- The annual State of Retailing Online 2016: Marketing and Merchandising Report from the National Retail Federation and Forrester found that 92% of retailers are engaged in social media marketing this year as reported in a release.
- Content marketing is also growing on social media, with 63% of retailers investing in this area.
- 65% of retailers said they are spending more on mobile marketing over last year, with a focus on smartphones. According to the report 45% of retailers’ email was opened on smartphones compared to 41% for desktops and 14% on tablets.
The increase in social media spending comes a time when retailers are looking to improve the online shopping experience for customers through increased online merchandising across multiple channels and touchpoints. Per the report, 55% of retailers are increasing their online merchandising budgets this year and 44% are increasing their staff dedicated to web merchandising.
Improving social media outreach and experience dovetails with the growing focus on social media. In terms of paid social media, 68% of retailers report increased conversion from their Facebook efforts and 40% are experiencing the same with Instagram campaigns.
“Customer-obsessed retailers are wisely investing this year to revamp their checkout process, as well as the overall site design — across desktop, smartphone and tablet devices,” Forrester Vice President and Research Director Fiona Swerdlow said in the release. “Many also are upping the ante on developing rich content to meet their customers’ needs, even if creating, managing and keeping that content fresh isn’t always easy.”
The report also pointed out that 63% of retailers are specifically investing in content designed to reduce customer anxiety and friction and lead to increased conversions. Increasing content spending also fits into a larger social media strategy since most organic social outreach includes sharing content with the marketer’s audience.