Fortified by growing e-commerce sales and time spent across digital channels, the U.S. retail industry will grow its digital ad spending more rapidly this year than in 2012, according to new figures from eMarketer.
By the end of this year, eMarketer predicts, U.S. retailers will have increased digital ad budgets by 15.7% to $9.50 billion, following growth of 14.5% last year.
Much of that spending can be expected to focus on drawing holiday shoppers, as the last months of the year account for a disproportionate share of retail revenues. eMarketer predicts 23.5% of all U.S. retail e-commerce sales this year, for example, will take place in November and December, amounting to $61.8 billion. eMarketer estimates U.S. retail e-commerce sales will grow 16.4% to $262.3 billion this year.
Retailers already spend more than any other vertical industry on digital advertising, and this year's increases are expected to give the industry a 22.3% share of total U.S. digital ad spending — identical to last year's share. This figure is expected to fall slightly in coming years as the overall market grows slightly faster than retail.
Research suggests much of the incremental digital ad growth coming from retailers is going toward mobile advertising, particularly search, as well as select mobile display venues with large audiences and strong targeting, such as Facebook and Twitter.
eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends as well as trends in specific consumer behaviors. It analyzes quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.
Additionally, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.