Digital World is Oban International’s regular series summarising some of the biggest stories with implications for internationally engaged digital businesses. In this week’s update: Right to be Forgotten laws imminent in Russia; Alibaba drops American brand; Google reveals AdWords cross-device conversion benefits; and the habits of Chinese and Russian travellers are revealed.
Russian lawmakers are set to implement their own Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) laws in the coming weeks, with the proposal going further than the well-known laws put into effect by the European Union last year. A key difference will be that complaints will not have to provide specific details about the offending links – the burden of finding and excluding references to outdated and damaging data will be entirely on the search engines. Public figures are also not excluded from the rules, as is the case in the EU.
Meanwhile, despite well publicised objections voiced by member nations about the limited extent of search engine action, the EU has expressed satisfaction with the current RTBF process. Specifically, they have stated that the majority of complaints that they have received about RTBF rejections were found to be invalid: the search-engines are excluding the correct claims.
Alibaba’s brief foray into the US ecommerce market is over: after launching US shopping site 11Main on the 11 June last year, they have just announced that they’re selling it off. 11Main was created by two US firms Alibaba acquired back in 2010 and specialises in the kind of boutique shopping associated with Etsy and similar brands. The philosophy of the brand – championing small businesses rather than big brands – recalls Alibaba’s recently stated focus on bringing US small brands into China. It’s also a strategy which was hugely successful for their Taobao venture.
11Main has been sold to the owners of a similar US-based service, Opensky.
The old world of single-device internet consumption fading into the past, Google has been attempting to refresh its products to cope with our new cross-device habits. Last year’s cross-device reporting upgrade to AdWords aims to help ensure that when a user researches products on their phone using a specific keyword, their eventual purchase on another device (such as their tablet or desktop PC) is correctly attributed.
Google has released an infographic indicating how advertisers have benefited from using the feature in the US, UK, Germany and Japan. Details from the graphic include advertisers in the US retail sector measuring 16% more search ad conversions, the greater reliance on cross-device research for big purchases (travel, retail, automotive) in Germany and significant improvements in measurement of display in Japan.
With a burgeoning middle class intent to emulate the lifestyles of the country’s richest, the luxury travel habits of China’s elite, as profiled in the Hurun Chinese Luxury Travel 2015 report may provide interesting facts for the wider travel industry. An analysis of trends among those who spend more than $30,000 USD on travel a year, the report has found that the total number of outbound trips has increased 17.8%, with millionaires travelling abroad four times on average in the last year.
The report also highlights that the US is the country respondents had visited most frequently, scoring highly in terms of visits for the purpose of business and visiting friends. Japan is popular for shopping and culinary experiences, France and the UK important for shopping and business, and Australia a high scorer in terms of leisure. Other popular destinations include Antarctica, the Maldives, Dubai and Italy.
Also on the subject of holidays, Yandex.Travel has revealed some interesting data, revealing where Russian searchers are heading this summer. Russia’s schools are about a month into their summer holidays and traffic to Yandex.Travel, which primarily provides price comparison to its users, is increasing. Key facts include the popularity of package tours for those travelling by train and the tendency for Russia travellers to book at least a month in advance of their trip – though those in the Siberian cities of Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk and Omsk booked as far as 47-50 days in advance.
Egypt features particularly prominently in holiday searches from major Russian cities. The top resort search in both Moscow and St. Petersburg is Sharm El-Sheikh – Hurghada, a resort featured prominently in both those cities is also the top search in Ekaterinburg. Locations in Turkey and southern Russia are also popular.
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IMG_0913 photo by Flickr user o.did
Kids with Education Tablet Computers photo by Flickr user Intel Free Press