We’ve brought back our weekly reading list for those of you marketers and digital professionals wanting to while away your Friday afternoon.

Here’s a few articles we’ve been reading this week….

From around the web

Introducing the GOV.UK Data Labs – Government Digital Service describes how its data science and user-centred design disciplines are being brought together in the new GOV.UK Data Labs. The article lists the aims of the new team. Its goals are to:

  • “make better use of anonymised data, and data science, to improve users’ experience of government by optimising content, journeys or services as a whole
  • ensure that teams across government keep users at the heart of their plans by delivering relevant access to anonymised performance data
  • explore the idea of consent-based personalised experiences on GOV.UK
  • empower colleagues in GOV.UK by democratising data insights and improving data literacy”

Google got rich from your data. DuckDuckGo is fighting back – This Wired piece is a profile of privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo interwoven with a feature about the new EU regulation, coming into effect this summer, that requires Google to give Android users a choice of search engines. It doesn’t seem like that will do much to dent Google’s dominance at this juncture – so we probably won’t see it having a huge impact on search or search marketing on mobile.

Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario is stepping down – Yesterday’s Fast Company newsletter carried with the headline “America’s best CEO just stepped down”. If you don’t know much about Rose Marcario, the CEO in question, this piece is a really interesting read about a company whose brand ethos and activism feels 100% genuine – which we can probably agree is a rare thing even in 2020 – and the person who led the way in establishing that impact.

Tiktok usage almost matches YouTube among 4-15 year olds in UK, US, Spain – A recent article from TechCrunch, based on data from Qustodio, reveals how kids aged 4 to 15 across the UK, US and Spain now spend 80 minutes per day on TikTok, almost matching the 85 minutes per day spent on YouTube videos (figures for April 2020). In fact, there has been a 200% growth in social app use by this age category in 2020 (driven by TikTok), boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting the app is becoming a major rival to YouTube. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues past Covid-19 as TikTok secures its place as a social media giant in the West.

Zara owner to close up to 1,200 fashion stores around the world – The Guardian reports on Inditex’s plan to close 1,200 stores as part of a new plan in which “online sales will account for more than 25% of the total by 2022, compared with 14% in its 2019 financial year.” Larger stores will act as distribution hubs for online sales.

The closures, expected to be concentrated in Asia and Europe, will be brands other than Zara. Inditex’s other brands include Bershka and Massimo Dutti.

Despite sales down 44% in Inditex’s first quarter, online sales rose 50%, and were up 95% YoY in April.

From Econsultancy

24 best practice tips for ecommerce site search – 24 tips and tons of examples, this 5,000-word article is all you need on the UX of ecommerce site search.

Digital Transformation Monthly – June 2020 – Assembling and analysing the most important trends emerging from the ‘new normal’, this edition covers:

  • ASOS scaling up its use of AR to showcase its fashion
  • The launch of Carlsberg UK‘s Love My Local digital platform, aimed at supporting pubs during Covid-19
  • PepsiCo and Kraft Heinz launching their own direct-to-consumer websites
  • Heineken UK‘s Swifty payment and loyalty app, which allows bar staff to take contactless food and drink orders
  • The demise of NatWest‘s app-only bank Bó, less than six months after launch.

That’s your lot. Have a great weekend.