Survey Says: Digital Marketing Is a Must for Retailers

by Greg Ives on Nov 4, 2014 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing

Greg_Ives_resizedAs a marketer, you have to be everywhere your customers are. For digital marketing, that means owning the search engine results page, and branding out to affiliates and comparison shopping engines to build brand awareness. So how do you find new customers, engage in conversations, and drive traffic to your website? And how would you rate your performance against your peers?  

With the assistance of Redshift Research, we conducted the Multichannel E-Commerce Study with more than 200 respondents — U.S. and U.K. retailers that averaged $3-$5 million in revenue in 2013. The digital marketing portion of our study identified how retailers are increasing their product exposure and converting shoppers to buyers using various online advertising channels.

Some of the main digital marketing takeaways from our survey include:

Digital marketing is a must for retailers. With so many digital marketing channels available, it’s difficult to stand out from the competition. It’s increasingly important to have the metrics available to understand your performance by product and by channel to effectively allocate your digital marketing budget. Without adequate analytics and insights, it’s difficult to know what’s working and what’s not.

  • 64 percent of retailers are using digital marketing.
  • Retailers reported that their top digital marketing strategies in terms of performance include Product Listing Ads (54 percent).
  • The top three factors holding retailers back from increasing their digital marketing spend:
- Budget (67 percent)
- Confusion about options and the digital marketing landscape (36 percent)
- Uncertain ROI (32 percent)
Mobile advertising is becoming increasingly important. The rise of mobile commerce is here. It’s estimated that smartphone users worldwide will total 1.75 billion in 2014, so it’s important that you accommodate mobile and tablet users in all your digital marketing efforts. According to our research, your peers are increasing their mobile advertising budget over the next two years and expect to grow their mobile web traffic as a result.
  • 68 percent of retailers reported that more than 21 percent of their current web traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • 75 percent of retailers expect to increase their mobile advertising budget over the next two years.
  • 86 percent of retailers believe that web traffic from mobile devices will increase over the next two years.
Social media is increasing retailers’ brand awareness. Retailers can use social media to reach and engage with a new generation of consumers. If used strategically, social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and Wanelo can help retailers inspire customers and turn conversations into conversions. For now, most retailers are primarily using social media for branding purposes.
  • Retailers’ top three business goals for social media:
- Increasing brand awareness (70 percent)
- Reaching a new generation of customers (41 percent)
- Driving conversions (40 percent)
  •  22 percent of retailers reported that social media is how consumers find companies’ products online most often.
After this glimpse into what digital marketing approaches your peers are taking, how do you feel about your progress? How efficiently are you promoting your products on search and comparison shopping engines, social sites and mobile to build your brand?

To see more detailed results and a comprehensive overview of the ChannelAdvisor Multichannel E-Commerce Study, please visit  

Greg Ives is product marketing manager for Digital Marketing at ChannelAdvisor.

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