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Study: 92 per cent of retailers investing in social marketing, Facebook leads way


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

October 3, 2016 | 2 min read

Social and mobile marketing are becoming more important to retailers, who are putting more resources and budget into their digital efforts.

The “State of Retailing Online 2016: Marketing and Merchandising,” by the National Retail Federation and Forrester, uncovered that paid search and email marketing top the list in terms of importance, but social and mobile are quickly making inroads.

A story by Mobile Marketing Watch said that the report, which surveys retail eBusiness executives at large and mid-sized retail companies about digital marketing investments, mobile marketing efforts, and website merchandising tactics, was released at the Retail’s Digital Summit and it found that 92 per cent of the retailers surveyed were investing in social media marketing to some degree, second to email marketing at 94 per cent. They see it as a cost-effective tool that can realistically drive revenue.

“Although email and SEO are tools frequently used by retail marketers, it was not a surprise to see that social media is gaining traction with retailers as they continue to further connect and engage with consumers,” NRF Senior Vice President and Executive Director Vicki Cantrell said in the report. “Retailers are not only increasing their social media budgets, but they are looking at new ways to update their online content and stay on top of new trends to continue to grow their customer acquisition online and in-store.”

Paid Facebook efforts for 68 per cent of retailers surveyed resulted in increased conversion, with 40 per cent claiming the same conversion for paid Instagram posts.

For mobile, 65 per cent of retailers surveyed planned to increase mobile marketing spending in 2016 over the previous year.

In addressing their staffing needs to keep up with the push online and in mobile, 44% of those surveyed are increasing their staff dedicated to web merchandising.

“Customer-obsessed retailers are wisely investing this year to revamp their checkout process, as well as the overall site design – across desktop, smartphone and tablet devices,” said Forrester vice president and research director Fiona Swerdlow. “Many also are upping the ante on developing rich content to meet their customers’ needs, even if creating, managing and keeping that content fresh isn’t always easy.”

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