The number of retailers advertising on Facebook significantly increased this year; 71.3% of merchants surveyed in July 2019 in Digital Commerce 360’s fifth-annual Digital Marketing Survey advertise on Instagram, up from 53.3% a year earlier. Among social networks, that places Facebook Inc.-owed Instagram only behind its parent company. Facebook also saw a jump as 91.3% of merchants advertise on the social network, up from 80.0% in last year’s survey.

1219_IR_DigitalEdition_BlastCoverOf course, social media marketing is far from the only marketing channels where retailers are increasing their spending: 71.0% of respondents increased their overall digital marketing budgets this year—including 22.1% of respondents who boosted their spending more than 20%. That growth is in line with a broader trend: U.S. retailers’ digital ad spending is expected to rise 19.1% this year to $28.33 billion from $23.78 billion last year, according to eMarketer Inc. The research firm expects retailers’ total digital ad spending to jump another 16.9% next year to $33.12 billion.

A number of factors contribute to that growth, including the rising costs of many ad formats, and several large merchants such as Inc. (up 42.7% through the first three quarters of 2019) and Wayfair Inc. (up 44.9% through the first three quarters of 2019) significantly increasing their overall marketing spending.

Internet Retailer bases its findings on the anonymous responses of 116 participants—a mix of retail chains, web-only retailers, manufacturers and business-to-business sellers—who completed an online survey in July. While each of the merchants has its own way of allocating its spending across digital channels to drive sales and boost brand awareness, they all share the endless challenge to find the ideal marketing mix.

This is an excerpt from the Digital Commerce 360 report Marketing Strategies of the Top 1000.” To download the report, visit

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