Taking the Pulse of Enterprise Retailers

More than nine out of ten enterprise retailers say their need for content has increased over the past year, and 59% say the need has increased significantly.

This is one of the major findings of a survey conducted at the recent 2017 eTail West conference. To take the pulse of retailers on several important topics, Aprimo partnered with WBR Digital and ChannelAdvisor to survey 136 enterprise retailers ($500 million or more in annual revenue) at eTail West.

Most of the participants in this study (81%) represented multi-channel retailers, and study participants were drawn from several types of retail enterprises. The largest concentrations of survey respondents were in specialty retail (27%) and hardware, electronics, and appliances (9%).

With the need for content increasing significantly for nearly six out of ten organizations, it shouldn’t be surprising that retailers are using multiple sources of content. Almost half (46%) of the retailers in this study have three or more internal departments or external partners involved in producing their content.

Participants in this study were confident about their ability to deliver omnichannel customer experiences. Forty percent of survey respondents rated their omnichannel performance as excellent or above average, and another 40% gave themselves a grade of average.

The survey also asked participants to rate their company’s performance in promoting its brand and product content via specific marketing channels. The table below shows the percentage of respondents who rated their performance as excellent or above average across seven marketing channels.

Driving Cross Channel Performance by Channel

Study participants were much less confident about their ability to effectively personalize content. For example, respondents were most confident about personalizing email communications, but only 45% rated their company’s performance as excellent or above average. Among the other digital channels included in the study, respondents were least confident about their ability to personalize content in mobile apps, with only 25% giving their company a grade of excellent or above average.

Our research echoes the findings of numerous studies that have documented the content production and management challenges facing retailers and most other types of large enterprises. The mandate to deliver outstanding omnichannel customer experiences is fueling explosive growth in the amount of content that brands must develop and manage. The volume of content is increasing so rapidly that many enterprise marketers are challenged to meet the growing demand and manage their content portfolio effectively.

A recent survey of senior marketing and communications leaders by Accenture Interactive revealed the scope and significance of these content management challenges:

  • Seventy-three percent of the survey respondents said they spend more than $50 million on content management alone.
  • Over half of the respondents said they have more digital content than they can effectively manage.
  • Fifty-three percent of the respondents said they spend more time on the operational details of managing content than on core marketing activities.

The incessant and growing demand for relevant, rich, and compelling content elevates the need for effective marketing operations in all types of enterprises. Effective marketing operations require more than technology, but it’s hard to overstate the importance of having the right combination of robust technology tools. In the Accenture research, study participants were asked what would put their organization on a path to successful content operations. Survey respondents identified thirteen “solutions,” and the top two choices were better technology and platforms and better integration of technology, tools, and processes.

To get more insight on the current attitudes of enterprise retailers, download a copy of our eTail West retailer survey report.


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