Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #141 April 4, 2012

Mastercard plans release of an anti-fraud tool for e-commerce merchants.
This May, Mastercard will launch a new anti-fraud tool specifically designed to alert e-commerce merchants in real time about fraud risk. The tool will evaluate the likelihood that a transaction is fraudulent based on a proprietary algorithm. While the tool is not perfect, Mastercard estimates that e-commerce firms could save 15% to 30% in losses by steering away from transactions the tool flags as highly suspicious.

New figures capture rapid growth of mobile clicks in paid search.
A report by Marin Software captures some dynamic trends in search activity, with the share of search clicks from mobile devices growing rapidly. Within that population, the share of mobile clicks from tablets also rose quickly. In 2011, the share of clicks from smart mobile devices rose from 5.3% to 12.3%, and Marin expects it to reach 25% by the end of this year. Click-through rates are far higher on smartphones than on traditional computers, with rates for tablets falling somewhere in between.
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iOS and Android tighten their grip on the smartphone platform market.
According to February 2012 numbers from Nielsen, Android and iOS combine for 80% of all smartphone platforms (48% for Android, 32% for iOS), but recent activity suggests an even greater degree of dominance by the two leaders. For smartphones acquired over the past three months, Android has held steady at 48% while iOS has jumped to 43%, giving the two a combined 91% of recent sales.

A customer service study finds some retailers practicing anti-social media strategies.
Retailers have rushed to build social media presence, but they aren't always prepared to back that up with hands-on customer service. A study of 20 major retailers by STELLAService found that many fail to answer questions on wall postings or comments sections of their Facebook pages, and sometimes they simply delete the questions. The list of transgressors includes some very high-profile names from the retail world.

Technology companies show they believe in privacy -- their own.
A variety of technology companies, along with representatives of the Commerce Department and the Federal Trade Commission, are preparing to discuss whether or not legislation is needed to limit online tracking. The talks on Internet privacy policy will take place in front of a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Tech industry representatives want the hearings to be held in private rather than open to the public.
The New York Times

Yahoo takes the lead in honoring do-not-track signals.
Yahoo has distinguished itself from other major ad sellers by setting up its networks to pick up do-not-track options on user browsers and send a signal across all of its properties that causes those options to be honored. While this may cost Yahoo some ad revenue, it may help the company regain some of its fading popularity with users.

Online movies expected to pass physical viewing formats this year.
Last year, U.S. consumers watched 2.6 billion movies on physical formats such as VHS, DVD and Blu-ray, compared with 1.4 billion via online streaming. However, IHS Screen Digest is projecting that online viewing will surge past physical formats this year. The forecast is for 3.4 billion online views, compared to 2.4 billion viewings on physical formats.

Tablet speed does not always meet owners' expectations.
Tablet owners are likely to reach 54.8 million this year, and most expect websites to load as quickly or even quicker on those devices than on PCs. However, 66% of tablet owners report problems with sites being slow to load, suggesting that those expectations for speed are not always being met.

Google's survey tool offers extra help for advertisers.
Google has launched an online survey tool that advertisers can use to conduct simple market research projects. The tool can ask users a qualifying question to see if they represent the right target audience, and then a more specific question about an issue of interest to the advertiser.

Browser share numbers show Internet Explorer resurgence.
After a sustained decline in popularity from May to December of 2011, Internet Explorer regained some of its share of the browser market in the first quarter of 2012. IE gained 2% over that period to push its leading share to 53.83%. Firefox barely hung onto the number two position at 20.55%, closely followed by Google Chrome at 18.57%.
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