It’s always helpful to reflect on the past year. And as we look ahead to 2018, it can be valuable to think about where we were in January 2017.
At Criteo, we had made six key predictions about what would happen throughout the year when it comes to digital commerce and marketing. We looked into how shoppers were using mobile devices, the increasing importance of data, and other trends we thought would be prominent.
Here’s what we found:
1. Consumers will use mobile to make high-value purchases.
Shopping data from various studies indicate that consumers now feel equally comfortable purchasing expensive items on smartphones. According to data from Statista, consumers spent on average $100+ for online shopping orders via their mobile devices in the U.S. in Q2 2017. The average order value was $100.75 on smartphones and $108.18 on tablets.
In our Global Commerce Review, you can see a comprehensive breakdown showing the kind of mobile and cross-device growth that twelve key regions saw in Q3 2017.
2. Retailers will seek opportunities to pool resources as they face increasing competition from Amazon.
Our Forbes Insights report found that over 60% of retailers and brands are pooling data assets and believe it is helping to achieve increased revenues, profits and customer satisfaction.
The report findings also confirmed that retailers are increasingly concerned about competing with the likes of Amazon and others who hold massive amounts of data within walled gardens.
3. Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will emerge as a key channel for customer acquisition.
The latest Merkle Digital Marketing Report shows that PLAs generated a majority (53%) of retailers’ Google paid search clicks in Q3 2017 in the US.
In fact, for retailers in the non-brand segment, the share of PLAs was a lot higher (77%).
4. Video ads will deliver ROI, leveraging the full potential of programmatic technology
Programmatic video buying is seeing broad adoption and accounted for 45% share of digital video in the US, according to the findings in the IAB Video Ad Spend Study. The remaining is spent directly by advertisers with premium video sites.
With programmatic, advertisers can now create thousands of combinations of messaging and animations, overlaid on video ads in real time to deliver a highly personalized user experience.
5. Manufacturer brands will demand more transparency with trade marketing budgets
In 2017, brands started to put a premium value on brand safety, ad measurement, and ROI.
Facebook and Google currently seem to be the primary beneficiaries as brands are looking to invest in platforms that demonstrate sales growth at scale. However, recent concerns over brand safety mean there are opportunities for others too, particularly companies that can provide the technology for safer brand building, as well as meet ROI expectations.
6. Developed markets will prioritize mobile over desktop, modeling emerging markets.
We expected a majority of online retailers to become “mobile-first” in 2017. We believe this has happened – many businesses that are slow to adopt have made mobile-friendly sites as the news spread about Google creating an index that will be optimized for mobile browsing.
Reflecting on Our Predictions
All in all, we feel quite satisfied with the way our 2017 predictions fared. Looking into 2018 and beyond, retailers must invest in acquiring capabilities to reduce their dependency on the walled gardens. This, in the long term, will become a necessity to compete and protect market share.