Leaders have followers, and nowhere is that more evident than the global eCommerce market, where giant digital shopping destinations like eBay, Amazon and Alibaba now account for more than 50 percent of the nearly $500 billion spent by North American consumers online.
New research by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council—entitled "Ingenuity in the Global eCommerce Community"—explores how the massive scale, data quality and customization capability of online marketplaces are bringing new levels of customer insight, enriched experiences and added value to brands. Digital commerce accounts for about 10 percent of the $5 trillion in total annual sales across all retail channels.
According to a CMO Council survey of nearly 200 brand marketers, well over 50 percent believe that large eCommerce communities are revolutionizing and reinventing the global retail marketplace. They are also forcing them to rethink every aspect of how they go to market. In a telling self-assessment, 60 percent report that they need to embrace a more cohesive, integrated, multi-channel digital retail strategy to improve their own eCommerce business.
The CMO Council study, conducted in collaboration with eBay, revealed the top five ways in which big eCommerce channels were impacting the go-to-market planning and strategies of major product marketers. According to the marketers surveyed, these included:
"The millennial-driven shift to digital retail shopping is prompting the evolution of the old 4P model of marketing—now, more notably, we need Precision, Personalization, Persuasion and Perfection of execution to multiply purchases," notes Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. "Exemplifying this are innovations in customer attraction, convenience, conversion and consistency of experience that are behind the success of eBay, Amazon and other digital commerce communities."
For its part, eBay is using advances in technology, such as augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to improve search relevancy and make buying and selling on eBay much more gratifying.
"eBay has made it even easier to shop and sell on the platform by leveraging new technology to redefine what online shopping means today," notes Bridget Davies, eBay's Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Activation. "We use AI and big data to learn how people move at a granular scale to better connect with consumers, brands and businesses."
Davies points to eBay's AI-powered, personalized homepage and more than 1.1 billion listings using structured data. "More than 80 percent of eBay users are logged in when they access our platform, allowing us to deterministically identify users across channels, browsers and devices rather than relying on cookie-based probability models," she adds.
The CMO Council report notes that marketers today are challenged to evidence how they are using data and real-time insights to "gain greater satisfaction from every customer interaction" and determine whether they have the ability to "scale the way they track the digital buying trail."
The CMO Council's new thought leadership initiative gathered insights from nearly 200 global brands and their physical and digital retail partners. This included category leaders like Lenovo, LEGO, Puma, Casio, Serta, Bosch, Brooks, PERRIN PARIS and Fruit of the Loom/Spalding. The resulting best-practice report (available here) accents how brands are using proprietary data and insights to execute smarter customer acquisition campaigns that key off of seasonal, event-related, price-based and more personalized offers and promotions.
Areas of exploration covered by the CMO Council research included:
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership, and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 15,000-plus members control more than $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 65,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, and the GeoBranding Center. For more information, visit www.cmocouncil.org.