Why TV Advertising is Ecommerce’s Next Step

Years of ecommerce progress condensed to weeks when retail locations shut their doors this spring. Emarketer estimates an online sales jump of 18%, with total revenues exceeding $700 billion...
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Why TV Advertising is Ecommerce’s Next Step

Years of ecommerce progress condensed to weeks when retail locations shut their doors this spring. Emarketer estimates an online sales jump of 18%, with total revenues exceeding $700 billion. Household goods lead the surge while books, music and video are the first category to overtake traditional retail with a whopping 62% of sales happening online.

To keep up with digital-native brands like Amazon, companies are emphasizing their online platforms. Take IKEA, one of countless location-based retailers pivoting to an immersive online experience, or the beauty and fashion industry’s virtual try-on options.

Shifts like these reinforce the need for a similar transformation in advertising. Your ecommerce practices adapted to reflect changing consumer behavior. It’s time your marketing did too.

Customers shop differently online than in-store. Purchase decisions are less emotional. They make fewer impulse orders, browse more and buy less than they did pre-pandemic. Maintaining and growing your online customer base in the midst of a rapidly changing world requires strategic messaging and media that’ll keep consumers close to your website, even when the COVID-effect’s momentum driving people online inevitably settles.

The issue is two-fold. First, although the ecommerce spike is considerable, what’s convincing your buyers to stick around? Consumers have moved online. Who’s to say they won’t also move to a competitor—now only a click away? If brand salience wasn’t a priority before the pandemic, it absolutely must be now. Second, there’s also an opportunity to reach new audiences who are still cementing their digital buying habits. To increase online demand long-term, more people need to see your brand regularly, especially as fewer consumers pass your product in shopping malls and department stores.

Many ecommerce brands rely on digital advertising to connect with consumers. And it’s true digital is essential for ensuring bottom-of-the-funnel sales thanks to its undeniable targeting precision. But it’s also only a first step towards achieving your brand’s full ecommerce potential. The truly impressive results happen when digital is paired with a quality TV campaign.

Digital falls short to TV when it comes to brand awareness and value. With natural credibility and the power to dramatically scale your share of voice, TV complements digital’s targeted approach with broad reach and high visibility so your brand stays top-of-mind.

But TV isn’t just about brand building. It can also drive response. An Ebiquity study found that out of ten marketing channels, including social media and direct mail, TV came out on top for effectiveness and was better at increasing campaign ROI.

Better yet, TV is proven to affect your digital performance. Think about it. What’s actually getting people to type your keywords into a search bar so they see your paid search ads in the first place? TV meets customers where they are—seeking information or entertainment on their televisions, often with a phone in hand—and nudges them down that sales funnel. The results of that nudge are clear: digital performance improves for weeks after each TV airing. TV and digital are undoubtedly better together, often enhancing each other by more than 50%.

The challenge for brands today is making the most of their newfound potential. Too many get caught in the panic of adjusting to a digital world and neglect the future. Don’t be one of them. Instead, capitalize on the ecommerce shift with a plan for sustained online success down the road. There’s a good chance TV can help get you there.

Catrina McAuliffe
Catrina McAuliffe
SVP Brand Strategy

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