Published September 24, 2021
The ecommerce landscape has experienced a multitude of changes in 2021, and Q3 was no exception. As questions about the COVID-19 pandemic seem to grow and answers seem to shrink, consumer buying behavior continues to fluctuate – and marketing strategies have to change in tandem.
But keeping up with the digital landscape can feel like running through an endless maze of possibilities where the path you’ve chosen may change at any moment. How can you feel confident that you’re making the right decisions about your brand’s digital marketing strategies?
100% certainty is almost never possible in life, but being up-to-speed with the latest news and data about the world of online (and offline) advertising will give you a strong foundation for your decision-making.
Here are some of the top ecommerce stats and headlines we found from Q3 2021 to give your brand the knowledge you need to empower your strategies for success moving forward.
Business being good isn’t always a good thing. Shipping, inventory, and fulfillment are the basic underpinnings of a business that must work flawlessly for marketing & advertising to be worth it – and they are all in flux right now.
Walmart’s on a Roll
With fast shipping times a crucial buying factor for customers, Walmart has launched GoLocal to provide its delivery capabilities to other companies. Walmart’s fulfillment service currently reaches 70% of US consumers. Read more. (Walmart Corporate Blog)
Walmart’s ad business, Walmart Connect, grew 95% year-over-year in Q2 2021. For global Walmart ecommerce, sales are projected to reach $75 billion this year, with the $100 billion mark expected to be hit soon. Read more. (MarketingDive)
Where Brands Are Spending Their Ad Dollars
US mobile video ad spend is expected to approach $28 million next year, a more than $11 million increase over 2020. Video ad spend for desktop is growing but at a much slower pace and is expected to reach $19 million next year after hitting $17.8 million in 2020. Read more. (Statista)
B2B display ad spend will surge 32.6% to $5.09 billion this year from $3.84 billion last year. Compared to display, B2B ad spend for paid search ads is slightly higher at $5.36 billion, with slower but still significant 19.5% growth expected year-over-year. Read more. (eMarketer)
Social media ad spend will surpass $56 million this year, with advertisers spending an average of $153.85 per user. That will grow to $174.93 by 2024, with overall ad spend approaching $76 million by 2025. Read more. (Statista)
Influencer marketing spend will surpass $3 billion for the first time this year and is expected to reach the $4 billion milestone in 2022. Spend will see higher growth this year at 33.6% after last year’s 14.4% growth. Read more. (eMarketer)
Social Media News
Facebook remains the most popular social media network worldwide with 2.8 billion active users. YouTube is next with 2.3 billion active users, with Instagram at 1.3 billion and TikTok steadily growing at 732 million. Read more. (Statista)
As social commerce continues to grow as an effective way for brands to reach consumers, Instagram is beginning to test ads in the Shop tab. The ads will appear as tiles just like the other photos on the page. Read more. (Ad Age)
Instagram says that it is “no longer a photo-sharing app” and will instead focus on creators, video, shopping, and messaging to both compete with YouTube and TikTok as well as lean into the trend toward ecommerce. Read more. (RetailDive)
TikTok is upping its social commerce game through a new partnership with Publicis that will focus on creating a new kind of shopping culture on TikTok that helps brands tap into emerging shopping trends. Read more. (MarketingDive)
How Consumer Shopping Habits Have Changed
Clothing, electronics, and furniture are the most common items purchased through buy now, pay later (BNPL) options. While consumers enjoy BNPL for its ease of use, flexibility, and low interest rates, 57% say they regret using BNPL because it was too expensive. Read more. (C+R Research)
YouTube Premium subscriptions are projected to be up 18% year-over-year in 2021 after growing 34.6% in 2020. The number of subscribers is projected to reach 23.6 million this year and approach 28 million by 2024. Read more. (eMarketer)
Users are increasingly subscribing to paid digital audio platforms like Spotify Premium and Apple Music, with the number of subscribers expected to hit a record 121.9 million by the end of 2021. That’s 5 million more than what experts projected at the beginning of the year. Read more. (eMarketer)
61% of consumers have purchased a new product because of the brand’s sustainability practices, with 16% of shoppers strongly agreeing that they regularly opt for more expensive products that are more sustainable. Read more. (Stifel)
Connected TV is expected to reach 80% of homes this year, though the average CTV campaign only gets to 13% of available households. But that 13% shouldn’t be underestimated – the average CTV campaign still hits 75 million homes. Read more. (Innovid)
Other Ecommerce Brand Growth News You Shouldn’t Miss
The top three US retail companies seeing ecommerce growth in 2021 are Etsy, Walmart, and Chewy, with Amazon placing fourth at 24.9% year-over-year growth. Target comes in at 12.5% growth while Best Buy has seen a 3.1% decline. Read more. (eMarketer)
Amazon is expected to make more in ecommerce sales this year than the rest of the top 10 US retailers combined. The retail giant is expected to deliver $386.4B in online sales this year, followed by Walmart at $767.4 billion and eBay at $40.5 billion. Target is projected to come in at $18.64 billion. Read more. (eMarketer)
Third-party cookie deprecation has been delayed until mid to late 2023 after an announcement last week from Google. Previously, Google planned to phase out third-party cookies running on Chrome in early 2022. According to Google, “more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.” Read more. (Google Chrome Blog)
40% of back-to-school shoppers planned to spend more money this year than last year. It’s estimated that 59% of shopping was already done by the end of July, with 48% of shoppers spending the most money in mass merchant stores. Read more. (Deloitte)