German online retailers neglect offline ads

04 July 2012

BERLIN: Online retailers in Germany may be underestimating the importance of traditional media advertising when it comes to reaching consumers, new analysis has shown.

IFH Koln, the trade body, and ECC Handel, the insights group, surveyed 700 ecommerce specialists and 1,700 web users. Only 1.3% of the featured brand owners employed TV ads, but 39% of the public had become aware of their services via this channel.

Figures here stood at 2.1% and 14.4% for radio ads, and 3.9% and 14% respectively with reference to the outdoor equivalent. Similarly, just 9.1% of ecommerce vendors leveraged catalogues, although 31.6% of buyers had discovered internet firms from this source.

In a parallel trend, 26.4% of consumers had learned about online retailers from press ads, whereas 15.5% of these enterprises had previously purchased ads in print titles.

When it came to "household advertising" like distributing flyers, samples and brochures, 29.7% of shoppers had discovered information about internet vendors thanks to such communications, which were utilised by 13.5% of companies.

Looking to digital, 61% of operators deployed search engine marketing, and 50.7% of customers became aware of these organisations via this route.

By contrast, 50.7% of businesses made active use of price comparison sites as a promotional tool, but 67% of shoppers had their attention drawn to vendors through this channel.

Online banner ads were another area where consumers registered higher scores than brand owners, reaching 25.3% and 20.2% in turn.

Firms tended to overinvest in email marketing, as 19.5% allocated resources to this area, which had an effect on a more modest 13.5% of the target audience.

In-text display ads logged 8.2% and 5.6% on these measures respectively, standing at 5.7% and 4.5% for video advertising.

Data sourced from ECC Handel; additional content by Warc staff