Research Report: How Does Your Performance Marketing Measure Up To Your Peers?

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CommerceNext Releases Free Benchmarking Report Based on a Survey of Retailers and DTC Brands

CommerceNext Research Report

Ecommerce performance marketing is constantly changing. The investments and programs that worked well one year may not perform as well the next. New media consumption habits, consumer trends and advancements in technology force us to stay on our toes. To be successful as an ecommerce marketer means you constantly study the customer, the platforms and channels. It’s also crucial to stay on top of what competitors are doing.

To help retailers and direct to consumer brands better determine whether they’re focusing on the right things as they advance their ecommerce marketing plans, CommerceNext partnered with Oracle to conduct a survey of top marketing decision-makers at some of the most successful retail brands in the world. The results of this survey are contained in this benchmark report, giving online retailers the data they need to measure their priorities and evaluate which technologies deserve a larger or smaller portion of the budget.

For this brand-new report, “How Leading Retailers and Direct-to-Consumer Brands Are Investing in Digital,” CommerceNext surveyed 100 top marketing decision-makers at leading brands in two major camps: the traditional retailers and multi-brand merchants who also sell online; and the digital-first DTC brands who’ve been redefining the entire ecommerce industry. One of the key things we learned through this project: both traditional and DTC brands are investing heavily in acquisition marketing, personalization and gaining a unified view of the customer. However, these two camps are investing at different rates and dealing with unique obstacles when making marketing investment decisions.

Key learnings from the free report include:

  • Comparing 2018 to 2019, ecommerce performance marketing budgets are on the rise across all retail business models; however, digital-first DTC brands are increasing budgets at a higher rate.
  • 81% of ecommerce marketers cited acquisition marketing as their top priority. Satisfied with the results of their investments, marketers are spending even more on acquisition in 2019.
  • Most marketers are not satisfied with their efforts to create a single view of the customer and personalize the customer experience. In 2019, the top innovation investment priority for all ecommerce marketers, regardless of business model, is in customer data platforms.
  • Digital-first direct to consumer brands are approaching marketing spending differently than traditional retailers with brick-and-mortar locations. For example, direct to consumer brands are passing over the use of promotions in favor of other channels such as programmatic TV to attract new customers.
  • For the 2019 holiday season, brands across the board are increasing their investment in technology to enable personalization, such as AI and customer data platforms. Digital native brands are earmarking more budget for these investments than their traditional retail competitors.


This holiday retail season is projected to be even bigger for ecommerce brands than last year. Brands and retailers can use this benchmark report to evaluate current investment priorities and make adjustments as needed to make the most of the second half of 2019.

We’d especially like to thank the retailers who took the time to complete our survey earlier this year. Your responses and insights helped us create this valuable resource. We look forward to discussing the data contained in the survey, and what it means for both traditional and DTC ecommerce retailers, July 31-August 1 in New York City.




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