E-Commerce Earns A Growing Share Of Marketers’ Strategies
E-commerce is increasingly popular among marketers, a study by the Association of National Advertisers shows, and that within the next two years more than 80 percent of them will be using it to conduct business. The study, “The ANA Survey Report: E-Commerce Insights,” also found that 73 percent of marketers believe e-commerce drives revenue and, of those, 43 percent say it accounts for up to 10 percent of all sales.
For purposes of its study, ANA defined e-commerce as a wide variety of internet-based business models and e-commerce strategies as incorporating various elements of the marketing mix to drive users to a website for the purpose of purchasing a product or service. E-commerce includes business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business sales via an online company store as well as through third-party retailers.
“These results are not surprising, as e-commerce platforms connected to mobile devices have become increasingly prolific,” says Bob Liodice, ANA CEO. “There is every reason to believe that these trends will accelerate, which will dramatically transform how consumers interact with marketers. These trends will pressure marketers to adapt quickly and provide consumers with outstanding user experiences.”
The ANA’s study also found that 74 percent of respondents currently engage in some form of e-commerce, 66 percent reported e-commerce growth in the past year and 59 percent have dedicated e-commerce departments. Of those companies not currently engaged in e-commerce, 23 percent plan on launching such an initiative in the next two years.
Most e-commerce companies, the study revealed, engage in social media marketing, have an online store hosted on the company’s website, leverage mobile payment platforms and employ third-party online retailers like Amazon or Walmart. Furthermore, 28 percent of e-commerce departments report to digital marketing, while 21 percent are standalone divisions, and 47 percent report to the CMO and 15 percent to the head of sales.
The ANA’s study also uncovered some challenges to marketers’ e-commerce initiatives. These include difficulty in assess the bottom-line impact of a firm’s e-commerce effort, poor intra-company communication and a lack of tracking infrastructure.