October 30, 2018

GENERAL

Walmart will open a store with app-based checkout

Walmart is stepping up in its head-to-head battle with Amazon for retailer dominance launching its first store with app-based checkout in Dallas.

Two years after Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store, Walmart will follow with the first Sam’s Club Now store.

Shoppers need to download the Sam’s Club Now app on their phone and use it to scan items as they toss them into their carts. At the checkout, a Sam’s Club worker will scan a code on their phone and that’s it.

The Sam’s Club Now app will use augmented reality to display information about items throughout the store. It will also have voice search capabilities, so you can ask the app where you can find the product you are looking for.

Sam’s Club Now in Dallas has no launch date set yet, but is “very close to opening”.

5 Tips for conference networking 

Yep, conferences around the clock. There’s the Arab Affiliate Summit coming on November 1st – did we mention our Crew member, Manu, will be speaking there?

Then there’s Affiliate World Asia and Affiliate Summit West to name the most popular conferences taking place in a rather short timeframe.

We decided it’d be nice to remind you about some useful content to prepare for your events.

Contact people beforehand. If there’s a busy person you want to meet, set up an appointment. And if you can’t manage to reach the person directly, email someone you can reach, like an assistant. Make use of any connections you might have as well.

Set your goals. Think about why you are attending the event, and what people you want to meet. This influences how you spend your time there and where you go.

Be friendly but professional. Have a short introduction and some business cards ready, and approach people freely.

Make sure to wear fitting clothes but don’t judge others by their first impression, you never know who might be a friend to you. Also, attend parties, since people are way more relaxed and easier to approach.

Exchange information. Telling people about a useful trick you do makes them more likely to share their knowledge with you in return. If you’re new to the business, don’t be afraid to say so.

Besides that, also try to talk about non-work related things – this helps build personal bonds and more stable contacts.
Follow up properly. Take notes on who is who and why you want to contact them again, and then do so in the first few days after the event is over. Also, take responses literally – if someone says “I can’t do that right now”, ask them again at a later time.


FACEBOOK

Here are the 48,619 websites and apps from the Facebook Audience Network

The title says it all really.

This comes thanks to Jeromy Sonne, who posted it on AdLeaks, a private Facebook group.

It’s a community started by Tim Burd, and they also have a public facing website + blog which you can check out here.

Anyway, Jeromy shared a CSV downloaded directly from his Business Manager that includes what is probably most if not all websites and apps on the FAN.

You can also download the file by clicking here.

Maybe it was a bug that gave him this list. Maybe we will all get access to it, and Facebook is improving its transparency for the Audience Network.


EMAIL

Step up your email game with these design tips

Daniel Budai posted in the Ecom Empires group his best practices about email design.

  • Use a maximum of two fonts, don’t make it overcomplicated.
  • Don’t use Google fonts, Gmail doesn’t support them!
  • Use a CTA button color that matches your brand color.
  • Put your CTA above the fold, people usually spend less than 5 seconds with an email they open.
  • Use first-person – Start my trial instead of Start your trial.
  • Keep the image/text ratio between 20/80 and 40/60. Too many images activate the spam filter.
  • Keep it simple. Leave enough white space between your sentences. Have only one goal for one email and email design! Can this email design achieve my goal in 5 seconds?

Speaking of filters – One good tool to check your inbox placement is GlockApps. It will give you very clear suggestions for improving avoiding the dreaded folder for all the most popular inboxes.

It’s what we use here at WHAT THE AFF too.

If you want to maximise your email conversion rate we recommend checking out Daniel’s full post that goes into more detail. It is part two of his email design tips, you can find part one here.


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Good AI, Bad AI

A few years ago Amazon created an Artificial Intelligence system designed to help with hiring new employees. Ideally, you would feed it a number of applications, and it would choose the best ones for you.

Turns out, the software was sexist. As in, it downgraded tech position applicants for being female. Well, sort of…

When it was programmed, they fed it ten years worth of previous applications. For male-dominated fields like the tech sector, a majority of applicants were male.

This resulted in the program teaching itself that male = better and downgraded candidates that graduated from all-women’s colleges or had the word “women’s” in their forms.

When Amazon caught on, it made changes to the program to disregard gender in its process. However, people said that it could teach itself to discriminate on different terms. Ultimately, the project was shut down.

While AI might not be very viable for those types of processes yet, it’s looking way better in the marketing department.

In online marketing, AI finds use in Programmatic Advertising. It can also help you generally analyze your data and make good predictions.

Don’t expect your advertising algorithm to be perfect though. It will annoy users sometimes, you might as well be prepared for that.

Of course, this isn’t news – even if you’re not an affiliate, you can find yourself using AI programs in your day-to-day life.

For example, smart searches. Even with typos, or when you use words that aren’t exactly right, Google can usually tell what you’re looking for. Like that, you find products you (might) want to buy way easier.

Recommendation Engines on services like Youtube, Netflix or Spotify analyze what you like, and suggest similar things you might appreciate. This also has its downsides.

You get recommended content as you’ve consumed before, and you don’t discover new content as much. You probably already noticed YouTube recommending you to watch the same video for the 10th time.

And, the bane for many advertisers is, of course, Facebook’s tech… They use AI to filter content, and they use AI to determine who sees your ads. We all know it’s far from perfect!

Just about all these tools use machine learning. Which means they learn from the data they get – and if you give them bad data, they don’t work as intended.

Unless we want evil robots to take over humanity, of course.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Bitstamp acquired for $400 mil?

Does the name Bitstamp ring a bell? It should if you’re into crypto from the earlier days.

They are an exchange that was around since 2011 – that makes them one of the oldest in the world. It had its fair share of challenges, including having 19k BTC stolen in 2015.

Well, NXMH, a Brussels based investment firm has bought Bitstamp.

The founder, Nejc Kodric still has 10% of the company and will continue to be its CEO for the time being.

The details of the deal have not been disclosed. There were negotiations from March already when the valuation would have been around $400 mil.

If we look at the crypto market now, we can assume it’s below that amount but it shouldn’t be too shabby either.

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