Online marketers who work on retargeting have seen the pattern. From 95 to 98 percent of online visitors search for something but the search never converts into a purchase. They leave the site without buying. For marketers, this leaves much to speculation and assumptions that can then lead to wasted time and investments in ineffective marketing programs.
Its a key element of e-commerce marketing. One of the more common ways online marketers attempt to solve this problem is to “retarget,” which is to track those consumers and reconnect with them at some later point by showing display ads when they browse other websites. You’ve probably noticed this when you’ve used Google search to find something like a pair of shoes, and then later when you’re reading separate a news site, you’re exposed to a number of display ads centered on that very thing you were searching for earlier.
But once that marketer gets your attention, what can they do to increase the likelihood that you will make a purchase? That question is at the center of a new study that reveals what may be the best approach to increase conversion rates.
The research study to be published in the April edition of the INFORMS journal Marketing Science is titled Consumer Search and Purchase: An Empirical Investigation of Retargeting Based on Consumer Online Behaviors. It is authored by researchers from The Warton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of California, and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
To conduct their research, the study authors analyzed consumer behaviors in response to two distinct marketing strategies. In one approach, they sent out coupons via those retargeted display ads. The coupons would be redeemed upon purchase. In the other approach, the study authors used those display ads to provide seller recommendations that centered on a specific product offering customized to the user, but with no coupon or discount.
We have found that while both strategies help increase the conversion rate, the seller recommendations were more effective than coupons,” said the authors. “This told us that providing consumers with the sellers’ information that is most relevant to them may be a more effective way to tap the power of retargeting.
To conduct their research, the study authors tapped empirical data from Taobao.com, which is owned by Alibaba and is the largest online retail platform in China. Like other major e-commerce platforms, it collects consumer browsing history and can reach consumers through direct messaging on the platform, either through the website or its mobile app. The researchers built a consumer search model to establish the relationship between consumer preference and search behaviors. They studied the behavior of 104,189 consumers who searched for a specific product among 20 sellers.
Search Intensity Impacts Retargeting Efficiency
We noticed some predictable patterns,” said the study authors. “Consumers who had a higher search intensity for a specific product were more likely to actually make a purchase. Search intensity was measured in the volume of clicks tied to the same search or search term. What we found was that even where the consumer clicked on multiple possible products, it was the first link they clicked on that had the highest potential of generating a sale. In other words, after a more intense search, the consumer is more likely to go back to that initial seller once a decision to make a purchase is made.
Consumers who had a higher search intensity for a specific product were more likely to actually make a purchase….even where the consumer clicked on multiple possible products, it was the first link they clicked on that had the highest potential of generating a sale.
In addition to the two basic retargeting strategies – discounting or customization – the authors proposed to use the auction as a pricing mechanism to implement the policies. The auction pricing mechanism requires the seller to self-select. This means the seller selects certain criteria for its ideal customer for a specific product at a specific price-point and then bids on how much it will pay to reach that consumer.
“Through our research, we were also able to show that a pricing mechanism, such as an auction, also tends to improve the effectiveness of a retargeting program,” said the authors. “When Taobao used a pricing mechanism such as an auction, the company was able to improve the efficiency of its retargeting campaigns.”
When Taobao used a pricing mechanism such as an auction, the company was able to improve the efficiency of its retargeting campaigns.
We just published the Portada Insight Report on E-Commerce in Latin America in partnership with ComScore. The report (“El Marketing de Comercio Electrónico en Latinoamérica: Datos y Enseñanzas para Ejecutivos de Marca”) analyzes website traffic in three categories: Department Stores/Malls, Food/Supermarket/Grocery and Fragrances/Cosmetics in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In addition, website visits and social media marketing of the main Mexican retailers in the Food/Supermarket/Grocery categories are analyzed. Plus insights and best practices from 12 major brand marketers, including Marriott’s Diana Plazas, L’Oreal’s Pablo Sanchez Liste and PepsiCo’s Hernan Tantardini.
E-Commerce in Latin America is one of the hottest sectors worldwide and, with it brand marketers need for MarTech, is growing in leaps and bounds. While penetration over retail sales in Latin America lies at approximately 5% vs. 20% in China and 15% in the U.S, COVID-19 has brought a huge increase in e-commerce and e-commerce marketing in Latin America. We just published the Portada Insight Report on E-Commerce Marketing in Latin America in partnership with ComScore. The report in Spanish, (“El Marketing de Comercio Electrónico en Latinoamérica: Datos y Enseñanzas para Ejecutivos de Marca”) analyzes website traffic of three key categories (Food/Supermarket/Grocery, Department Stores/Malls and Fragrances/Cosmetics) in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
In addition, website visits and social media marketing of the main Mexican retailers in the Food/Supermarketing/Grocery categories are analyzed. Brand Marketers in the Portada Network provide intelligence about the correlation between social media marketing and website visits as well as best practices. They include senior brand marketing executives from PepsiCo, Colgate Palmolive, Best Buy, New York Life, Seguros Monterrey, Walmart Mexico, Nestle, Grupo Exito, L’Oreal, Marriott and Walmart Mexico.
E-Commerce in Latin America
Did you know that unique visitors to websites in the Food/Supermarket/Grocery Category in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico grew by 65% to 63.3 million unique users between March 2019 and September 2020? Find out how social media marketing by major retailers grew and how it impacted website visits. DOWNLOAD the report here.
What form will the advertising mix take once COVID-19 is over? How and where should brands advertise to boost E-Commerce? Should they trust Live Sports to come back in a major way? How can brand marketers best approach Data Privacy Regulations, First Party Data and Personalization?…. Advertisers have many questions as they go into 2021 and beyond. Check out the answers provided by brand executives in the Portada network and our editorial team. A Q&A reflecting the Advertising and Marketing Zeitgeist.
MY FIRST QUESTION is WTF I can’t plan much in this environment. When will COVID-19 finally be over?
ANSWER: Don’t expect live to resemble anything close to what we had in 2019 until the second half of 2021. Good to know: Customers are the lifeblood of business and advertising is the main tool to attract new customers and an important way to retain them. In 2020 business conditions changed dramatically due to COVID-19. This substantially impacted advertising with an expected decrease of U.S. advertising revenue of 17% for 2020 (excluding political advertising, Magna Global);a miserable advertising year.
OK, but EVEN WHEN COVID IS OVER, how will the new normal impact my advertising and marketing?
ANSWER: Whether you are a company that is not directly facing the consumer or a Direct to Consumer firm, E-Commerce marketing and advertising will be much more important for you compared to pre-Covid-19 levels.(e.g. check out how automotive marketer Cadillac has worked proactively to adapt its advertising and marketing.) Good to know: COVID has brought enormous changes in the way consumers inform themselves and buy products and has accelerated digital transformation and e-commerce. In January 2020, eMarketer forecast total U.S. ecommerce sales would reach US $674.88 billion in 2020, but a revised estimate puts that figure at US $794.50 billion or 17.7% more than expected! E-commerce skyrocketed from 12% to 16% of retail sales in only one year. Note that there is still a lot of room for e-commerce growth!
On the Relentless Ascent of E-Commerce Focused Advertising
I can see that it makes sense to put more money to work to grow E-COMMERCE, BUT WHERE EXACTLY SHOULD I DO THIS? Should I invest in advertising to attract buyers to my own website, to a third party marketplace or to direct them to social selling?
ANSWER: Most brand marketers in the Portada knowledge-sharing network see sales channels as complementary and not competing. “The key is to be omnichannel in order to be where customers need us to be,” one brand marketer says. Another thing to take into account in your advertising is that third party marketplaces (e.g. Amazon, but also Target or Walmart) are impacting brand messaging. It is crucial for brands to be in control of messaging. As social media becomes even more connected with e-commerce, Influencer marketing is becoming more sales driven. (According to Statista, global Instagram influencer marketing amounted to US $ $8,08 billion in 2020.) Good to know: Amazon (37% sales growth in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3), vs Q3 2019) and other online retailers including Best Buy (23% Q3 2020 vs. Q3 2019 ) and Target (21.3% growth) have gained an enormous power as third party marketplaces who provide data and marketing services to brands. So have delivery and pick-up services like Instacart (grocery), Grubhub (restaurants) and others. All these intermediaries offer marketers opportunities to advertise their products on their apps and websites. In addition, social media properties are playing a crucial role in sending shoppers to company websites and also offer direct sales integrations (e.g. Instagram has just debuted shopping capabilities within its recently launched Reels feature). Magna estimates that driven by ecommerce and advertisers looking for “lower funnel” attribution, U.S. digital media revenue grew by 10% in 2020, reaching US $140 billion.
WHAT ABOUT THE TOP OF THE FUNNEL. Is there no place for branding and awareness anymore?
ANSWER: “While digital media and e-commerce have changed and shortened the customer’s path to purchase, brand awareness continues to be the basis for consideration and purchase. Broadcast TV and other traditional media forms, including Out of Home Advertising, continue to have major reach and appeal for advertisers.
Good to know: Magna forecasts that in 2021, with a COVID vaccine and the postponed Olympics, global advertising will rebound. The agency forecasts the global ad spend to increase by 7.6% to US $612 billion. Linear media, which is mostly awareness-top of the funnel oriented, will grow by 3.5%.
Where is Experiential Marketing Going?
Corporate America used to utilize in-person Live Sports events to obtain high reach and engagement. Will that again be the case once COVID is over or will VIRTUAL EVENTS, INCLUDING E-SPORTS, STILL PLAY A MAJOR ROLE?
ANSWER: “You will definitely see more of a mix as the world returns to normal of virtual vs. in-person events relative to how things worked prior to Covid,” Michael Goldstein, VP and Head of sponsorships North America at Mastercard recently told Portada.
DATA PRIVACY REGULATIONS are making it more difficult to target consumers. How can I solve this in 2021 and beyond?
ANSWER: Contextual targeting technology provides a data privacy-friendly alternative to behavioral targeting, It can help a brand understand what a consumer might like without needing personally identifiable information. Contextual targeting uses linguistic elements and the advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the context of what a user is looking at (e.g. check out Tecate’s new campaign). Contextual targeting can also be useful for performance marketing efforts. Good to know: Data privacy regulations and third party cookie phase-outs have digital advertisers scrambling for solutions to maintain campaign efficiency and scale without the regulation compromising behavioral targeting technology.
Nice to know…but I think my company should also obtain FIRST PARTY DATA as a major way to get customer insights. Don’t you think so?
ANSWER: Brands can gain a lot by unifying first-party data sources into a single customer view in a Customer Data Platform, CDP, although the platforms may not necessarily do everything a marketer expects them to do. Good to know: Marketers will need to shift from reliance on third-party data for audience targeting and campaign measurement to a new model improving the way they collect, manage, and activate their first-party data. Ogilvy head of experience technology, Jason Davey, sees digital marketing strategies shifting to prioritize first-party data as the looming cookie crisis gets real. Due to technological advances, multi-channel data collection, attribution, curation, enrichment and decisioning has become more accessible and affordable.
How does this all connect with my increased need to PERSONALIZE CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS?
ANSWER:The appropiate use of CDPs will continue to drive the hyper-personalisation trend, with more interest in Artificial Intelligence including predictive data analysis.
Sounds interesting. Another question I have is if I should invest more in CONNECTED TV (CTV). While the audience watching CTV is huge why are CTV advertising investment volumes so small?
ANSWER: CTV is clearly on the rise, as are other forms of video advertising, yet more sophisticated CTV measurement options “are key – and that will allow us to measure viewership and frequency across screens more easily,” Darcy Bowe, SVP, Media Director at Starcom USA tells Portada.
Good to know: CTV household penetration lies at 80% and Pay-TV’s at 62%, yet CTV advertisingis expected in 2021 to amount to only 15% of total US TV ad spending.
How can Segment and Purpose Driven Advertising Really Work?
How should I approach marketing toward ETHNIC POPULATION GROUPS in 2021 and beyond?
ANSWER: “The change that I would like to see for 2021 and beyond is to move away from total market strategies that try to find places of commonalities and a move towards diverse segment lead strategies, that are intentional and focused on the most authentic and relevant messages to build brand affinity and product usage with diverse segments as the designed target”, says Larissa Acosta, Integrated Marketing Consumer + Diverse Segments Team Leader at Wells Fargo.
Good to know: Over the last decade Corporate Americas has used the Total Market approach (TMA). This approach integrates diverse segment considerations and mostly leads to a full cross-cultural approach and campaigns. Critics note that the TMA is not effective for multicultural marketing and that the real reason companies use TMA is that they realize savings in their advertising expense and marketing organizations.
OK. I do want to TARGET THE HISPANIC POPULATION specifically and support media properties that cater to those communities. How can I advertise toward the Hispanic segment in a cost effective way. I mean Facebook and other platforms tend to be cheaper and have a lot of reach?
ANSWER: “We have found creative ways to nurture our multicultural media partners to ensure they serve us in various different ways vs just ROI. Media partnerships like Hispanicize and Revolt are great examples of how partners have been able to work with us to meet those goals. We have increased our spend to support diverse communities and partnerships.”, says Alexis Kerr, Head of Multicultural Marketing | Strategy, Content and Execution, at Cadillac.
Good to Know: Brands are often asked to invest in media properties that serve diverse communities. Yet, these media properties may not have enough reach to justify a media spend on ROI terms. (It also has to be said that while the cost of advertising in social media is lower, it not always guarantees brand safety.)
RACISM AND INEQUITY are major factors behind civic unrest. How should I be mindful of this in my brand’s advertising?
ANSWER: “It is counterproductive for a company to advertise if it does not commit to social and economic change by incorporating diversity, racial justice and social equity mandates and their execution. This should include executive leadership and personnel selection, an ecologically sound production process as well as diversity in vendors. Good to know: Covid-19 exposed a historic cycle of systematic racism and oppression as civil unrest hit many U.S. cities in 2020. More than 35% of young consumers (aged 19-26) have stopped shopping from a brand who has not spoken out against racism (Oberland Survey, August 2020).
MarTech investments are a key driver of the communications industry, both for entrepreneurs and investors. Recently created NUMATEC comprehends more than 300 employees in 22 countries, and is led by a team of entrepreneurs who have successfully founded and exited multiple ventures, and now pool their resources and companies under one umbrella. We interviewed Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO of NUMATEC, to better understand his innovative company and learn about the MarTech (Marketing Technologies) sectors he sees the most potential for growth in. Numatec particularly seeks to grow in.
Corporate MarTech budgets will continue to grow globally. This is one of the main reasons why industry veteran Giuliano Stiglitz recently founded NUMATEC. According to Stiglitz the following four MarTech subsectors are particularly primed for growth:”First, AI-If you go beyond the fact that it is perhaps the most misused word in the industry, in its truest meaning, AI is the driving force behind automation and evolution of many of the platforms used today.” Second Stiglitz sees eCommerce as eCommerce is playing an important role “and its growth was accelerated by the pandemic and there is a growing demand for services that help eCommerce businesses succeed.” The third major growth sector for MarTech Investments is Customer Data: “Everything that has to do with capturing, understanding and harnessing the power of user specific data is key. Lots of growth here as we are just at the beginning of this trend.”. Finally, Stiglitz expects substantial growth in CTV and “generally speaking TV converting to Digital, still a lot more to go (hence lots of growth) to bring TV 100% to the ‘other side’”.
AI is the driving force behind automation and evolution of many of the platforms used today.
NUMATEC’s MarTech Investments
NUMATEC’s current portfolio of companies is focused on the growth trends described above as its subsidiary companies including Si Señor agency, Cookie Lab and The Tech Partners offer many of these services. NUMATEC has allotted a war chest to continue its rapid expansion investing in MarTech, seeking other like-minded founders who wish to join the group and fuel growth. The main criteria for M&A will be whether companies complement the current stack, integration and over-arching strategy. Geographically, Stiglitz sees a huge potential in Latin America: “Despite the fact that our origins are in LatAm and some of our businesses have been operating for quite some time in the region, there are still a few markets where we haven’t entered yet, notably Brazil, and we intend to cover the entire region. We are also very excited about expansion in the U.S. and Europe, where we see a huge potential for our services.”
We still see a huge potential in Latin America, where some of our business have been operating for some time.
Stiglitz tells Portada that NUMATEC typically takes a majority stake of between 51% and 100% in the companies it invests in. “Sometimes we buy a stake in an existing company, sometimes we fund an entrepreneur who wants to start his or her own business and sometimes we incubate the business in-house. We provide guidance from Miami, but we incubate globally including Europe and LatAm.” Stiglitz says NUMATEC “typically is able to achieve profitability very quickly, and expects returns within a one to two-year timeframe.” NUMATEC generates revenue through its investments and the services it provides to its portfolio companies.
We typically are able to achieve profitability very quickly, and we expect returns within the first two years.
Stiglitz prefers not to limit or discourage potential partners by sharing a specific number to describe the maximum or minimum NUMATEC will invest in: “I will tell you though that we have invested as little as US $100,000 to launch a business and as much as US $1,000,000. The range is really quite broad.”
MarTech Investments: Holding Company and Investor
Asked about the ultimate goal of NUMATEC (e.g. selling its portfolio companies, increase in size etc.), Stiglitz answers that he likes to say that NUMATEC has two or perhaps three souls. “On one hand, we are a holding company and an investor so our ultimate goal here is to maximize shareholders returns. We do that through acquisitions, through funding exceptional entrepreneurs and by incubating new companies in-house. We have a well-oiled and proven methodology, and we won’t stop doing that. This relentless activity has resulted in quite a diversification: by having different lines of businesses (within the digital marketing space) and by operating in such a diverse group of countries. We can clearly see some buyers interested in what we have built, but that said, we are not currently looking for buyers. We do see a lot of growth ahead for several years and we will keep our options open to other avenues, including an IPO. “We are also the perfect partner for Martech companies eager to attain more market share and accelerate their growth in the markets where we operate. We want to be seen as the market leader in channel partnerships and distribution for top-tier AdTech and Martech companies; this is one of our ultimate goals that goes hand in hand with the first one. Last but not least, we want to be seen as the ideal investor for the most talented entrepreneurs in our industry. By helping a new generation of founders achieve success, we’ll be able to achieve our goal and we’ ll have accomplished something meaningful in the process.”
We want to be seen as the market leader in channel partnerships and distribution for top-tier AdTech and MarTech companies.
Providing Brands with a Wide Array of Marketing Services
By undertaking MarTech investments, NUMATEC intends to build the world’s premier network of service providers for today’s global brands. Stiglitz emphasizes that NUMATEC’S objective is to provide brands (corporations) a wide array of marketing services through different NUMATEC portfolio companies. “Our objective is two-fold: the first, strategically investing in technology enabled service companies in the Martech ecosystem, and the second, partnering with the best available technologies to accelerate growth and distribution. By doing this we will be able to provide, as a group, the most complete set of services that compete with industry leaders,” he concludes.
GlobalWebIndex (GWI) published the findings of its extensive research into the global consumer trends that are shaping not just consumer behavior, but also their feelings, motivations, and attitudes now and for the year ahead.
The annual ‘Connecting the dots’ report, compiled from 700,000 interviews across 46 countries, explores how internet users are changing the way they act, think, and feel, in line with events around the world.
Livestreaming commerce is rising as the new medium for online shopping.
“2020 has spanned a pandemic, global lockdowns, the Black Lives Matter movement, extraordinary wildfires in Australia and the Americas, the rise of TikTok, US elections, to name but a few. The world has changed, and so have consumers. Through Connecting the dots, you won’t just know what the biggest behavioral shifts were in 2020, you’ll see what’s been driving them, and how to take advantage. This, coupled with a harmonized global perspective, can help give confidence that what you’re seeing isn’t just a regional fad. In an era defined by universal change, context is king. Without it, distinguishing between hype and reality is even more difficult” said Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer at GWI.
Connecting the dots 2021: Zero in on what matters
Explaining the report’s scope, Jason Mander said: “We zoomed into consumers around the globe, and connected the dots to identify eight key trends. From new flexible working patterns to livestream digital shopping, ethical consumerism, mental health and coronavirus, one thing is clear; uncertainty rules the day. Against this complexity, this report provides clarity and perspective. We identified both best and worst case scenarios to help us all navigate our way through 2021 to stand out and meet the expectations of the global population.”
One thing is clear; uncertainty rules the day.
These are the key trends to watch out for in 2021:
A green awakening: make sustainability part of the recovery in 2021
The first wave of lockdowns had an unexpected upside: we began a new chapter in our relationship with the environment. However, any gains look set to be wiped out as normality returns. Cynicism is also set to make a comeback. Consumers have gone from seeing a bright future ahead to feeling pessimistic – and this backlash will ensure green values are a hot topic through 2021 and back on top of the agenda.
Environmental optimism since COVID-19
% of global internet users who say the environment will get better in the next 6 months
The digital storefront: how livestreams will support ecommerce 2.0
The explosive growth of TikTok, the rise of influencers, and the need for brands to distinguish themselves online. Livestreaming commerce is rising as the new medium for online shopping. This will be a new battleground for retailers and may bring community and entertainment to ecommerce – elements it currently lacks, yet consumers state it would encourage them to buy products. As shopping becomes increasingly digitized, livestream commerce is a key way to create a more interactive, entertaining experience that consumers crave. More about ‘the digital storefront’.
It’s a kindness magic: brand purpose will need to shift
As the COVID-19 crisis develops, businesses will need to think through their responses beyond short-term crisis management. This includes building new ways of doing business that bake in kindness and empathy at their core. Serving up PPE and hand sanitizer worked well at the time, but next year will need more focus on individual consumers and how to support them during times of hardship.
New expectations on brands
% of internet users in 7 countries who want brands to put more focus on the following
Supporting people during COVID-19
Supporting/being vocal about social causes (e. g. equal rights, poverty etc)
More than lockdown blues: the looming mental health crisis
The effects of the current health crisis will usher in another one in 2021 – the mental health crisis. Businesses will need to take the same proactive approach that they deployed in the early stages of the corona meltdown. When asked what consumers are more concerned about, almost a third (31%) stated mental health and wellbeing compared to 29% who said a COVID-19 vaccine.
All work, no play: the 9-5 model is sapping productivity
Looking ahead, bosses will be torn between pulling the troops back in or continuing with remote working. The latter may be the smarter decision. Not only can it whip up business performance during an uncertain time, but also boost productivity and employee satisfaction – when combined with flexible working. Office staff are 32% more likely to say they are allowed to work from home since 2019. In comparison, there’s just a 5% increase in those stating that they are now more likely to work flexible hours.
Coming of age: a generation-defining year for Gen X and boomers
2020 is a “generation-defining” year. This is especially true for the mature age groups. Generation X and baby boomers have increased their reliance on the internet and online shopping, which looks to be permanent. As many populations are aging, the older groups’ market power is soaring. Their decisions and behaviors will be more impactful than you might think. Online grocery shopping alone in the U.S. has grown by 57% among Gen X and baby boomers since Q3 2019.
Data for good: nurturing the new relationship between consumers and online privacy
The hot topic of data privacy seems to be cooling off as we head into 2021. In the recent past, scandalous exposures have fueled an ever-growing concern among consumers. But with the advent of contact-tracing apps, consumers are more accepting of data as a public good. In 2013, 56% of internet users were concerned about the internet eroding their personal privacy. By 2019, this had climbed to 61%. Fast-forward to 2020, however, and the pattern has muddied. Some privacy concerns have actually declined in the wake of COVID-19. As Google prepares to kill off the cookie, publishers might just have a new way to influence consumers with the value of first-party data.
There’s no place like home: the pandemic is reshaping city life
Many predicted that COVID-19 would lead to the death of the city. If you can work from home, why not move to the countryside? But actually, research highlights that most countries are still urbanizing, with cities in the west evolving, not dying. Night-time and service economies have been badly hit, but city dwellers will come to value other aspects of their environment, from the local neighborhood stores to their home interiors.
The Big City Appeal
% of urbanites in the following countries who would choose to continue living in the city
GWI’s Connecting the dots 2021 trend report figures are drawn from its online research among internet users aged 16-64*. The figures represent the online population of each market, not its total population. Each year, GWI interviews over 700,000 internet users via an online questionnaire for our core dataset.
*GWI USA is representative of internet users aged 16+
Ecommerce marketing automation platform Omnisend, recently published its Email & SMS Marketing Stats & Trends Report (Q2 2020) . The results of the study provide interesting insights on e-commerce consumer behavior towards email, SMS and push marketing messages during the pandemic. One insight is that consumers gravitated toward trusted channels such as email marketing when doing their online shopping.
Omnisend analyzed email send data for over 2.4 billion emails sent from the Omnisend marketing platform during Q2 2020. They also looked at more than 1.8 million SMS and push messages sent through the Omnisend platform. The data below includes sends, opens, clicks, and conversions from April 1st through June 30th for both 2019 and 2020.
Email Marketing Performance
Email Open Rates:
Email open rates increased year-over-year for both promotional campaigns and automated messages during the second quarter. Promotional campaigns (traditional scheduled messages) registered an overall open rate of 10.85%*, a 29.37% lift compared to the same period in 2019.
This increased performance is not entirely surprising. As we saw in the COVID-19 email marketing metric report, when consumers increased their online shopping they turned to trusted marketing channels like email as a source of product discovery and awareness.
When consumers increased their online shopping they turned to trusted marketing channels like email as a source of product discovery and awareness.
Online DTC brands who don’t send these types of messages because their ecommerce platform isn’t integrated with their email provider are missing a huge growth opportunity.
Type of Automation
Lift Over Campaigns
* List management, send cadence, and the use of Booster sends (remails) on a per-client basis impacts promotional campaign open rates—often resulting in lower overall numbers. For instance, it is common for remailed messages, because they specifically target non-openers, to receive roughly half of the open rate as the initial send—therefore reducing the overall open rate.
Email Click Rates:
While promotional campaigns saw a decrease in click rates, the same cannot be said for automated messages. Automated messages generated a 21.24% click rate, marking a 15.37% YoY lift over automations in 2019.
When comparing click rates in Q2 of this year, automated messages see an improvement of 49.36% over scheduled promotional campaigns, with birthday, cart abandonment, and welcome emails leading the way.
Type of Automation
Lift Over Campaigns
Email Marketing Conversion Rates:
Overall, the conversion rate for promotional email marketing campaigns was 5.37%—an 88% year-over-year lift. Maybe more promising for brands is that the conversion rate increased each month of the quarter, hinting at an increased reliance on not only ecommerce but email marketing as a primary purchase channel.
This behavior is indicative of intent-based shopping. Instead of consumers clicking on an email and casually browsing the website, emails had to ‘earn’ their clicks—but once the subscriber clicked on the email their intent to purchase was higher.
Most importantly, automated messages drove 26% of the email marketing conversions while accounting for less than 2% of the email sends. Online brands should look to automation as a major component for increasing their sales.
Type of Automation
Lift Over Campaigns
Overall Campaigns and Automation Performance:
Scheduled promotional campaigns made up 98% of the email volume sent during Q2 2020. These campaigns saw YoY increases in open and conversion rates, while click rates slightly decreased.
The worst-performing automated message, in terms of conversion rate, still saw a rate nearly double that of promotional campaigns.
The numbers don’t lie — automated lifecycle messages are powerful sales enablers for ecommerce businesses. Even though these messages accounted for less than 2% of the email marketing volume sent during Q2, they generated 26% of the conversions. In fact, the worst-performing automated message, in terms of conversion rate, still saw a rate nearly double that of promotional campaigns. Online businesses who fail to utilize automated lifecycle messages are limiting their growth potential.
For more insights including Transactional Performance, SMS and Push Message performance as well as E-commerce takeaways, please click here.
E-Commerce is skyrocketing in Latin America as the current pandemic has accelerated digital transformation. This makes the benefits to be reaped from e-commerce investments and e-commerce marketing extremely tantalizing to corporations active in Latin America. To understand why and how the pandemic has catapulted e-commerce in the region, Portada talked to four Latin American brand marketers from Best Buy, Nestlé, Colgate Palmolive, and New York Life who will be participating at our May 19, Portada Live Americas virtual event.
The current pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce in Latin America, although in many sectors and countries, the development is still in the early innings. Penetration of e-commerce in Latin America lies at 5% of retail sales, about a quarter of China’s and a third of the U.S.’s. This makes the benefits to be reaped from e-commerce investments and successful e-commerce marketing very attractive to corporations active in Latin America. Actionable insights and intelligence on E-Commerce in Latin America and E-Commerce Marketing and Advertising will play a key role at our upcoming Portada Live Latin America November 19 virtual event. We talked to four Latin American brand marketers of the consumer electronics, CPG and financial sectors who will be participating in this virtual event, to learn how the pandemic has catapulted e-commerce in the region and what’s next.
To José Camargo Samperio, Ecommerce SubDirector, at Best Buy Mexico, the Covid-19 pandemic has substantially changed consumer behavior. Traffic on Best Buy Mexico’s website increased by 50% as consumption of consoles, musical instruments and even domestic articles multiplied by four. Consumers opted for more entertainment alternatives due to the increase of time they spend at home.
E-Commerce purchases of consoles, musical instruments and even domestic articles multiplied by four.
Latin America E-Commerce Growth Propelled by Increase of Visits in Retail Sites
ComScore reports that during the time period January – May 2020 time spent by consumers on retail sites increased by 38.7% in Argentina and 18.8% in Mexico compared to the same period in 2019. Home Furnishings, Apparel y Flowers/Gifts/Greetings were the retail categories that most grew in Argentina and Brazil. While for Mexico the categories with most growth were in Health Care, Department Stores and Food/Supermarket/Grocery.
According to Best Buy’s Camargo, as many businesses and companies have had to limit the amount of employees they have working in their office, home office and telecommuting became the norm. Thus the availability of smartphones and computers became something indispensable to have to accomplish work objectives. We have seen that servicing clients in everything related to the home office, has brought in sales as a result.” Camargo adds that “customer needs have changed almost totally: health and well-being are the main factors to take into account when it comes to offer a service.”
German Villegas, Digital & E-Commerce Manager at Colgate Palmolive in Mexico notes that the main lesson of the pandemic has been to not to leave the implementation of platforms and of strategies around high growth (social) media properties until later. Additionally, he adds that the current environment has confirmed that in e-commerce there is no space for rigidity; flexibility and nimbleness are always required.
Villegas commends the rapid reaction of Mexican brick and mortar retailers by adopting and increasing Latin America e-commerce initiatives. “They also have quickly adopted delivery and pick-up. This has also substantially improved the effectiveness of omnichannel marketing as well as the ability of brand marketers to execute segmented campaigns.”
The Link between Social Media and E-Commerce
According to Best Buy Mexico’s Camargo, the pandemic has also increased the importance of social media platforms. “Websites and user profiles have been connected at a high speed, which has allowed users and brands to develop strong tools to exchange content, and even more importantly, convert to bilateral relationships through which consumers can in a very direct way issue opinions and reviews about their consumer experiences and distribute them to millions of consumers.” “Therefore its crucial for brands to get a clear understanding of where they are in the open internet and on social media.”
Websites and user profiles have been connected at a high speed, which has allowed users and brands to develop strong tools to exchange content, and even more importantly, convert to bilateral relationships.
To Gerald Fuchs Torrescano, Content & Digital Marketing Director, Seguros Monterrey/New York Life, what his company does in social is targeted to the primary point in the digital journey of his company’s prospects. “We have granulated and segmented our content in such a way that the lead ends up filling up an online form. The number of completions has increased by 43% since the pandemic started. This is due to a substantial increase in content marketing which is optimized via social listening tools. In other words we ask what do you need, rather than talk about what we offer.” Fuchs Torrescano also stresses that the pandemic has put forward the “need for top notch sites with relevant content and that are adaptable to all target market segments. It’s crucial to obtain high conversion rates.”
To Carlos Leal, Marketing Director, Ambient Dairy at Nestlé, based in Bogota (Colombia) the best strategy to convert social media users into Latin America e-commerce buyers is to generate “content that is part of the trend.” He adds that “Its not so much about having a link to the purchase site, but about making your offering a routine that is part of the daily live of the consumer. Good content marketing and word of mouth have played a very important role in generating trends. With that base, Influencers then can bring about a behavioral change in the end audiences.”
LatAm E-Commerce: Third Party Marketplaces Grow
Latin American third party marketplaces (e.g. Mercado Libre, Amazon), have played an important role in the survival of small and midsized online vendors, says Best Buy’s Camargo says that his company also helped these vendors to provide an excellent customer experience which was reflected in positive consumer reviews.
Nestlé’s Leal stresses the role of deep-linking: “Deep-linking is more important than ever for strategies that send consumers right to the purchase basket, particularly in the case of marketplaces. “They can be a credible reference that generates traffic and it is likely that this traffic ends up with a purchase, generating not only a lead but a sales conversion”, Leal concludes.
Deep-linking is more important than ever for strategies that send consumers right to the purchase basket, particularly in the case of marketplaces.
E-commerce marketing – the practice of converting website traffic into sales – is simple in definition. But shoppers, digital platforms, and algorithms evolve constantly, and so must your strategy. Studies claim that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040, and online shopping already accounts for 13% of retail sales in the U.S. alone in 2021 with lower ratios and even higher growth potential in other parts of the world. The numbers leave it crystal clear: brands can no longer afford to avoid the digital marketplace. For the most part, brands are embracing the opportunity – there are 12-24 million e-commerce sites online, and according to eMarketer, e-commerce sales are expected to hit $27 trillion in 2020. In addition there are a relatively new breed-of e-commerce companies that use apps and multi-vertical approaches to online sales. COVID-19 impact on consumer behavior has substantially accelerated this trend with brands in the U.S. and other parts of the world rushing towards D2C marketing and e-commerce related technologies. But to succeed, brands must be strategic and consistent about e-commerce marketing, and how they use the tools that the digital era affords them.
E-commerce marketing involves balance of paid, unpaid efforts
In contrast to shopping in person, e-commerce offers customers a far more personalized, convenient experience. It gives shoppers access to almost any type of product from anywhere in the world and, similarly, gives brands access to platforms with a global reach and a myriad of tools to empower their brand. A recent study found that the #1 reason people shop online is that they’re able to shop at all hours of the day.
Putting your products in front of the right audience requires a balance of marketing efforts that can generally be broken down into paid and unpaid efforts. Unpaid strategies involve drawing the right audiences to your brand “organically” through campaigns that generate audiences and sales through offering relevant, captivating content. SEO falls under the unpaid category as well, enabling better search rankings for those willing to navigate search engines’ ever-changing algorithms.
Paid media typically involves buying a space for advertising across different digital platforms. Common formats include display ads, banner ads, and sponsored ads, and they typically live on platforms like search engines (Google, Bing), social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook), and typical websites.
Brands must be thoughtful about how they employ a mix of paid and unpaid marketing strategies, responding to their target audiences’ online preferences and behavior.
E-commerce shoppers are global, young, and skew female
While each brand is responsible for understanding the particularities of its target audience, statistics on global e-commerce shoppers reveals a number of notable trends. E-commerce is increasingly global:cross-border e-commerce now accounts for 20% of total global e-commerce.
E-commerce is also increasingly generational: A recent study found that Millennials and Gen-Xers spend 50% more time shopping online than their older counterparts: 6 hours versus 4 hours, respectfully. And 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen-Xers prefer to shop online versus in a brick-and-mortar store. Breaking e-commerce down by gender reveals another interesting trend: Men spend 28% more than women shopping online.
Social media continues to drive effective e-commerce marketing
It’s no surprise that today’s social media platforms offer brands a myriad of ways to connect with today’s shoppers. While they can be selective about which platforms they use based on their audience and goals, those that forego a social media presence altogether are missing out. A recent study found that brands with a social media presence experience sales that are 32% higher than those that do not. This when considering the results of a study that revealed that 74% of consumers rely on their social media networks to make purchasing decisions.
Luckily, brands can turn to data to inform their decisions surrounding which platforms to invest in. For example, Shopify reported that the average order value for customers referred from Instagram is $65.00, followed by Facebook ($55), Twitter ($46), and YouTube ($38). Brands are already spending big money to promote their products on social media: eMarketer reported that Worldwide ad spending on Facebook and Instagram combined will reach nearly $95 billion annually in 2021. But other platforms are growing, too: The number of marketers sharing video content on LinkedIn is set to rise to 65% in 2021, for example.
Email marketing allows brands to be proactive in reaching audiences
A recent study found that email marketing contributes to 20% of traffic that drives eCommerce sales, and OptinMonster reported that email marketing yields $44 for each $1 spent for a 4400% ROI.
Smart brands use a number of tactics to take full advantage of email marketing. Segmentation – diving groups of consumers into groups based on common characteristics, traits, or behaviors – is key to ensuring that the content a brand delivers its audiences is relevant. Depending on who they are and what they are looking for, consumers will seek different kinds of information and products during their buying journeys. Campaign Monitor reported that segmented campaigns to email subscribers drive a 760% increase in revenue.
Shoppers increasingly turn to mobile for online shopping
An essential element of any e-commerce marketing strategy involves recognizing the different devices that shoppers use. 85% of customers start a purchase on one device and finish it on another.
Today, a significant portion of e-commerce activity occurs on mobile devices. This is true for all stages of the journey: 93% of Millennials have compared online deals using a mobile device. Shoppers even turn to their phones while in physical stores: 65% of consumers look up price comparisons on mobile while in a physical store, and 32% of shoppers changed their minds about purchasing items after checking out product information on their mobile devices within a physical store.
They feel as comfortable making important purchases on mobile as they do on desktop devices: In fact, conversion rates from mobile apps are 3x higher than mobile websites, and 40% of all online purchases made during the holiday season are done on smartphones.
What does this mean for e-commerce marketing strategies? Most importantly, brands must design mobile-friendly websites. 73% of consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing easier, and people who have a negative experience in your mobile store are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future. Brands that want to take it a step further can engage shoppers on brand or company-specific apps. According to a study from Invesp, 53% of smartphone and tablet owners will shop on company-specific apps.
AI set to transform shopping experience
While AI is still a nascent technology, it is quickly becoming a useful tool in e-commerce marketing strategies. It is primarily useful for deriving insight from large volumes of data. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce marketers that want to find patterns in shopping behavior and form a 360-view of customers as they give us clues about their preferences through interactions and engagements with your brand.
AI is also immensely useful in delivering better customer experiences. Chatbots represent one of the most popular applications for AI today. While nothing can fully replace the human touch, shoppers are starting to recognize the value that AI-powered customer service tools offer. A recent study found that almost half of consumers are open to the idea of purchasing an item from a chatbot. 57% are interested in getting information sent to them by a bot when visiting a business’s website.
What not to do: additional fees, complicated checkouts
Shoppers go online for convenience, and if they can’t find what they want easily, or if it won’t be delivered efficiently, they are likely to abandon their journey with a brand. According to a study by Metapack found that 45% of online shoppers abandon their carts when they are unhappy with delivery options, and 69% feel the same about shipping fees.
Similarly, complicated checkout processes, websites that load slowly, and sites that aren’t optimized for mobile will leave the site without making a purchase. The consequences for this can be drastic: 73% of consumers will leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly.
But there are ways to bring users who abandon back in. Email recovery strategies allow brands to send emails reminding users to return and complete a purchase. They are surprisingly effective, with a study claiming that almost half of recovery emails are opened, and that almost a third incentivize a sale.
Smart e-commerce marketing means automation, personalization, and convenience
Online shopping habits will continue to evolve as technology enables more and more ways to make e-commerce easier, faster, and more personalized. Smart brands can win in this space by staying attune to the devices and platforms that people are using, using technology to complement (and sometimes replace) the human touch, and building the tools to keep transactions as smooth and seamless as possible.
We talked to Yocelin Delgadillo, Media Manager Victoria and Premium Brands at AB InBev during her participation at AdWeek Latam. We discussed new digital strategies for Mexican brands, particularly how marketing for Modelo and other beers has swiatched to digital. In addition, she told us all about partnerships with fairs and festivals, e-commerce, and the company’s plans for streaming entertainment platforms.
E-Commerce and New Digital Strategies
What’s your on and offline media mix?
This year, we’re becoming a digital-first company for the first time ever. This doesn’t mean 100% of our budget goes to digital, but rather that we’re growing in the digital space. For some brands, a digital-first media mix means 60% of their budget goes to digital. This varies throughout our portfolio, but we have many new digital strategies.
For some brands, a digital-first media mix means 60% of their budget goes to digital.
Strategies for Stella and Michelob Ultra, brands in our premium portfolio, are very digital and e-commerce-focused. Actually, Stella has a very strong e-commerce perspective. It’s one of the best-selling brands in our e-commerce platform Beer House.
How did you launch and reinforce e-commerce?
The key to enter e-commerce was communication with retailers such as Rappi, Amazon and Mercado Libre. We have entire teams devoted to our relationship with them, designing promotions and creating brand awareness in those platforms. We know we must take awareness as a starting point in order to speed up the funnel. It’s even more efficient in Mercado Libre and Amazon, for instance, because the purchase takes place right there.
Every single piece of digital content of ours contains a call to action. Not all of them are necessarily related to sales, but we redirect users to websites that are mainly devoted to sales. We rarely send any traffic from a branding site to see more content. “If you’ve seen Vicky Chamoy and you’re already interested, you can buy it here.” You click on the CTA and it’ll take you to Beer House or Modelorama to get the product. That’s one of the pros of having our own e-commerce platform in house. We can estimate, optimize, and actually measure sales.
That’s one of the pros of having our own e-commerce platform in house. We can estimate, optimize, and actually measure sales.
Sponsorships of Fairs and Festivals
Tell us a bit about brand presence in festivals like Corona Capital and Flow Fest.
I’m in charge of four brands: Michelob Ultra, Modelo, Stella Artois and Victoria. Therefore, I need to be very aware of the perspective and muse of each brand. Each brand has a very different target. However, we have them well defined, and that helps us understand what works and what doesn’t, as well as to design new digital strategies for them.
Each brand has a very different target. However, we have them well defined.
Yocelin Delgadillo, Director of Integrated Marketing Communications, AB InBev.
On the other hand, experience marketing has become a platform to showcase all the Modelo brands. Before, you wanted to buy beer at the Corona Capital festival and they only had Corona. Now, Corona is the headliner, but Stella has a VIP bar, or BudLight headlines EDM festivals in the North of the country, but Corona is always there. Now we have full portfolio presence instead of just activating one brand. We’ve been there since 2019. All these experiences have also become perfect sampling occasions (for new products). Fairs are very important sampling points for our new Chamoy line. Victoria is the main brand, but we want to launch the Chamoy variety and that’s where consumers can try it.
How do you manage to get your message across at festivals, which involve so many different sponsors and brands?
We have an advantage: our experiences team is part of our media area. The name of that whole department is “Connections”, and it’s in charge of all connections with consumers ranging from advertising to events. Because we’re in the same area, we speak the same language and are aware of the same strategies. Actually, at the Experiences team, when we work with OCESA and other organizers of art festivals we try to close deals that are not simply about being another sponsor looking for naming. We want to get involved with the experience, we want to sponsor a stage that receives music that resonates with the brand.
We want to get involved with the experience.
They know we’re more than just a company that wants its logo on the poster. We want to be a part of the experience. Our advantage is our long relationship with them, they know our message by now.
A Slice of the Streaming Cake
What is the marketing team focusing on most intensely at the moment?
Everything related to data. We have a new data expert entering the team who’ll put together campaigns based on first-party data. I think personalization at scale is crucial, it’s one of the area’s KPIs, and a great percentage of our digital impressions are segmented according to affinity instead of just ethnographic information. Also, our business intelligence team sends us daily reports. Together with the agency, we’re constantly monitoring asset performance per audience. We prepare a specific briefing per audience for each campaign.
We have a new data expert entering the team who’ll put together campaigns based on first-party data.
Another new thing is that we have someone dedicated to entertainment, looking at how we take part of series and movies. It’s going beyond product placemant. The question is, are we truly participating in entertainment in an active way? We already have an important relationship with Netflix and Amazon Prime, where our products play an important role in the story.
What changed in the consumer to make you enter those platforms?
People decide what they want to watch. It’s no longer a matter of choosing between open broadcast and cable TV. Many people watch content on Youtube, Hulu, Netflix. If we want our message to reach them, we have to migrate to where they are. Streaming platforms don’t want us there, so it’s interesting how we create a relationship with content creators so that they make us a part of their stories.
If we want our message to reach them, we have to migrate to where they are.
In the interview with Delgadillo, we didn’t specifically address the branding difficulties that have resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic. However, other media have discussed the confusion and consequences for the Corona brand.
Even though it could seem obvious that the virus isn’t in any way related to beer, AdWeek reports that between January 26 and February 1, Google Trends registered an important increase in searches such as “beer virus” and “corona beer virus”.
So far, the company behind the Corona brand hasn’t said anything about the subject. On the other hand, social media has created a series of memes to make fun of the confusion. AB InBev has not withdrawn from partnerships with important events such as Corona Capital, scheduled to take place in Guadalajara in May and later on in Mexico City.
The COVID-19 pandemic has started to affect consumer behavior and confidence.Therefore, this week we have prepared a roundup of coronavirus insights. A summary of the most relevant consumer behavior research. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop-shop. Check out the previous consumer insights roundup here.
According to recent data by Morning Consult, consumer confidence has drastically fallen in the U.S., Japan, Germany, the U.K., and France. The Morning Consult ICS (Index of Consumer Sentiment) in the U.S. is 108.99 as of March 13, decreasing 0.9% from the day prior and down 4.63% since January 1. This represents the largest single-day drop in over two years. “Consumer confidence drives more than two-thirds of activity in the largest economy, so it can have sweeping effects across sectors,” reports Morning Consult.
Online Shopping Behavior
Predictive retail analytics platform Quantum Metric has published research about the effect of the new coronavirus on e-commerce in the U.S. Online retailers have reportedly experienced a 52% growth rate in online spending during the fifth-eighth weeks of 2020, compared to the same weeks of 2019. These weeks span Jan. 27 – Feb. 23, 2020, the period when the virus started spreading rapidly from Asia. In addition, online conversion rates rose 8.8% year-over-year during those same weeks in 2020.
According to Adobe Analytics‘, which tracks sales of 80 of the top 100 online retailers in the U.S., online sales of items like hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and anti-bacterial sprays soared 817% in January and February compared to the previous year. Consumers are also buying more drugs and non-perishable items: sales of cold, cough and flu products went up 198%, pain relievers jumped 152%, toilet paper grew 186% and non-perishable goods such as canned goods went up 69%, all compared to the same period last year. The same is happening in physical stores; for instance, Walmart will be reducing open hours to be able to restock.
General Attitudes and Spending
Internet media company Travelzoo has conducted a survey among U.S. consumers to learn about their travel intentions. Among the survey’s main findings, Travelzoo announced that astute travelers are still eager to travel both internationally and within the U.S. In spite of current concerns, many of them recognize now is the time to take advantage of remarkable travel deals. In fact, 44% of respondents stated the coronavirus hasn’t changed their interest in international travel. However, 36% of respondents said the coronavirus has impacted their planned international travel. Among those participants, 59% are considering selecting an alternate destination, postponing the trip or canceling the trip.
Seattle-based payments processing company Gravity Payments notes there has been a dramatic drop in spending around Washington in the past three weeks. “Just this week we started analyzing the data and found an overall 10% drop in business in Washington State (concentrated in the Seattle metro area),” writes Brooke Carey, a company spokesperson. The largest drops have been in hotel spending (down 56%), movie theaters (46% down), liquor stores (-31%) and restaurants (-29%.)
GlobalWebIndex has shared recent coronavirus insights. Currently, only 20% of survey respondents are concerned about the impact it will have on their personal finances (dropping to 12% among Gen Zs). Almost 90% of Gen Zs have made changes to their daily routine, dropping to 75% among baby boomers. Some 40% are reading the news more frequently in order to stay up-to-date, compared to just over 25% checking social media more frequently. Increased news checking is fairly consistent across generations, while checking social media more frequently drops dramatically among baby boomers. A quarter say they’re now shopping more online in light of the virus. Millennials (39%) are much more likely than any other generation to say this, followed by Gen Xers (29%). Higher-income individuals are also significantly more likely than lower earners to say this (48% vs. 15%, respectively).Check out:How will coronavirus impact marketing?
Short term it will likely have an impact and it may also accelerate trends that are already under way. How will the coronavirus impact marketing? Four things to take into account.
1. Short term: Uncertainty and Risk Aversion…
The coronavirus may soon be contained and ultimately not have a major impact on economic activity levels, similarly to the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak. In the short term, however, things are likely going to get worse before they stabilize. That’s because virus outbreaks, by definition, initially have a very high growth rate of positive cases. Uncertainty rules. “I think the reason we were not specific was just because I think at the moment, it’s really just unknowable,” WPP CEO Mark Read, said during the company’s earnings call last Thursday February 27, when asked about the business impact of coronavirus on WPP’s China business. “It’s more unknowable today than probably it was Friday, if we had this meeting Friday of last week, we may [have] given you a different answer then we give you today.” As COVID 19 cases grow outside of China, the uncertainty is also increasing in the rest of the World, including the rest of Asia, North America and Europe (the main marketing hubs). Not surprisingly, all major agency holding stocks have taken hits along with the broader market last week. With WPP’s shares falling 15%; IPG is down 5%; Omnicom is down nearly 4%; Dentsu Aegis fell 2.5%; and Publicis Groupe down 5.6%. In the real economy, global tourism and retail have been hit particularly hard, as Chinese tourists provide a major source of income for many markets.
2. Coronavirus Impact on Marketing: More emphasis on Virtual – Digital Marketing
In the short term companies are starting to restrict travel and encouraging remote work (e.g. Amazon told its employees to avoid all non essential travel for now including within the U.S.) Facebook, on its part, last week cancelled a global marketing conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Activations and sponsorships at live events may be impacted negatively as marketing, including event marketing will become more virtual. This is not good news in a year where analysts were expecting to see an uptick in media investments from marketers eager to capitalize on events like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The virus may also accelerate a trend that was happening anyway. Executive meetings and virtual events over hangouts will increase. For an example check out Portada’s Council System of brand marketers, which conducts12 brand decision maker virtual workshops a year.
3. Driver for E-Commerce…
In parts of China, major retailers like Starbucks, Uniqlo, Nike and Apple have temporarily shuttered their stores, while small and medium-size retailers are being hit particularly hard as foot traffic dwindles. This may happen in the U.S. in areas that have been particularly negatively affected by the outbreak. Reduced in-store activity will be a driver for increased e-commerce activity and e-commerce marketing. The big caveat here is if the outbreak creates serious supply chain issues (at producers, shipping and overall logistics e.g. Apple and Microsoft warning of supply chain problems last week), therefore limiting the amount of goods that can be purchased by online buyers.
…particularly Online Grocery…
Housebound consumers in China are turning to online groceries for their daily food supply. According to French retailer Carrefour, vegetable deliveries increased by 600% year over year during the Lunar New Year period. Chinese online retailer JD.com reported that its online grocery sales grew 215% year over year to 15,000 tons during a 10-day period between late January and early February. Concerns about food delivery due to possible food contamination have spurred recent innovation in contactless pickup and delivery services by companies such as McDonald’s and Starbucks.McDonald’s has implemented contactless pickup and delivery of Big Macs, fries and other menu items across China as the outbreak has unfolded. Customers order remotely – on mobile phones or by computers in store – and employees seal the meals in bags and put them in a special spot for pickup without human contact, McDonald’s says on its website.
4. Coronavirus Impact on Marketing: Boost to At-Home Entertainment, Video Streaming and Gaming
If employees are forced to stay at home more, it will also impact how consumers spend their leisure time as they may have to avoid public gathering spaces, like movie theatres, concerts and gyms, leaving more time for them to binge on home entertainment and video services. Advertising revenues of companies that heavily bet on video content and advertising ,e.g. Roku, Youtube, Netflix and others should benefit from a public that’s stuck at home.
Disney VS Netflix, consumers’ thoughts about Amazon, and retail marketing insights. A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop-shop. Check out the previous consumer insights roundup here.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear winner in the Disney VS Netflix fight yet. According to a new survey by Piplsay, half of Americans surveyed saidDisney Plus is “as good as” Netflix. On the other hand, 28% said it’s not as good, while 23% said they think it is better. In addition, 37% of respondents said Disney Plus is better than Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Also, about 42% said Disney Plus is as good as Hulu. Finally, 40% said Disney Plus is as good as Prime Video.
A survey by Convey of 2,000 U.S. consumers indicates a good amount of people don’t really like Amazon but shop there any way to get free shipping. The survey found that 24% of those surveyed had negative views of Amazon’s impact on the retail industry. In a similar way, 27% felt “very or somewhat” negative about the company’s effect on the environment. However, 21% of those respondents who worried about Amazon’s impact on the industry still bought half of their goods on its site. About 24% who thought Amazon’s practices are damaging to the environment also bought half their stuff there.
According to the “State of Consumer Behavior Report 2020” from Raydiant, 69% of respondents said a good in-store experience is either important or very important to them. Almost two-thirds (62%) find store associates helpful. More than half (57%) of respondents said they would go to physical locations for exclusive discounts, but 23% said they would care for unique experiences. More than 68% of respondents searched for a better price online after finding a product at a physical store.
A survey of more than 2,200 U.S. adults from Morning Consult and PRWeek found 41% of Millennials like when brands show their commitment to social causes. However, 39% think companies are trying too hard to make it look like they care. About half (46%) of Baby Boomers and Gen X feel (42%) feel that companies “try too hard”. Finally, 35% of Boomers and 33% of Gen X like brands that “show off their commitment.”
A new report from agency Boston Digital titled ‘How Brands’ Social Media Impacts Consumers’ that surveyed 554 respondents found brands need to be entertaining online. Two thirds (65%) of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a company they’ve followed for a month. More than half (54%) are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to look at a company’s social presence while researching a product. However, more than half (51%) said content needs to be relevant to them.
With nearly 95% of shoppers reading online reviews before making a purchase, reviews have transformed the way consumers make purchase decisions. According to a study by the Bazaarvoice network, one product review can result in a 10% increase in sales and 200 reviews can result in as much as a 44% increase in sales. We talked to two brand marketers whose businesses are mostly e-commerce driven about the way they use and leverage online consumer reviews in their marketing efforts.
Review Marketing Basics
Review marketing is a process certain brands use to manage their reputation online. For direct-to-consumer brands, this includes monitoring, encouraging, and responding to consumer reviews across multiple platforms.”We rely on consumer reviews because customers say it better than we can,” says Aireen de Peralta, Chief E-commerce Officer at WaterField Designs, a company that sells custom-fit bags and cases online.
We rely on consumer reviews because customers say it better than we can.
Michael Montanez, Director of Marketing at luxury clothing label August McGregor, notes that “We use yotpo to power reviews for August McGregor as we’re adding to our tech stack to improve KPIs. Reviews are expected these days for RTW (ready to wear clothing). It’s all part of the process. Attribution – we haven’t gotten there yet to determine the impact of reviews.”
Trusting Customers, not Apps that Go After Reviews
Waterfield does not provide incentives for customers to write reviews. “We feel it’s more authentic if a customer decided on their own to write a review,” explains de Peralta. “We e-mail customers after a few weeks of shipping their purchase and request for them to write a review. That way, they will have had time to use the product in their daily routine.”
Today, there are many apps and vendors that will aggressively go after reviews, offering discounts, points, or loyalty awards. However, de Peralta notes that she doesn’t employ these tactics. “Reviews apps are also complex enough to ask users to rate their experience based on certain criteria. We use just the simple open-ended format because we think this is a better way to capture what our user thinks is the primary reason to give feedback about. Each user has a different experience with a different emotional outcome, and we are more interested in capturing the emotions and understanding what it is important to them, rather than what we think is important to get feedback on.”
We use just the simple open-ended format because we think this is a better way to capture what our user thinks is the primary reason to give feedback about.
Review marketing is very powerful in driving customers to sales. According to a study of customer restaurant reviews by the Harvard Business Review, “a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 % increase in revenue.” On the other hand, according to research, if there is an excess of three negative articles within search results, businesses can expect to lose 59.2% of their potential customers.
“We can’t track if a certain review caused a sale, but we do get feedback from customers that reviews have helped them make a decision. This is anecdotal evidence, but it’s enough for us to know that reviews do help sales. We also view reviews as an outlet for our community to express themselves and for product feedback,” de Peralta notes.
Boosting SEO and Social and Customer Service
Reviews can also substantially boost SEO rankings since the reviews contain keywords. They are also “proof for social”. In addition, they can also inform customer service as “some reviews answer questions that people have”, de Peralta notes.
At the 2019 Portada Event in Mexico City, we had an insightful Q&A session with Germán Villegas, Digital & E-Commerce Manager at Colgate Palmolive Mexico. He shares his know-how for driving growth at the consolidated mega-company, their E-Commerce numbers and investment plans, the future of segmentation strategies, and shares the name of online retailers with innovative tools for marketers.
Interview conducted by Alejandra Velazquez
There’s Always Room for Growth
Nowadays, consumers look for relatable stories, not product descriptions. Keeping this in mind, we asked Germán Villegas how Colgate Palmolive drives growth for such basic necessities like toothpaste and soap.
“We are touching real, daily consumers by leaving aside the old concepts of “perfect smile” with perfect-looking models. At the Portada Brand Star Committee session (one of the three units of the Portada Council System that met in Mexico City during Portada Mexico), we talked about the importance of reaching diverse audiences, cultures, and minorities to make them feel supported and listened. For example, we’re currently running a campaign that no longer talks about 12 hours of protection, fresh breath, or white teeth. It speaks about positivity. In the ad, a plus-sized woman says “when people say my curves are not attractive, I smile”. We want to transcend Coca-Cola-type messages like “you have to be happy”. We’re focusing on giving visibility to the most effaced members of society. That way, we are much more than just toothpaste. We are an optimistic story.”
Germán Villegas, Digital & E-Commerce Manager at Colgate Palmolive Mexico, will be one of the dozens of brand marketing innovators present at Portada Miami on June 4, 2020. If you are interested in participating in Portada Miami and/or in Portada’s networking and knowledge-sharing platform with brand marketers please contact us here.
We’re focusing on giving visibility to the most effaced members of society. That way, we are mucho more than just toothpaste. We are an optimistic story.
“Growth will happen organically and naturally in time. But beyond expecting things to fall into place, we are experimenting with micro trials now that we can. We are developing segmentation strategies with our clients, learning together about the industry’s ROI, and investing micro amounts. That way, we can learn where to invest more precisely. In other words, we pour money into trials little by little instead of betting millions blindly in the wrong place.”
TV vs. Digital Media: Time to Jump Ship?
Colgate has always used traditional TV as its strongest media. What are your offline vs. online investment numbers, and has digital won over television?
“We’re closing 2019 with 30% on digital media and the rest is all offline. I believe television is still pretty strong, above 50%. However, we’re trying to invest a little less on TV in 2020. We’re not going straight to digital all the way, but we’re applying our trial and error strategies to see how far we can go, and perform a lot of focus groups to make drastic but informed decisions.
TV already lost investment this year. I believe the past few years it used to close at 80%, and I think this year it went down to 60%. Next year it might close at 50%. In a few years, there will be very little content produced for TV. The U.S. is already making digital television, which will surely be very attractive to invest in because marketers can program different content for each spectator using digital technology. It might or might not contribute to our television portfolio, but it’s definitely a tendency. “
How do you choose what goes on TV?
“Right now, we’re looking for video production agencies. We’re trying to think digital before TV because we could produce custom-made pieces based on segments. We’ll make many digital pieces for specific targets, and from there we’ll cut a more generic TV ad. We used to make the TV ad and then upload it to the web, but it doesn’t work that way. It’s the other way around. You build a digital strategy based on segmentation. Those measurements help us choose what to show on the much more expensive TV airtime. “
Segmentation Strategies: The Right Message for the Right Ears
Tell us more about CP’s segmentation/targeting strategies. Is there room for evolution?
“Massive service providers like Facebook and Google sell us advanced ‘audiences’. These audiences aim to stop segmenting per demographics and switch to consumer attitudes. For instance, no longer targeting “men 30-45 y.o.” and such, but profiles based on passion points. We can segment per sports fans and athletes, music buffs, art followers, etc, and pinpoint a campaign for each.
We pour money into trials little by little instead of betting millions blindly in the wrong place.
Facebook offers a very interesting product in its portfolio that lets you edit the text of your ad. That way we can sell the same toothbrush by talking about this weekend’s soccer highlights or the newest song from a popular artist. We can write copy as necessary to make it more clickable to the individual seeing it. That’s a great tool.
A good challenge for future evolution is doing regional segmentation. Since marketing is too separated from the media department, it’s an opportunity for the industry. The brand manager could tell us if sales are decreasing in the south, so we could do our research and see why. That way we could develop specific solutions for localized issues. But right now, we still make advertising for the entire country. “
Shopping habits on and offline, brand loyalty, and mobile technology on fire this 2020! A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop-shop. Check out the previous consumer insights roundup here.
According to a new consumer survey from TD Bank, millennials made nearly four major purchases in the past year on average. In comparison, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers averaged 2.8 major purchases combined. Millennials not only spend more, but they are also more thoughtful about their purchases. According to the survey results, they spend more time, on average, researching major purchases than any other group. Compared to baby boomers and Gen Xers, millennials are also more likely to research products through a retailer’s website, social media, and third-party websites. Also, they’re more likely (39%) to research financing options than their elders (22%).
The 2020 Deloitte Global Automotive Survey, which questioned more than 35,000 consumers in 20 countries, found U.S. consumers are not very enthusiastic about paying for automotive technology. For instance, 60% of U.S. consumers are unwilling to pay more than $500 for advanced safety technology. In a similar way, 66% of surveyed Americans said they wouldn’t pay for advanced connectivity, 75% for infotainment, 58% for autonomy, and 54% for alternative engine solutions.
Valassis has released the findings from a study conducted with Kantar, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers about their shopping habits. The study, The Future of How People Shop, found that 68% of consumers believe they have become better equipped to make informed purchase decisions compared with five years ago. Thus, 60% of consumers often research products online before making a purchase, and 62% said they closely read product labels. Many of them also rely on advertising, as 43% of consumers said targeted advertising should be able to guide them through the store to locate products.
Research by Soti, published by Mobile Marketer, has found that mobile technology is important for better retail experiences. More than three fourths (78%) of U.S. consumers said retailers that implement mobile technology for both shoppers and store employees enable a faster shopping experience. Almost half (45%) of shoppers said they prefer sales associates to use mobile devices for checkout on the sales floor rather than heading to the traditional cash register. In addition, Soti’s data shows 53% of consumers use credit and debit cards, while 23% prefer cash and only 11% use mobile payment apps.
According to a Criteo study which surveyed over 1,000 U.S. consumers, 73% of shoppers are willing to try new brands they have heard positive things about. Discounts and offers often drive consumers who decide to check out a new brand, agree 93% of respondents. Criteo found 57% of U.S. shoppers rely on apps to look at products and get ideas, 55% use them to check out ratings and reviews, and 58% to make purchases. Overall, Criteo found 52% of shoppers look forward to shopping in stores when they have time. On the other hand, 41% enjoy shopping in stores to understand what’s in style or new, and 37% prefer to do as much online shopping as possible.
One of the greatest challenges of consumer data collection is the issue of privacy and consent. Today’s consumers are becoming more and more aware of how their information is collected, sold and used for marketing purposes. How can companies overcome privacy issues and harness this information to deepen consumer relationships? Luis Macin, Nestlé Mexico’s VP E-Commerce, talks about Nestlé’s plans to develop wearables for consumer metrics during Portada México 2019.
Interview conducted by Alejandra Velazquez
Problem Meet Solution
Data collection continues to dive deeper into the private lives of consumers and it is only natural that they feel their privacy is being invaded. Audiences find it unnerving when they mention something in conversation only to be offered that specific product online moments later. However, the great thing about wearables is the voluntary data collecting process. When users are nicely requested to share their data, it tackles the issue of consent and privacy. The consumer willingly welcomes a metrics device into the intimacy of their own home and even onto their own body and this is where the true power of wearables for consumer metrics comes into play.
Who Wears Wearables?
The implementation of these devices in Mexico will take off immediately
But once they’re wearing the device, how can brands collect specific data so they know how to target consumers?
The challenge is generating enough engagement so they’ll willingly share their information with you.
“There’s a driver behind every behavior, and each consumer has a different driver” says Macin. “You just have to identify their motivations and categorize them. For example, if your goal is physical performance, we’ll offer you the tools to have more endurance. If you’re concerned about your health, we can measure your BPM to protect your heart. The challenge is generating enough engagement so they’ll willingly share their information with you. You have to put the right cards upon the table, and the decision is theirs.”
Nestlé’s R&D is hard at work on e-health initiatives in Brazil, Latin America’s unofficial innovation hub. Monica Meale, Head of Nestlé Health Science LATAM told NutrIngredients “NHSc has strongly invested in digital innovation. In the last three years, the area increased its investments fivefold”. The company’s research focuses on developing market trends including e-commerce driven products and services, digital innovations (VR nutritional education videos as an example), virtual sign language assistants on websites and contests for Nestlé to collaborate with health startups in creating and designing health programs and activations.
Is Wearable Technology Expected To Drive E-Commerce?
Absolutely. As consumers receive custom-made specific information about their care, they will also receive specific recommendations and tailor-made nutrition plans that will drive e-commerce simply because it’s convenient. According to Luis Macin, Nestlé plans to offer users a holistic experience by incorporating themselves into the consumer’s lifestyle through wearable devices. And once they’re engaged in improving their health through the right diet and lifestyle suggestions – Nestlé’s product recommendations are only one click away. Ordering products will be as easy and embedded into their routine as their morning coffee. While we’re not quite at that level of e-commerce maturity yet but the focus on wearables for consumer metric collection and blending this with e-commerce opportunities is projected to be the next big frontier.
Once they’re engaged in improving their health through the right diet and lifestyle suggestions – Nestlé’s product recommendations are only one click away
Radisson Anápolis: recognized hotel brand Radisson announced the opening of Radisson Hotel Anápolis at Avenida Oscar Mohn, No. 250, Anápolis, Brazil. This upscale hotel is perfectly positioned in one of the fastest-growing cities in Goiás, providing a convenient spot for guests interested in checking out the Brasil Park Shopping, or business travelers visiting companies like Vitamedic orLinea Alimentos. The hotel is also conveniently located near Terminal Rodoviário Josias Moreira Braga bus station and Goiânia Airport (GYN).“Our partnership with Atlantica Hotels allows us to bring the bright, inviting and balanced feel of the Radisson brand into vibrant cities like Anápolis, Brazil,” said Frances Gonzalez, vice president of Operations for Radisson Hotel Group in Latin America.Atlantica Hotels is a licensee for Radisson Hotel Group’s brands in Brazil, including Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED and Park Inn by Radisson. The two companies have enjoyed a longstanding relationship in Brazil that now includes 16 hotels in operation.
Health and beauty consumer packaged goods company The Yield Growth Corp.announced that it ships its first products to OMG Colombia, the subsidiary of Organic Medical Growth OMG3 Inc. (“OMG3”) in Latin America, based in Colombia, as part of a 5 year distribution deal for Yield Growth’s Urban Juve skin care line. Today, 1,800 products are being shipped, in partial fulfillment of OMG’s first product purchase order in anticipation of imminent completion of regulatory approval to sell Urban Juve products in Colombia and progressively in other parts of South America.According to Goldstein Research, the Latin America cosmetics market reached a value of USD US$31.98 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.49% during the forecast period 2017-2025.OMG3 is in the process of distributing Urban Juve skin care products in Colombia and other countries of Latin America. Through its Colombian partner Ortix, OMG has access to a distribution channel of over 44,000 pharmacies in South America and has partnered with on-demand delivery giant, Rappi, to sell products through its e-commerce platform.
US carmaker General Motors has decided to exit Thailand market.The brand will withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of 2020, and said that China’s Great Wall Motor (GWM) has agreed to buy over its manufacturing plants in Rayong.GM’s co-ordinated retreat is part of the company’s plan to exit unprofitable markets including Europe, while focusing on North America, China, Latin America and South Korea. With the planned sale of its Thai plant, GM has essentially given up on the rest of ASEAN as well, as the Land of Smiles is the company’s regional hub.GM is “focusing on markets where we have the right strategies to drive robust returns, and prioritising global investments that will drive growth in the future of mobility,” especially in electric and autonomous vehicles, GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
Interpublic Group agency Golin announced a new client partner to its international roster. Leading travel loyalty and benefits brand, Collinson, appointed Golin the global PR and communications Agency of Record (AOR), following a competitive pitch. The partnership will be led via a dual hub model from the Golin London and Golin Hong Kong offices, and the work will begin immediately.As AOR, Golin will head up PR and communications for Collinson with particular focus in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, UAE, the UK and the US; with further markets to be activated in Europe and Asia. The agency’s first charge will be to build awareness of Collinson’s integrated expertise in loyalty and travel experience, showcasing the group’s breadth of capabilities under one single brand voice and messaging.
Brazilian plant-based startup Fazenda Futuro, recently valued at US$100 million, will launch vegan sausages made with a seaweed skin for crispiness next month. The sausages are made with a blend of pea, soy, and chickpea protein with beetroot added for a “rosy color”. The products are free from GMO ingredients, food colorings, artificial flavors, or enhancers and the pork flavor comes from natural flavors and spices. They are coated with a neutral-tasting seaweed ‘skin’ that emulates the crispiness of traditional pork sausages.The sausages, which will launch in April in Brazil and the Netherlands, have a 17% protein content and add to Fazenda Futuro’s portfolio of products consisting of its Futuro Burger, ground meat and meatballs.Although Fazenda Futuro is a newcomer – it was founded in May last year – it has quickly made a name for itself in the plant-based category. In July last year, the startup received its first round of investments with Monashees and investment firm Go4it Capital acquiring an 8.5% stake for US$8.5 million. The transaction valued Fazenda Futuro at around US$100 million.The company was founded by Marcos Leta, a Rio de Janeiro-based food entrepreneur and investor.
JOIN PORTADA’S KNOWLEDGE-SHARING AND NETWORKING PLATFORM: To find out about Portada’s new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the above campaigns, please contact Sales Director Leslie Zambrano at Leslie@portada-online.com.
Endemol Shine North America has appointed award-winning licensing agency Tycoon Enterprises to serve as its exclusive licensing agent for the “MasterChef” television property in Latin America. MasterChef’ is one of the most successful food format in the world with over 60 localized versions across the globe including 10 in Latin America alone.Tycoon Enterprises will expand the “MasterChef” franchise in key categories including food and beverage, cookware and live experiences. Endemol Shine Brazil will continue to represent the brand in their market independently.In addition to “MasterChef,” the partnership will also look to explore opportunities in all categories for Endemol Shine series “¿Quién es la máscara” (“The Masked Singer”), “Te la Juego” (“Deal or No Deal”), “Fear Factor” and “Wipeout” in Mexico.
We looked at Comscore E-commerce data about the top 15 online retail sites visited by shoppers in the U.S. in September of 2019 and how they scored in numbers of visitors.
Coming after last January’s stellar results, where Amazon’s fourth-quarter net sales jumped 20% over the previous year’s, the online retailer has seen its earnings drop in Q3 of the year by 26%, which might be correlated to the decrease in its first-place position to 20.9% of all visits in September compared to 21.9% in January.
Number of visitors to the Top 15 e-commerce sites in the U.S., September 2019
Total Audience, Home and Work, PC/Laptop (000)
Total Unique Visitors/Viewers (000)*
Apple.com Worldwide Sites
The Home Depot, Inc.
Best Buy Sites
Source: Comscore *Numbers reported as shown
On the heels of a stellar year in 2018, Amazon got off to a strong start in 2019 as it expanded its share of online visits to its retail site to 21.9% of all visits to the top 15 retail internet sites in the US ranked by Comscore for the month. Since then, Amazon has decreased its share of site visits in the U.S. with 20.9% in September, 2019. Amazon’s leadership in online site visits is still undisputed in spite of the 26% drop in earnings in Q3.
Walmart and eBay have kept the second and third spots within the top 15 retail sites in the U.S. ranked by Comscore, with 11.9% and 10.6%of the total amount of visits respectively.
Apple.com continues to hold steady at 4th place in the top 15 retail sites ranked by Comscore.
Target, Samsung, Wish and Etsy keep fighting for spots 5 to 8, with numbers that have slightly changed since the January report.
DOORDASH.COM has entered Comscore’s ranking with 3.1% of all visits, pushing out LOEWES.COM, which held the last spot of the ranking in January.
Retailer Kohl’s continued to suffer a downward trend in its ranking in the top 15 retail sites in the U.S., going from 3.8% of all visits in January to 2.8% in September.
What: CommerceNext has published the results of a survey of 100 e-commerce decision-makers, meant to explore similarities and differences in the priorities of traditional and digital-first DTC brands. Why it matters: The report is meant to be a benchmark that helps marketers evaluate their priorities in terms of how to distribute budget among different technologies and objectives.
E-commerce is unpredictable; it forces marketers to be on the lookout for what’s coming next and reacting if only a little bit late can turn out to be fatal. In order to be more ready, decision-makers have to decide what matters more in every step of their strategy, which means having to prioritize investments and objectives. With these challenges in mind, CommerceNext conducted a survey of 100 top marketing executives in traditional and digital-first direct-to-consumer brands.
The objective was to provide a useful benchmark for online retailers to measure their priorities and decide how to distribute budget in the most convenient way. According to the results, even though both traditional and digital-first online retailers point to an increase in marketing budget, digital-first brands are spending way more while also diversifying their strategies. Below are the key insights from the study, titled How Leading Retailers and DTC Brands Are Investing in Digital.
Which Investments Did Work in 2018?
In order to compete, marketers need to be quick to decide which investments can help them reach their objectives. According to the study, 65% of respondents said their 2019 e-commerce marketing budget increased over the previous year, while only 10% of marketers are reducing their budget. In 2018, the top marketing investment priorities were acquisition marketing (81%), retention and loyalty marketing (43%) and promotions (32%).
When asked about the results of those investments, acquisition marketing had the highest level of satisfaction rating: 53% of respondents said acquisition marketing met expectations in 2018, and 24% said it exceeded expectations. On the contrary, 52% of respondents said unified customer data (e.g. a single view of the customer) performed below their expectations. Almost the same number had similar levels of dissatisfaction in personalization investments (51%).
What Are the Priorities of Digital-First and Traditional Retailers?
According to the report, consumers have more than doubled the amount of time they spend on DTC brands’ websites over the last two years. Even though all the companies in the study have increased their e-commerce marketing budgets, digital-first DTC brands are spending more: 78% indicated that their 2019 budget is higher than the one they had in 2018, while 60% of traditional retailers said the same.
Because DTC brands are based on data-driven decisions and customer-centric operations, they are growing and evolving at an accelerated pace. As stated in the report: “fueled by venture capital investment, these brands have focused on growth vs profitability.” Therefore, the most significant challenge for this group of brands is “achieving profitability at scale”, with “Managing tech integrations” coming in second, with 33% of DTC brands identifying it as a barrier. This is a side-by-side comparison of what each group considers to be the most significant barriers, extracted from the study:
How to Make the Best of the 2019 Holiday Season
According to the NRF, the 2018 holiday retail season exceeded expectations. Over 165 million Americans reportedly shopped either in stores or online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday 2018, and online purchasing, in particular, experienced a 19% increase compared to the previous year. The NRF has forecasted that 2019 retail sales will increase by 3.8% compared to 2018, and the online sales growth rate will increase between 10% to 12%.
DTC brands are increasing their budgets at a higher rate than traditional retailers and spreading that budget more evenly. For example, digital-first DTC brands are increasing their budgets equally (70%) between acquisition marketing and retention/loyalty marketing. On the other hand, traditional retailers are emphasizing acquisition marketing, with 77% of respondents increasing their acquisition budget compared to 64% of traditional retailers increasing their retention budget.
A summary of the most relevant consumer insight research in the U.S. and U.S. Hispanic markets. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest happenings, this is your one-stop shop.
Accenture’s13th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers has found that Americans expect to spend $637 on holiday shopping this year, on average, with approximately six in seven respondents planning to spend either the same (57%) or more (28%) than they did last year. Consumers are expected to do half their purchases in physical stores, with lower prices cited as the top (82%) factor that would tempt them to make an in-store purchase.
For the first time, consumers in the U.S. might do more of their holiday shopping online than in physical stores, according to a new survey. In its annual Holiday Outlook, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP found that 54% of respondents will opt for the convenience of their smartphones, laptops, and PCs, and even in-home voice assistants, compared to 50% last year.
CGS has announced findings from its 2019 CGS Customer Service Chatbots & Channels Survey. CGS surveyed more than 1,000 Americans and found that 86% of consumers prefer to interact with a human agent. Moreover, 71% of respondents said they would be less likely to use a brand if it didn’t have human customer service representatives available. Only 30% believe that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier to address customer service issues. However, for respondents under 35, confidence in AI-based solutions reached 43%.
Recent research by Deloitte shows that consumers’ tolerance to advertising varies according to the type of shows they like. A new survey which polled 2,000 U.S. found respondents whose most-watched type of show was talk shows had the highest tolerance for advertising (11.6 minutes per hour), and the ones who prefer scripted comedies or dramas have the lowest (7.2 minutes).
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey of 7,400 U.S. consumers, 68% of Americans said they plan to celebrate Halloween. Sixty-nine percent declared they will hand out candy, while 49% will decorate their homes and 47% will dress in costume. In total, they are expected to spend US $2.6 billion on Halloween candy, about $25 dollars per person.
A recent CodeBroker survey of over 1,100 U.S. consumers on coupon and offer personalization found that sending custom offers to past consumers is a good opportunity for brands. The results show that 73% of respondents answered with a definite yes to the question, “Do you prefer to shop at stores that send you custom discount offers based on your purchase history?”.