A new industry survey of senior retail marketers, underwritten by Conversant Inc., reveals that the sector is at the forefront of many of the most promising trends and ideas in digital.
Retail is using its rich consumer insight and data -- and some of the newest creative engagement tools -- to create greater consumer satisfaction and maximum sales. Here are eight of the biggest findings and insights from the study -- results that reveal some of the fascinating ways retailers are thinking and acting in 2014.
They're becoming digital experts
Given the amount of spending now pouring into digital from merchants, it makes sense that retailers would be working hard to understand and master key digital strategies and trends. In fact, almost half of retail marketers rate their digital knowledge as "expert" or "high." Just 10 percent rate their knowledge as low or very low.
Digital is increasingly core to the capabilities of retail marketing leadership. It's a far cry from the time when digital was the bastard stepchild -- a time that digital pros know wasn't all that long ago.
They're spending almost $4 of $10 on digital
Respondents to the survey reported that they are spending an average of 39 percent of their total marketing budgets on digital. That share is 58 percent above the average company across all verticals, as reported by eMarketer. While retailers were among the first movers into digital -- given its power as a direct response (DR) medium -- what's interesting today is that retailers are actively unlocking the value of digital as a branding tool. In the survey, 58 percent disagreed with the idea that digital is for DR only.
That shift in perception is a big deal because it reflects the need to connect with more people at various stages of the product decision journeys -- not just the "bottom-funnel" demand fulfillment stages.