Quick Programmatic Update: FAQ About the New SSL Ad Tag Requirements

Man-reading-advertisements-on-tabletWhat’s changing?

Publishers participating in programmatic exchanges are requiring SSL (secure) tags from advertisers. All URL components of your ad tags will need to be SSL compliant (this includes any vendors you call in the ad tag such as Double Verify or Integral Ad Science).

Which programmatic exchanges are affected?

Facebook, MSN, Yahoo and YouTube already require SSL tags. By the end of Q2 all Google / DoubleClick ad exchanges will require secure tags. Smaller exchanges are also migrating to SSL tags.

Why do publishers want to make the switch?

If a person is logged in to the publisher’s content, they are likely on a secure version of the page. As the page loads, if the ad tag is not secure, then the visitor would receive a warning that some of the content on the page is not secure. This is not a good user experience.

What would happen if I don’t switch my ad tags to SSL?

If you don’t make the switch, the SSL programmatic exchanges won’t allow us to buy inventory on your behalf. You’ll be shut out of the auctions. Fewer inventory choices could mean higher prices, and a less targeted audience.

Still have questions or not sure if this applies to your ads?

Reach out with any questions—we are here to help.


Connexity Launches Managed Services for Search Marketing

Shares technology and expertise with marketers

Los Angeles (December 17, 2014) Connexity, a marketing solutions company that helps retailers reach online shoppers, today announced that it is making its search technology—previously used internally—available to marketers who want to reach online shoppers at scale.

“We have led developments in search marketing for two decades, but primarily used our solutions internally,” says Bob Michaelian, EVP Marketing Services at Connexity, Inc. “Now marketers can leverage all that we have learned and built in our paid search operations to optimize every aspect of their campaigns. With our proprietary bid management, automated keyword generation/landing page selection, and advanced ways to group and structure campaigns, we are now a one-stop-shop for all things search in retail.”

“And we’re not just experts in search technology, we’re dedicated to service,” he adds. “We collaborate closely with our clients to understand the nuances of their business, and then use that knowledge to optimize performance.”

Connexity now offers full management services for the following:

Product Listing Ads: Connexity’s proprietary feed management platform fills in missing product attributes leading to higher acceptance rates and ensures feeds are always up to date in search engines. An improved automated product grouping and a bidding platform increases sales volume and improves ROI. And with a new creative optimization platform, Connexity increases click-through rates by testing different product titles and dynamically eliminating terms that don’t perform.

Search Text Ads: Connexity’s automated keyword generation and scoring technology increases relevant keyword coverage and drives more conversions. Connexity’s ad grouping technology helps create the most efficient campaign structure ensuring keywords are grouped thematically at the right level of granularity. It also adjusts bids on a daily basis using its proprietary bid algorithm. And with its scalable custom creative operation, clients will see improved click through rates on their keywords.

Search Engine Optimization: Built to support large retailers, Connexity’s new platform is the most advanced SEO technology available today and can address complex issues such as:
millions of pages and products; duplicate content; faceted navigation; internal search; deep crawling of product pages; highly competitive generic queries; pagination and quality content.
With real time page scoring, clients now understand the quality of pages in real time and can deliver the right signal to crawlers automatically. Advanced crawler management, crawl log analysis, and dynamic XML sitemap generation help crawlers follow an efficient pattern and focus on the most important content.

“Our Connexity SEO platform connects customers with content at the right moment,” says Mr. Michaelian. “Our team of experts increases organic, qualified traffic to retailers by maximizing the discoverability of their content.”

Last year Connexity managed more than $60 million in ad spending on SEM/PLAs for its owned and operated sites. These 1.8 billion keyword/landing pages for 100 million products generated $1 billion in gross merchandise sales.

Connexity, Inc. (http://www.connexity.com) is a technology driven marketing solutions company that leverages almost twenty years of ecommerce expertise to enable retailers and brands to understand their consumers better, acquire new customers efficiently, and increase sales. For retailers, Connexity offers a range of marketing solutions including search marketing, syndicated product listings, targeted display advertising, and the Bizrate Insights customer feedback program. For marketers and their agencies, Connexity delivers targeted audiences on any device through a programmatic media buying platform.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company operates sites and business services in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany including Bizrate, Beso, Shopzilla, Retrevo, TaDa, PrixMoinsCher, and SparDeinGeld. Connexity, Inc., formerly Shopzilla, Inc., is owned by Symphony Technology Group (STG).

Connexity Acquires Become

Connexity, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Become, Inc and expects the transaction to close before the end of the year.

Become is a leader in managing CPC product listings marketplaces, just like Connexity. They serve retailers and publishers in the U.S., Germany, U.K., France, Italy and Japan.  They are especially strong in Germany and Japan.  The business is split roughly 50% Europe, 25% US, 25% Japan.

Putting the two companies together will significantly increase Connexity’s geographic footprint in markets like Germany and Italy and provide a beachhead in a totally new market in Japan. Become, Inc’s presence in these markets will enable Connexity to bring it extended set of products (those beyond CPC product listings) from programmatic display to managed search services to insights to their customers in those markets.

In CPC product listings putting together two best in class companies will give Connexity more scale and to become even more strategic and important to both retailers and partners.

The acquisition was covered in TechCrunch, the Silicon Valley Business Journal and a variety of news media. Click to read the TechCrunch article.

Alibaba and Chinese e-commerce are coming to the US

In a study conducted through Bizrate Insights, Hayley Silver, Connexity’s VP of Insights investigates how receptive American shoppers are to the Chinese ecommerce giant, Alibaba. To gather consumer feedback, Bizrate Insights surveyed over 3,500 online buyers in just three days.

Click here to read the entire study, or read below for a few notable findings.

A Lack of Brand Familiarity and Trial is Troublesome

63% of online buyers, skewing toward younger generations and women (who traditionally are the decision makers behind the lion’s share of retail), are not familiar with the Alibaba brand or website. 37% of US online buyers have heard of Alibaba, with 30% of this group (11% overall) reporting that they have browsed or purchased from Alibaba.com already.

A Youthful Outlook

Younger generations, with growing incomes and purchasing power, are not only more likely to have already interacted with Alibaba.com, but also report greater interest in shopping with Chinese e-commerce companies in general.

Hurdles to Surmount

Most online buyers, whether more or less comfortable with Alibaba and Chinese e-commerce companies in general, have some similar concerns. The long delivery windows are frustrating, they prefer to “buy American” whenever possible, and there is still distrust (over the security of consumer payment and personally identifiable information, returns, and product quality).

Broader Implications for Chinese E-Commerce

Further, we note that comfort with interacting with any Chinese e-commerce company follows a similar pattern to current US online buyer interaction with Alibaba; overall, 65% of those who are familiar with Alibaba are likely to interact with (browse or purchase) a Chinese e-commerce company in general. But this grows significantly to 80% for those who have browsed or purchased from Alibaba already, indicating that a successful trial of Alibaba is an important factor for other Chinese e-commerce websites at this time.