Why Those Pesky Unauthorized Ads Could Be Stealing Money from Brands

As possessing a strong e-commerce platform becomes increasingly important for footwear brands and retailers, so does protecting its assets. Ohad Hagai, SVP of marketing at Namogoo — a tech company that focuses on identifying and blocking unauthorized ads for clients such as Asics and Schuh — weighed in on what his team describes as online “journey hijacking.”

What is journey hijacking?

“It is when malware-driven, unauthorized ads are injected into consumer web sessions — disrupting the online shopping experience and even diverting customers away to competitor offerings. Not only does this hurt e-commerce conversion rates, but it also damages brand equity.

“A significant number of online shoppers encounter a barrage of pop-ups, banner ads, competitor product recommendations and other unwanted distractions due to online journey hijacking. These pop-ups originate with the user, who unknowingly has malware on their devices — typically due to free software bundles and program updates, as well as public or unsecured WiFi networks.

“One of the most concerning aspects of online journey hijacking is that it is completely invisible to the retailer or brand, as the unauthorized ads reside solely on the user’s browser, not on their servers. As a result, they never see what their customers experience when their sessions are hijacked.”

Why is this a problem?

“Most e-commerce professionals are not aware that online journey hijacking is happening on their site or that they are losing customers and revenue as a result. Nearly every major e-commerce site is vulnerable to this problem, which severely damages the customer journey — yet so much of this goes undetected. Since injections look like a native component of a website, customers have a tendency to click on these pop-up ads. Not only are e-commerce professionals losing significant amounts of revenue, but brand integrity is compromised by consumers not experiencing the online journey as intended.”

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