E-commerce sales are on the rise – but where should marketers pivot now?

It’s clear that 2021 has been a banner year for many in e-commerce. Some 78% of UK e-commerce brands reported an increase in sales. That’s a massive increase from 45% in 2020, according to new research from Mapp.

Yet changing consumer behavior and frequent changes in entering and exiting lockdowns have also posed challenges, including the ability to invest in better personalized experiences for customers and data analytics to help understand their behavior.

To guide advertisers in their vision of the future in 2022, Mapp, the insights-driven customer experience platform, has created the State of Digital Marketing in the UK 2022 study. This analyzes how businesses revamped their digital marketing strategies throughout 2021, then reviews their priorities for the year ahead.

To bring the insights in this report to life, Mapp has partnered with The Drum to host a webinar with Dani Bagworth, Head of Digital Design and Content for LloydsPharmacy and Ricardas Montvila, Vice President, Global Strategy at Mapp. They will join The Drum’s deputy editor, Jenni Baker, to explore the findings in more detail and offer advice for marketers on how to turn this insight into action.

Register here to attend the April 14 webinar.

The report itself identified growing consumer demand as the main reason for the growth in e-commerce sales, with 46% of e-commerce businesses believing this was responsible. But the news for marketers and technology specialists was also positive, as a third of companies also attributed the increase in sales to a better marketing strategy, and a quarter to new technologies or automation.

Growth of personalized experiences

Beyond that, Mapp’s research identified a major problem for e-commerce businesses struggling to identify their users. Less than a third are able to identify more than 21% of visitors to their websites, while 34% are able to identify less than 10%.

Going forward, this lack of visibility could be further mitigated by the planned removal of third-party cookies from Google’s Chrome browser in 2023. Only 28% of UK e-commerce businesses have a strategy to address this.

On a positive note, a strong solution for advertisers looking to get to know their customers better is to embrace personalized experiences. Brands have recognized this, and the picture for 2022 looks encouraging. Almost a third (29%) of UK e-commerce businesses want to implement personalized experiences within the next year. This is 16% more than in 2020.

New forms of dynamic content

The important role that dynamic web content can play in building this personalized experience is important for a growing number of e-commerce brands. This is demonstrated by 72% of businesses using dynamic content on their website, a huge increase from 27% in 2020.

In 2022, advertisers will focus on advancing to new levels. The Mapp report shows that 69% plan to use other forms of dynamic content that they haven’t yet implemented – with banners and custom images high on their wishlist.

The Data Analytics Gap

The ability to use advanced analytics remains an issue for many e-commerce businesses. While 68% would like to see advanced analytics/information integrated into their platform, only 14% are happy with the current situation.

A major impediment to progress here is the lack of resources. More than 55% of respondents said this was a major barrier preventing their business from doing more, with talent shortages cited by many as an issue in providing a better customer experience.

Despite this resource issue, there are solutions that can help advertisers implement advanced analytics for future growth. This issue will be addressed by The Drum’s webinar panel with Mapp, alongside other key themes including personalized experiences, dynamic content, technology and automation, and success in a post-cookie world.

Because the discussion focuses on such important challenges and opportunities, it’s a discussion no digital marketer can afford to miss. Register here to attend the April 14 webinar.

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