EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3110 - July 17, 2013     3 of 5

Emails and Google PLA Ads Gaining in Importance

By David A. Utter

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Shop.org and Forrester Research recently released their latest annual State of Retailing Online report. Among the findings in their study of online retailers comes the revelation that the venerable email marketing channel has found a place with the modern, remotely-connected shopping audience.

With email being one of the most popular functions used on smartphones, the study found email marketing experiencing something of a renaissance. On average, retailers in the survey found 28 percent of their email opens happen on smartphones, with another 16 percent being opened on tablets.

Large online retailers in particular are responding to this trend by optimizing their emails for mobile viewing. The study found marketers in 2013 plan to spend more on email and on paid search in 2013 than in 2012. 80 percent of those surveyed intend to raise their marketing spending this way, followed closely by 71 percent choosing to spend more on Google Product Listing Ads.

The study noted an average of 6 percent of marketing budgets now go to Product Listing Ads (PLAs). This format came into prominence when Google shifted its Shopping platform to using paid listings, which contain richer content than conventional text advertising.

For retailers considering PLAs, the study recommends retailers implement and monitor a program using them. "It is still unclear whether PLAs are a new and innovative form of marketing or simply a one-time change in Google's feed model with limited upside, so retailers should keep a close eye on how this marketing vehicle evolves," the report suggested.

The full report is available on the Shop.org website to members only.


About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to media@davidautter.com and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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