Respondents to an April 2009 Practical eCommerce survey overwhelmingly said that pay-per-click advertising was an effective way to promote an ecommerce store and improve sales. Those same respondents also declared advertising an important part of their ecommerce business.
The survey found that 79.3 percent of those participating believed that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising was an effective way to increase sales, with 27.6 percent of those same respondents saying PPC advertising was “very effective.”
The survey asked Practical eCommerce readers to grade various advertising methods based on how effective they were at increasing online sales or increasing web traffic. The advertising methods queried were PPC ads, banner advertising, online rich media, online video, podcasts, print advertising, radio ads, television ads, catalogs, and direct mail. But PPC greatly exceeded the alternatives as the most favored method for both driving web traffic and closing sales. In fact, when asked if they purchased a particular form of advertising, 85.7 percent of respondents said they bought PPC, placing a vote of confidence with their hard earned dollars.
Advertising Is Important
The survey also showed how important advertising is to ecommerce retailers. In a question about whether advertising was important and why, respondents unanimously said that advertising was extremely important.
“Yes advertising is important,” said a survey respondent from California. “We focus online because that’s where our customers are. Social networking and Twitter are effective. People have to know you before they’ll give you their money.”
“Absolutely advertising is important!” said another survey respondent, who also criticized the survey itself. “Outside of PR, advertising is the most cost effective way of getting your message out to a mass audience. PS: This survey could have been designed much better…both in the questions and responses.”
Half of Respondents Bought Print Advertising
Perhaps surprisingly, 50 percent of those responding said that they purchased print advertising. In harder economic times, print advertising has suffered, with eMarketer and others reporting a 5 percent drop in magazine advertising spend in 2009 compared to the prior year. What’s more, many of those surveyed did not believe that printed advertising was an effective vehicle, with 29.6 percent saying that print was not effective for driving web traffic and 34.6 percent believing that print ads were no help when it comes to selling products.
Direct Mail Also Popular
Some 54.6 percent of those surveyed devoted part of their advertising and promotional budgets to direct mail. This was a greater percentage than those that purchased online banner advertising (44.4 percent), rich media ads (37.5), or online video (36 percent).