Business

Report: E-Commerce Gains Currency as a Marketing Play

Nearly three-quarters of ANA’s surveyed members say they’re increasingly relying on e-commerce as a way to drive interest and sales for a brand. Interestingly, the efforts fall under the umbrella of marketing rather than sales.

If it doesn’t already, should your association have an e-commerce play?

A new report from the Association of National Advertisers makes the case. In its  ANA Survey Report: E-Commerce Insights, the trade group points out that many of its survey respondents—big-name advertisers, largely—tend to use e-commerce as an end goal for their marketing drives.

Nearly three-quarters of those respondents (which include companies such as General Electric, AT&T, Logitech, and AB InBev) say they have some sort of e-commerce platform, with a 66 percent increase in such efforts between 2015 and 2016. Of the companies that aren’t engaged in online commerce, nearly a quarter of them say they’re launching such an effort within the next two years.

“These results are not surprising, as e-commerce platforms connected to mobile devices have become increasingly prolific,” ANA CEO Bob Liodice said in an emailed news release. “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.”

Resources are often directly placed onto electronic commerce efforts by marketers—59 percent of respondents have a dedicated department, according to the report. Those departments tend to report to the chief marketing officer and are more often treated within organizations as an element of the digital marketing department rather than sales.

A side effect of the move is that it pushes marketers to make their initiatives more digital-native, meaning that more experimental platforms need to be looked into. A portion of the report highlights how emerging trends will eventually touch online commerce.

“As technology advances, marketers must follow,” the report states. “Augmented reality and virtual reality are already becoming mainstream for gaming, but their potential for e-commerce remains largely untapped. Amazon’s push-to-buy buttons offer another view of what the future promises; brands will need to be more creative with product trials as purchases move toward automation.”

Ultimately, e-commerce is seen as a major revenue driver for marketers, with nearly half of respondents saying it drives up to a tenth of the company’s sales.

The full report is available at the ANA website.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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