement, conversion, and loyalty quickly follow. How do you go about increasing trust with your lead nurturing efforts? For starters, you could try the following simple steps. Know your audience Before you can...

  • ‘Skygofree’ spyware can steal your Android’s WhatsApp data

    Gone are the days when the scariest digital security vulnerabilities were found on Microsoft Windows. This week, Kaspersky has alerted the world to an Android spyware with "previously unseen" capabilities. Scarier still is that the spyware, dubbed Skygofree, has been active for more than three years. "Skygofree is a sophisticated, multi-stage spyware that gives attackers full remote control of an infected device," the company alerted in a press release. "It has undergone continuous development since the first version was created at the end of 2014 and it now includes the ability to eavesdrop on surrounding conversations and noise when an infected device...

  • South Africans are selling their houses, cars online for Bitcoin

    So I hear Bitcoin is a pretty big deal right now. After its late-2017 rally, the cryptocurrency is now valued at over US13 600, or R167 768.25. That means one could easily purchase a car with a single Bitcoin. And it seems that's what some sellers are offering on second-hand marketplaces like Gumtree and OLX. According to the former's head of core Claire Cobbledick, the site has seen an increase in cryptocurrency-only sales and swaps recently. "This is particularly true for high-value items like cars, bikes and boats. Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hopes of a...

  • Here’s how to address those common ecommerce conversion killers

    Conversion is easily the driving force behind almost every ecommerce website. If your primary goal lies in turning browsing visitors into paying customers, you cannot afford to treat conversion as an after-thought. Today’s marketplace is more saturated than ever before. Shoppers have more choice than ever, too. What this means for you and your business is that there are many reasons for a potential shopper to choose your competitor over your site. From poorly targeted, generic messaging all the way to wasted opportunities, frustrating user experience and disconnected marketing that is far from strategic, there are a number of problem areas that...

  • Takealot hits record highs despite Black Friday downtime

    Although Takealot was inaccessible for a majority of shoppers on Black Friday 2017, the sales day became the biggest in its history based on visits. The Cape Town-based etailer recorded 2.2-million visits to the website and app on 24 November. That's a 280% increase in visits compared to Black Friday 2016. Those visits, at least those recorded within the first hour of its sale, generated in excess of R6-million in gross merchandising value. This jumped to R12-million in the next two hours, and ultimately R87-million at the end of Black Friday. In total, more than 52 000 orders were placed on the...

  • Superbalist sees 143% spike in website traffic on Black Friday 2017

    Black Friday 2017 was fashion etailer Superbalist's "biggest trading day to date" the company announced. The South African company experienced sales growth of 118% when compared to Black Friday 2016, with a 143% spike in website traffic year-on-year also recorded Like its owner Takealot, Superbalist also experienced downtime in the early hours of Friday morning. This however seemingly had minimal effect on its numbers, according to Superbalist's head of brand Klyne Maharaj, "By 5:30am we’d achieved over 10% of the day’s target (more than a third of last year’s target) and we saw another spike in traffic later that afternoon as people...

  • Black Friday 2017 was the biggest ever in US history, stats suggest

    Singles' Day may have become Alibaba's biggest one-day sales period raking in some US$25-billion, but Black Friday is still a force in the western world. According to Adobe Digital Insights, more than US$5-billion was spent in the United States on Black Friday 2017. Two-fifths of that was spent using a mobile device. Overall, that's a jump of nearly 17% over the previous Black Friday. The company analyses around 80% of transactions conducted online, from 100 of the States' largest online retailers. But Adobe wasn't the only company watching shoppers (a tad creepy, agreed). Salesforce's owls saw a jump of 24% in digital...