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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 04, 2010

Execs see correlation between display, search for holiday ads

Looking into the 2010 holiday shopping crystal ball, many brands are shooting for display, search or social and hoping to engage consumers. The truth is that crystal balls are merely glass and a measured approach is probably a brand's best option leading up to the holiday rush. Three industry execs chatting with BizReport about their expectations for the marketing end of the 2010 holiday season.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you seeing as we enter November and head toward December 2010?

John Federman, Searchandise Commerce CEO: Consumers are leading the way. There is an increasing awareness that evaluating an online spend by purely evaluating online purchases underestimates the role of online initiatives. So, the biggest change is the realization that ecommerce is commerce...there's a blurry line based upon the fact that online is the initiation point to most commerce.

Roger Barnette, SearchIgnite CEO: The lines between ecommerce and social commerce are beginning to blur. The latest comScore figures reflect this trend: US retail ecommerce spending reached $32.1 billion in Q3 2010, finally surpassing 2008 levels. Recent growth has been propelled by strength in the consumer electronics category, as well as growth in spending among households earning $100,000+ annually.

Kristina: Do you expect social commerce to be more 'in play' for 2010?

Barnette: Brands are certainly making the most out of social networks - Facebook has over 500 million users, Twitter has upwards of 200 million users and foursquare has millions of people 'check in' each day. This gives e-tailers another way to engage with prospects and convert them to customers. Gap's recent foursquare promotion is a great example of this. In fact, there examples are numerous and may give us a hint that social commerce and ecommerce are beginning to converge.

Federman: Social commerce has yet to emerge as a significant driver. [comScore reported] only 3% of consumers start the shopping process by consulting a blog or a social networking site. This, of course, is different by demographics with younger consumers gravitating more towards the social commerce model.

Kristina: A recent study found that display and search are really working well together to increase purchases...why is that?

Federman: It's a natural fit: display is about branding and creating a relationship with the consumer. Search is about creating action with a brand, presumably when awareness is highest. Display's business model is built upon delivering impressions and search's is based upon delivering clicks. When the two are positioned to work in concert it creates a very natural evolution.

Barnette: Many studies have been conducted over recent years on the relationship...recently Eyeblaster predicted that 72% of search conversions are a direct result of the display channel. Until recently, the problem has been that it's difficult to actually track and attribute this. As marketers now move from reporting on 'last click' conversions they can see a number of touch points in the conversion patch and hence attribute a value to the role of display. As the digital marketing system has evolved, there has been a convergence of search and display disciplines.

Tags: 2010 holiday trends, display advertising, ecommerce, search marketing, Searchandise Commerce, SearchIgnite

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