In the news this week

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Read our weekly digest of interesting articles and insights we've found exploring the fallout from COVID-19

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Smartphone shipments drop to new low in wake of coronavirus
Global demand for smartphones has slumped to a historic low according to new data from Counterpoint Research. According to their latest report global shipments had dropped in Q1 year-on-year by around 13% meaning that shipments dropped to under 300 million for the first time since 2014.

New investigation reveals Amazon use third-party data to develop own products
Research undertaken by journalists at the Wall Street Journal has highlighted how Amazon employees have been using valuable insight on how its sellers’ products perform on the marketplace to develop its own array of products. Despite previously stating that this wasn’t the case, the ecommerce giant has reportedly used its position to understand which third-party products are popular among shoppers and then developing its own versions of them.

Acceleration Partners interviews BrandCycle about COVID-19's impact on their business
Affiliate management agency Acceleration Partners has been posting a range of COVID-19 material over the past few weeks. In this interview with BrandCycle, an affiliate marketing and content monetisation platform that works with thousands of publishers and affiliates, they discuss how publishers are responding to the current crisis.

Shopify launches own shopping app ‘Shop’ to connect smaller businesses with consumers
Building on its app that tracks orders from the 1m+ businesses that it powers the online stores of, Shopify has launched its new app Shop. The aim is to help consumers shop from these various web stores by featuring a tailored selection of products based on previous Shopify stores you may have shopped from online.

Coca-Cola pauses marketing due to ‘lack of ROI’
One of the giants of the FMCG sector has taken the decision to pause its marketing spend during the crisis citing a lack of ROI in the current circumstances. The move runs counter to a lot of the historic research that has looked at the value of advertising during recessionary periods and contradicts what others in the sector, such as P&G, are doing by increasing their investment.

Amazon commission cuts fallout leads to publisher diversification
In other Amazon news, the recent decision by them to cut affiliate commissions has led to publishers are moving away from them as a destination to send their sales referrals, as reported by AdAge.  The piece explores how shifting away from a reliance on Amazon will lead to opportunities for other retailers.

Expedia to cut more than 80% from its advertising spend
The travel industry has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus and in this interview with CNBC, Expedia Group chairman and senior executive Barry Diller, explains how annual advertising spend for the company will fall from around $5bn to less than $1bn.


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