The undercover arms race between media and commerce platforms

by | Jul 25, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

Media, advertising and commerce have historically had a symbiotic relationship. The equation was simple: customer sees an ad via media and buys a product via a retail outlet. Today, there is a growing friction between e-commerce and media platforms, which are both competing for a finite amount of consumer attention, and this friction threatens to upend an age-old balance of power, according to a new report from smart video editing firm Magisto.

Social media platforms are increasingly entering the e-commerce space with native features that support consumer purchases. This subtle shift has begun to unseat the unrivaled dominance of online transactions that has traditionally been held by e-commerce platforms and digital marketplaces. Simultaneously, e-commerce sites are beginning to introduce rich media and customer-centric marketing technology in order to foster some of the engagement and relationships currently owned by social media platforms. These two shifts illustrate a friction in today’s go-to-market strategy and a rising competition in the retail industry.

The undercover arms race between media and commerce platforms

This disconnect is explored in Magisto’s new report, which found that businesses aggressively create and maintain e-commerce profiles, but rely most heavily on social media to market their businesses. The market gap centers around the fact that the traffic they generate in doing this pushes consumers to either their own websites to generate sales or back to their own social media profiles to foster engagement. Magisto surveyed over 750 marketing decision-makers, who illustrate the market dynamics in these five data points:

  • 75 percent of businesses report managing one or more profiles on third-party ecommerce sites
  • 71 percent of businesses report using social media more than any other digital medium to market their business, 177 percent more than e-commerce sites and 122 percent more than paid advertising
  • Respondents are 138 percent more likely to drive traffic to their own websites than to an e-commerce site with their marketing efforts
  • 72 percent of businesses say they’d be more likely to use third-party e-commerce sites if they offered more tools to actively market/promote their business
  • 50 percent say that if social media platforms offered direct sales, they’d be more likely to use social media for all of their business and marketing transactions

The undercover arms race between media and commerce platforms

“Contemporary marketing strategy centers around building long-term customer relationships through authentic content creation and social conversations. As more and more businesses crack the code on social marketing, it’s only logical to add commerce as a companion and end point to social narrative,” said Oren Boiman, CEO of Magisto, in a news release. “Today businesses are using third-party e-commerce profiles as a transactional way to capture passive and highly fragmented demand for their products. Conversely, businesses are using social and owned media to actively foster relationships, generate product demand, and drive sales. This dynamic will increasingly put e-commerce back on their heels, struggling for relevance.”

Social content marketing is a driving force behind the competition between social media and e-commerce

The report highlights an opportunity for social media to win an enormous slice of digital commerce and the need for e-commerce sites to increase their native marketing and content creation abilities. Only 47 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their ability to target desired audiences and proactively market through third-party e-commerce sites, and 72 percent said they’d be more likely to use e-commerce sites if they offered richer ways to create, edit and upload content natively. Nearly half (49 percent) of marketers specifically called out their desire for native video creation as a feature that would make them more likely to use e-commerce sites. This point is especially important considering 64 percent say the content they upload to e-commerce sites is created specifically for the platform and 48 percent say if social media platforms offered direct sales, they’d be more likely to use social media for all of their business and marketing transactions.

The undercover arms race between media and commerce platforms

“Word-of-mouth has always been the most powerful form of marketing. People trust their friends’ and family’s opinion in all things, including purchase decisions. The phenomenal thing about social platforms is that they have made word-of-mouth a form of media,” said Reid Genauer, CMO at Magisto, in the release. “Content is still king, but the nature of that content today just happens to be bottom-up social storytelling. Fostering the ability for individuals and businesses to create, edit and manage digital narrative is a make-or-break feature set for any business, but specifically for e-commerce sites. Without it, they risk becoming passive observers to the new digital marketplace.”

Read the full report here.

Magisto surveyed over 750 marketing decision-makers in the U.S. in May 2018.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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