Brands selling online are making a series of investments in new talent, digital marketing spend and delivery capabilities as they wait for a 12-month e-commerce boom, according to a new study.
Multi-channel commerce platform ChannelAdvisor and research firm CensusWide interviewed 304 marketing managers working for UK brands selling online. 91% of marketing directors said they were confident their brand’s revenue would increase over the next 12 months, with a quarter (25%) feeling very confident about revenue growth.
Respondents were also confident about customer growth, with 92% expecting it to become even easier for their brand to attract and retain online shoppers over the next 12 months, with nearly a third (32%) saying they expect it to become ‘much easier’.
- 92% of Marketing Directors feel more confident in their brand’s ability to attract consumers online than before the COVID-19 crisis
- 80% of brands say their digital marketing spend is higher and 91% expect digital ad spend to increase further in the next 12 months
- Survey of 300+ Brand Marketing Executives Finds Ecommerce Talent to Be Most In Demand When Hiring Over Next 12 Months
When asked which hires would be most sought after by their brand over the next 12 months, e-commerce expertise was ranked first, followed by marketing talent. Respondents ranked web developers third, while senior strategic expertise came in fourth, followed by logistics expertise.
As brands seek to strengthen their ecommerce success in a very crowded market, many have invested money in online marketing. 80% of brands say their digital marketing spend is above pre-COVID levels and 91% expect their digital advertising spend to increase further in the next 12 months.
Digital ads across all online channels were primarily intended to steer consumers towards D2C opportunities. 36% of CMOs said digital advertising drives traffic to the brand’s own website, while 29% said clickable digital ads drive customers to online marketplaces like Amazon. 20% directly to partner retailer websites, while 14% said their digital ads were not clickable.
How brands have adapted to a new wave of online shoppers
The pandemic has seen brands react to changing consumer habits and behaviors. More than a quarter (29%) of marketing managers said they noticed an older demographic of buyers purchasing their brand’s products online. 31% said they noticed shoppers were shopping online more frequently than before COVID, while more than a quarter (28%) observed that consumers demanded more flexibility in when and how their products were delivered compared to before the pandemic.
Brands have invested in responding to these new demands over the past year. 84% of CMOs say their brand has increased the speed of their average delivery time since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. 45% have invested significantly in their logistics capabilities, including delivery and returns.
Brands have also spent to optimize the different channels on which they sell. When asked about the areas in which they have made significant investments in the past 12 months, 49% of marketing managers say their brand has invested heavily in optimizing their presence in online market channels, while 45% have made a significant investment in improving their relationships with retailers. More than a third (38%) say they have invested in optimizing their own online stores.
Mike Shapaker, Chief Marketing Officer of ChannelAdvisor, said: “This research shows that brands are extremely confident in their prospects online and believe the next 12 months could generate even higher ecommerce revenue than seen during the lockdown. . It seems that investments in marketplaces, online advertising, e-commerce infrastructure, and retail relationships are paying off for most brands.