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New Research: Gaining a Unified View of the Customer Top Priority for Ecommerce Marketers

Ecommerce marketers face an endless number of priorities and initiatives when it comes to investing in the technologies, channels, and strategies to grow their businesses. But how can they be sure they’ve invested in the right things? Ecommerce marketing is an ever-changing discipline. What drives traffic to an ecommerce store one year may not work so well the next. The best ecommerce marketers are constantly studying customer shopping trends, platforms, and channels as well as what their competitors are doing.

To help ecommerce marketers focus on the right things, Oracle teamed up with CommerceNext to conduct a survey of top marketing decision-makers at some of the most successful retail brands in the world. The results are contained in a useful benchmark report, giving online retailers the data they need to measure their own priorities and evaluate which technologies deserve a larger or smaller portion of the budget.

For this brand-new report, “How Leading Retailers and Direct-to-Consumer Brands Are Investing in Digital,” CommerceNext and Oracle surveyed 100 top marketing decision-makers at leading traditional ecommerce retailers as well as digital first direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands.

Some of the things we learned through this research include:

  • Comparing 2018 to 2019, ecommerce marketing budgets are on the rise across all retail business models. However, digital-first DTC brands are increasing budgets at a higher rate.
  • Most marketers are not satisfied with their efforts to create a single view of the customer and personalize the customer experience. Looking back at the investments made in 2018, 52% of DTC brands and 51% of traditional ecommerce retailers indicated that the money spent on personalization was “below expectations.” For 2019, 22% of traditional retailers said that the “inability to gain a unified view of the customer” was a top barrier in achieving their marketing goals.
  • In 2019, the top innovation investment priority for all ecommerce marketers, regardless of business model, is in customer data platforms. 63% of traditional retailers and 70% of DTC brands said they have increased investment in customer data platforms in 2019.
  • For the 2019 holiday season, brands across the board are increasing their investments in technology such as AI and customer data platforms to improve personalization. DTC brands are earmarking more budget for these investments than their traditional retail competitors.

To compete for brand loyalty, customer experience leaders like those surveyed for this report must get inside the heads and hearts of shoppers like never before. They need to make the right investments in tools that empower them to craft extraordinary online experiences which are uniquely personalized.

The results of this survey are a signal that ecommerce marketing professionals are taking steps in the right direction by increasing their investments in personalization and customer data platforms. Prioritizing a unified view of the customer will help brands and retailers create these experiences and maximize the potential of the 2019 holiday retail season.

We look forward to speaking with brands and retail marketing leaders in person about the results of this survey at the upcoming CommerceNext event, July 31-August 1 in New York City.

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