Online Shopper Expenditures to Drive Growth of Digital Marketing

Last month, Forrester Research released its projections regarding BtoC ecommerce. Later, GroupM came out with its own forecast for consumer spending via the online marketplace. In both cases, steady growth is predicted which means the marketers must direct an appropriate amount of their ad budget to digital channels.

The recession caused a slight dip in consumer outlay of all types, including ecommerce. But since 2009, the spending trend has been up. GroupM says that this year, in both the U.S. and Canada, average online spending for digital consumers will exceed $1,000 for the first time. In Canada, the amount will be $1,009 while in the U.S. the typical online consumer will spend $1,042.

Annual growth rates for ecommerce will continue to exceed 10% through 2015. At that point, eMarketer says total B2C online spending will be $469.9 billion. The following year, analysts believe the growth rate will slip to 9.4% with B2C spending amounting to $513.8 billion. The reason given for the slowing growth rate at that point is market penetration.

To attract shoppers, marketers continue to pump more ad money into the online channel. This year, the average ad revenue realized by media companies per user in the U.S. will be $174 (up from $162 last year.) In Canada, the corresponding amount will be $114. Recently published studies show that ad spending in digital channels is expected to reach 35% of total media by 2015. Analysts say that the disproportionate amount of online ad spending when balanced against the volume of online sales, shows the “influence that online advertising has on offline purchases” and that multichannel attribution will become more important.

It’s interesting to wonder whether merchants may back off on some of the funds they’ve shifted to digital formats in an attempt to balance the online and traditional ad mix with the online and traditional sales channel volume.

[Source: Online Sales per User Continue to Climb in North America. Emarketer​.com. 10 May 2012. Web. 24 May 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.