Based on a US consumer survey of 1600+ adults, the “Future of Retail” report from Walker Sands reveals 19% of consumers have used voice devices to make a purchase in the past 12 months. In terms of voice device ownership, 16% owned an Echo, 6% owned a Google Home, and 2% had multiple or both. The finding that seems to stand out most is that 20% said they planned to purchase a voice device in the coming year.

Snapchat releases Snap Publisher: self-serve ad creation tool converts horizontal videos, websites into vertical video ads

Snapchat launched an ad creation tool called Snap Publisher. The tool is browser-based and can be used by those with access to Snap Ad Manager. It allows advertisers to transform any photo or video into a vertical video ad. Snap Publisher also enables brands to pull photos and videos from their websites or use one of templates provided. Snap Publisher has 13 templates designed for creating Snap Ads.

Amazon’s new Spark social feed wants to be ‘Instagram for products’

Within the Amazon app, Amazon Spark features images and posts, not all of them are linked to products, but many of them are and are available for purchase on Amazon. With a goal to facilitate social engagement on the Amazon app leading directly to product purchases, it has been described as a social network for shopping, a shoppable feed, and more. Right now, Spark is US and iPhone only.

Google Analytics rolling out ‘ask a question’ to get answers instantaneously

“Ask a question” functionality has arrived in Google Analytics. The goal is to provide easier access to information for people throughout an organization without relying on data analysts or having deep understanding of Google Analytics. The hope is that analysts will have more time to focus on strategy, while the rest of the organization can access information needed to understand how their business is performing online.