Five takeaways from The State of Ecommerce 2021 report

Yesterday GroupM released their “The State of Ecommerce 2021: Navigating the New World of Omnichannel Commerce & Retail Media” report and there are some interesting insights (for those of us engaged in eCommerce media).


(1) eCommerce sites are playing the most important role in the consumers initial product research and it’s not only Amazon.

And also in the product/price comparison phase:

And even in the discovery phase:

“Shoppers rely on retailer sites and apps more than any other touch point in the days and weeks leading up to a purchase. When we consider the ecommerce consumer’s path to purchase, most online urchasers are, not surprisingly, influenced primarily by online touch points”

Read more about the consumer decision journey and the impact of ecommerce here.


(2) Shoppers Finding Digital Ads Helpful

“To better understand the value of online advertising from the shopper perspective, we asked about the utility and helpfulness of media designed to target and drive purchase. The results illuminated some key insights, including that 54% of those exposed to an ad or promo while shopping said that these ads or promos were helpful reminders of something they needed, or prompted an idea for something they wanted.”


(3) Retail media goes up the funnel

“Retail media has been growing significantly over the last several years as retailer websites have invested in more opportunities for brand promotion. Marketers, looking to impact purchase as much as possible, have responded to the promise of more shopper influence and measurable return.”

“Retail media increasingly can help brand managers build awareness and consideration for their brands.
It’s no longer just a tool for driving sales at the end of the media funnel. It deserves to be at the seat of every single media plan out there. It is a standard mandatory investment for all of our strategic brands.” Steve Kinsey, GSK’s director of commerce marketing.

Here is a chart of the 2020 Spending plans on digital ad platforms:

(4) Agencies play a growing part in eCommerce media strategy

“Agencies, such as media agencies and ecommerce specialty agencies, often play a supporting role in the success of a brand’s holistic, omnichannel digital marketing program, including ecommerce. According
to our study, many ecommerce professionals are leveraging some combination of in-house teams and agency teams to manage ecommerce channels like Amazon, Target, and Kroger. “When agencies can bring integrated commerce approaches, benchmarks, and insights to the table, they become a valuable partner for brands when considering retail media implementation,” shared Paula Hunsche, senior vice president, client engagement, GroupM Commerce.”

How activity is managed across digital advertising platforms


(5) Go beyond ROAS

“Regardless of the platform, when discussing measurement in our interviews, one thing was
clear: Brands must think beyond return on ad spend (ROAS). “If companies aren’t careful,
they are going to ROAS themselves into a corner,” said Kristina Smith, vice president of
digital marketing at The Riveter. Many marketers admit it’s tempting to rely
primarily on ROAS to gauge success, but ROAS does not provide the full picture.

“ROAS is a very crude and very incomplete data point. We look at it, we measure it, we monitor it because it is an easy number to calculate, but it can be highly misleading” said Steve Kinsey, GSK.

Pacvue’s Riku Laitasalo echoed that sentiment as well, “There are certain keywords that will
never be ROAS positive…It is all about looking at it through the perspective of your total
portfolio as well as the long-term benefit for your company.”

Level of ability to measure ROI, by media platform


Read the full report here:

About Mabaya

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