Retailers to Continue as Top Spenders on Online Marketing

As more marketers shift bigger portions of their ad budgets online, analysts are looking at which industries are leading the way with digital spending. The latest numbers from eMarketer show that the retail industry spends the most money overall on online advertising and is predicted to do so through 2015.

In 2011, retail businesses are projected to spend $5.73 billion on online marketing. The most recent data available from Advertising Age also shows that the retail industry devotes more money to advertising than any other industry — $15.193 billion in 2009. By 2015, retailers will still be the undisputed leader in online advertising with projected spending of $9.36 billion. That figure will account for just over 20% of all online marketing expenditures in 2015.

This year, the telecom industry will take the number two spot in online advertising with total expenditures of $4.06 billion. But analysts expect to see the telecom sector outspent in online marketing by both the automotive and CPG sector within the next 4 years. Currently, automotive companies account for just over 11% of total online marketing expenditures. By 2015, with spending at $5.80 billion, and solidly in second place, the automotive industry will comprise 13% of online marketing spending. The most rapid rise in year over year spending in the online sector will come from the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector.  Accounting for just 9.5% of online marketing expenditures this year, CPG companies will shell out $5.78 billion in 2015 and take the number three spot.

Other industries in the top 5 will include financial services though the share of online spending by these businesses will shrink from 10% to 9.7% between this year and 2015.  Both the computing products and travel industries will also see their share of total online spending drop between 2011 and 2015.  Analysts point to a maturing online market in terms of ad spending as the cause for this drop.

[Sources: Retail continues to lead in online ad spending. Emarketer​.com. 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2011; Domestic Ad spending by Category. Ad Age DataCenter. Web. 25 Apr. 2011] 
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.