Navigating E-Commerce Channels: Are All Hands On Deck for Digital Marketing?

September 18, 2014

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Retail Blog Header

With the assistance of Redshift Research, we conducted the Multichannel E-Commerce Study with more than 200 respondents — US and UK retailers that already sell products online. Respondents were e-commerce decision makers at companies that averaged $3-5 million in revenue in 2013. The survey was intended to pinpoint e-commerce trends, as well as help identify opportunities and challenges in the online market.


Digital marketing is a common topic on our blog. We can talk all day about what it is, the importance of it and best practices to consider. But let’s take a different perspective this time. Understanding how your peers, your competition and other industry players are marketing their products online could allow you to better understand how digital marketing affects your online business.

Digital Marketing

As technology has advanced, so has the world of advertising. Digital marketing is here, it’s happening and it’s proving very successful for retailers.

Of the retailers surveyed in our Multichannel E-Commerce Study, 64% are using digital marketing in their overall advertising plan. The top digital marketing channel among the surveyed retailers is product listing ads (PLAs). The visual nature of PLAs make them a great way to get products in front of consumers in an engaging format.

The top three factors holding retailers back from increasing their digital marketing spend are budget (67%), confusion about the digital marketing landscape and the options it holds (36%) and uncertainty about the ROI at hand (32%). Digital marketing is an investment that requires constant learning. But if managed correctly, it can be a powerful tool to increase brand awareness and revenue.


Mobile adoption is on the rise for retailers’ consumers. It’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly more important to the ebb and flow of business. In fact, 67% of retailers reported more that 21% of their current web traffic comes from mobile devices. Even 86% of the retailers surveyed believe that web traffic from mobile devices will increase over the next two years.

Learning to adapt to trends — especially the trends in consumer behaviour — is key to success. Retailers are preparing for the mobile shift as 75% of those surveyed expect to increase mobile advertising over the next two years. Currently, 30% of retailers are allocating 11-15% of their advertising budget to mobile marketing. However, many plan on eventually increasing their mobile budget “significantly.” It’s refreshing to know that retailers understand the positive impact mobile can have on their businesses.

Social Media

Social media provides an opportunity to better connect with consumers and boost brand loyalty. Retailers are finding social media to be a vital part in relationship marketing. In fact, surveyed retailers’ top three goals for social media are increasing brand awareness (70%), reaching a new generation of customers (41%) and driving conversions (40%). It’s a channel that allows retailers to talk with customers, not at them.

Out of the multitude of social networks, surveyed retailers named Facebook as one of the more popular social platforms used to create sales conversions. Drive traffic back to your webstore by posting about upcoming sales or coupon codes. If you have the capacity for a social budget, use Facebook’s robust advertising service to get specific posts in front of a targeted audience.  Nearly a third (31%) of surveyed US retailers are already using social media to advertise promotions and/or deals.

Retailers realize the importance of digital marketing, and it’s becoming an increasingly essential element in their overall marketing strategies. Tune back next week for an overview of retailers’ expectations for the 2014 holiday season.


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor

 Navigating E-Com-Channels-Infographic-LP-imgFor a visual recap of our Multichannel E-Commerce Study results, check out our infographic.