Digiday+ Research: Agencies up their Amazon spend, but still don’t spend a lot on retail

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There have been signs that agencies see potential in marketing on Amazon. And while they are increasing their marketing spend on Amazon on behalf of their clients, they’re doing so only slightly. Amazon and other retail sites still have a long way to go as a marketing channel.

According to a Digiday+ Research survey of more than 100 agency professionals, the number of agency pros whose clients put at least a very small portion of their marketing budgets toward Amazon has ticked up over the last six months. In Q3 of last year, 54% of respondents said their clients spend at least a little on Amazon, compared with 59% who said so in Q1 of this year.

But for those agencies whose clients do put some of their marketing spend toward Amazon, how much they spend is kind of all over the board. Those who spend a very small portion of their budgets on Amazon make up the largest group at 23%, while zero respondents said their clients spend a very large portion of their budget on Amazon.

It’s a very similar story for Walmart, Target, eBay and other non-Amazon retail sites: The percentage of agency pros who said their clients spend at least a very small portion of their marketing budget on these other retail sites grew slightly from 41% six months ago to 49% today. And the same percentage of respondents who said their clients spend a very small portion of their budgets on Amazon said the same of other retail sites (23%), with zero respondents saying their clients spend a very large portion of their budgets on other retail sites, just as with Amazon.

One difference between Amazon and other retail sites that is worth noting is the percentage of agency pros who said their clients spend a large portion of their budget on these channels: 7% of respondents to Digiday’s survey said their clients spend a large portion of their budgets on Amazon, but only 1% said the same of non-Amazon retail sites. 

When it comes to Amazon’s ability to actually drive marketing success for agencies’ clients, Digiday’s survey found that confidence in Amazon as a marketing channel is actually growing: 67% of agency pros expressed at least some confidence in Amazon’s ability to drive marketing success for their clients six months ago, and that number has risen to nearly three-quarters (73%).

However, the survey also found that Amazon is making the biggest gains in the slightly and somewhat confident categories, while the percentages of respondents who said they’re confident or very confident has actually fallen. Ten percent of respondents to Digiday’s Q3 2022 survey said they were slightly confident in Amazon, and 10% said they were somewhat confident. Both of those percentages have risen to 19% this quarter. However, the percentage of those who said they’re confident fell from 36% in Q3 2022 to 27% this quarter, and those who said they’re very confident in Amazon fell from 12% to 9%.

Digiday’s survey found that confidence in other retail sites has been slowly building, as well. A year ago, 58% of agency pros said they were at least slightly confident in Walmart, Target, eBay and other non-Amazon retail sites’ ability to drive marketing success for their clients, which rose to 63% this quarter (which was about on par with what agency pros said six months ago).

But as with Amazon, these other retail sites still don’t elicit a lot of confidence from agency pros. In fact, the biggest growth in confidence occurred in the slightly confident category: 16% of respondents to Digiday’s survey said they were slightly confident in other retail sites six months ago, a percentage that has risen to a full quarter (25%). Meanwhile, those who said they’re somewhat and slightly confident fell slightly from 21% six months ago to 17% today, and those who said they’re very confident remained steady at a very low 4% of agency pros.

https://digiday.com/?p=489914

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