Interesting survey data has been published by eMarketer.com with a reference to an August research conducted jointly by Internet Retailer and Vovici Corp.:
As look through the above statistics, the two things that I see in it are:
1. Social Media Channels Are Top Priority
While I am not entirely sure why “Blogs” and “Consumer ratings” have been mentioned separately from “Social Marketing” (I would argue that these two represent a Social Medium each; see my Types of Social Media to Use in Marketing post), it appears that the exploration of Social Media is currently the top priority for US online retailers.
2. Affiliate Marketing Includes Most of These
While it is unlikely that any affiliate will happily engage in “Live chat” with customers, and/or do the merchant’s work of “Product personalization”, the top four “applications” on the list are right up the affiliate marketing alley. In addition to a decision to explore these channels on their one, online retailers should realize (but will they if no one explains it to them?!) that affiliates can also effectively promote them through Social Media, distribute their videos, give them excellent exposure in their niche/product-specific blogs, and even help obtain additional ratings and reviews (some put such tools together by themselves, while others could definitely use advertisers’ help with this). With proper attention to the affiliate marketing channel, the employment of the top “applications” can be considerably more efficient, and happen on a much wider scale.