Tag: online consumers

Alibaba breaks online shopping records on Singles’ Day

Business, Mobile
Online shopping transactions generated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ’s annual 24-hour discount event surpassed last year’s record of 36.2 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) Tuesday with still more than 10 hours to go. The figure for this year’s Nov. 11 Singles’ Day—the biggest shopping day of the year when many sellers on Alibaba’s marketplaces offer steep discounts—suggests that the event, as it did last year, will likely generate more online sales than the U.S. holiday shopping dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read more as reported by WSJ

Facebook’s new Auto-play Video Ads Risk Alienating Users

Internet, Mobile
Facebook Inc. said it would begin selling video advertisements later this week, a move that may help the social-networking giant capture a share of the annual $66.4 billion TV advertising market. Some advertisers rejoiced Tuesday when Facebook Inc. FB -2.89% introduced long-awaited video advertisements. A bigger question is how users will react.   Marketers "have to be sensitive," said Tony Pace, chief marketing officer for the Subway sandwich chain, which advertises on Facebook. "If someone said [this video ad] is going to run whether consumers want it or not, that would give me pause," he said. Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for the coming sci-fi film "Divergent," would begin appearing Thursday, marking an effort by the world's largest social network to gra...

Net benefits How to quantify the gains that the internet has brought to consumers

Measuring the economic impact of all the ways the internet has changed people’s lives is devilishly difficult because so much of it has no price. It is easier to quantify the losses Wikipedia has inflicted on encyclopedia publishers than the benefits it has generated for users like Ms Mollica. This problem is an old one in economics. GDP measures monetary transactions, not welfare. Consider someone who would pay $50 for the latest Harry Potter novel but only has to pay $20. The $30 difference represents a non-monetary benefit called “consumer surplus”. The amount of internet activity that actually shows up in GDP—Google’s ad sales, for example—significantly understates its contribution to welfare by excluding the consumer surplus that accrues to Google’s users. The hard question to answer