Introduction to E-commerce 1

Introduction to E-commerce 1

Unit Lesson Building a brand requires plenty of research, the ability to identify your customer base, and knowing how best to spend every advertising dollar. Branding is how a product interacts with its consumer audience through design, logo, and messaging. Branding is the promise to your customers that they can expect more from your product than your competition. This is something that needs to be done right the first time, and if it is done right, the branding should last throughout the lifetime of the product (Williams, n.d.). On average, Americans are bombarded with up to 5,000 traditional advertising messages in a single day (Johnson, 2014). From billboards on the side of a bus, radio ads, newspapers, bathroom stalls, grocery receipts, to the sand on the beach, American consumers are inundated with more advertising in one year than a person would have seen in his or her lifetime just fifty years ago. The following table illustrates the latest quantities and rates for advertisements (Johnson, 2014):

Average number of advertisement and brand exposures per day per person:


Average number of “ads only” exposures per day: 362

Average number of “ads only” noted per day: 153

Average number of “ads only” that we have some awareness of per day:


Average number of “ads only” that made an impression (engagement):


Anytime we travel or wait in line or shop at our local grocery store, we are being asked to investigate or get emotionally charged up about something or someone: the gorilla waving a sign on the street or the person dressed up as a hotdog. We are a polite society, so we either just gaze off, look away, or go about our business as if unaffected by the unrelenting deluge of unwanted intrusion into our already busy lives. Some would rather be playing golf. But wait! You will find advertising messages throughout the golf course as well. It seems that advertisers have all the angles covered. They are everywhere. The question becomes, without our normal means of delivering product advertising, how does one go about building a company’s brand on the Internet? That solution comes to us by using the same formula that traditional advertisers have always used. Bring your message to the people—a very large and captive audience. TV advertising worked well in the past because it was easy to identify the demographic of the people that watch a particular show. If you sell fishing gear, your commercial should air on a show that appeals to fisherman. That is branding in action (Hollis, 2011). Of course, it is very popular to advertise on the Internet these days. We know that the Internet is exploding with more new users every day and that roughly 40% of the world’s population consists of Internet users. China has the highest population of Internet users, followed by the United States. The total number of users


E-commerce Marketing and


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exceeds 3.2 billion people worldwide, and that number is expected to grow by another billion very soon. It is important to remain cognizant of these numbers to ensure that the method of advertising is still effective and relevant. One common trend is for companies to track, collect, and/or purchase data about users and Internet activity, and it is all for the purpose of advertising that eventually leads to revenue. Agencies are always looking for new and different ways of approaching data and how they can use it to reach relevant leads. One form of data to consider is the total number of Internet users. An Internet user is defined as an individual who has access to the Internet at home, via computer, or mobile device (Internet Live Stats, n.d.-b). However, for the leads to be relevant, you will likely want to dissect much more specific data, such as your target demographic as well as the type of audience that vendors tend to attract. For instance, Google, a major source of online advertising, has over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide (Internet Live Stats, n.d.-a). Another example is Twitter, which handles 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year (Internet Live Stats, n.d.-d). Plus, to get an idea of the advertising competition, there are close to one billion websites on the Internet (Internet Live Stats, n.d.-c). A major part to branding is how the message is delivered. Advertisers are always trying to determine new and ingenious ways to get their advertising messages to the consumer, and it seems to be working. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it is the online video that has captured the attention of the Madison Avenue types. Thanks to the increase in bandwidth, video production techniques, and the advancements in smartphone technology, video has become a major source of advertising. Banner ads have all but disappeared or at least have become miniscule compared to video advertising. Attach your ad as a pre-roll to a dancing baby video with over one million hits, and the click-through rate back to your site skyrockets compared to any other form of online advertising. We have all seen the pre-roll ads that precede a video or song we want to watch. If you want the video, you must first watch the ad. You see it on news channels, YouTube, and social media sites. Imagine that taking place an average of 188 million times in one month. Recent studies have shown the average American adult spends 5.5 hours a day watching online video content (EMarketer, 2015). The numbers do not lie. Video advertising not only works, it works exceptionally well. It is estimated that 64% of those who viewed a video ad were more likely to purchase the product (Follett, n.d.). We like the numbers, and we like the fact that video advertising is working, but how is it being delivered? The biggest benefactor in the surge of video advertising has been mobile platform technology (Hollis, 2011). People cannot get enough instantaneous, spontaneous, self-gratification—they simply cannot access it fast enough. People watch videos at work, on the train, on the plane, and in the bathroom stall. LiveRail, owned and operated by Facebook since 2014, delivered the highest number of video ads, at 3.9 billion (Constine, 2014). Facebook has a membership equal to one sixth of the global population, over 1 billion members. Facebook has 1.3 billion mobile app users and 844 million that use their mobile apps on Facebook every day. If you wanted to reach 1 billion people via mobile technology, what better source for advertising could you use? Facebook generated $12.47 billion in advertising revenue in 2014, an increase of 58% year-over-year (Smith, 2015). The amount of statistical information that consumers generate by watching the video ads is staggering: still more revenue for those that gather and sell information to research firms. It is no coincidence that video ads can be tailored to a user’s pertinacity to gravitate toward a certain kind of music, product, or lifestyle. If a person has logged into YouTube and then watches videos on plastic surgery, YouTube will later suggest more videos related to plastic surgery. Plus, the pre-roll leading up to the video will be ads for plastic surgery products and services (Brooks, 2011). For the e-commerce site owner, video advertising has shown the greatest return for money spent on advertising. Advertising on Facebook is not just hit and miss. Anyone can advertise, and thanks to an avalanche of user statistical data that Facebook or YouTube acquire, you can narrow down the audience just to those members that would be interested in your product. You can choose desktop or mobile ads or both. You can choose where to place the ad for the greatest benefit and choose different ad styles, including video. The trick is to get the message out on as many social and search sites as possible. If Facebook is working for you, look into Google AdWords and YouTube video ads as well. Track your results, and see who is coming to investigate. Keep narrowing down your audience and fine tuning your ad placements. If you can practice and

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enhance these advertising strategies to strengthen a brand, you will likely notice an increase in sales within just the first 30 days. Conclusion In the past, advertising on a global scale was left to the giants of industry that could afford the production and the medium to deliver. That is no longer the case. Anyone willing to do the research and use the right delivery can build a brand and build it quicker and cheaper than anyone could in the past. Branding is your promise to the consumer that you can deliver a better product at a better price and do it better than your competition.

References Brooks, R. (2011, July 27). 8 ways to maximize your YouTube marketing results. Retrieved from Constine, J. (2014, July 2). Facebook acquires LiveRail for $400M to $500M to serve video ads everywhere,

improve its own. Retrieved from EMarketer. (2015, April 16). US adults spend 5.5 hours with video content each day. Retrieved from Follett, A. (n.d.). 18 big video marketing statistics and what they mean for your business. Retrieved from Hollis, N. (2011, August 31). Why good advertising works (even when you think it doesn’t). Retrieved from think-it-doesnt/244252/

Internet Live Stats. (n.d.-a). Google search statistics. Retrieved from

search-statistics/ Internet Live Stats. (n.d.-b). Internet users. Retrieved from Internet Live Stats. (n.d.-c). Total number of websites. Retrieved from

number-of-websites/ Internet Live Stats. (n.d.-d). Twitter usage statistics. Retrieved from

statistics/ Johnson, S. (2014, September 29). New research sheds light on daily ad exposures. Retrieved from Smith, C. (2015, September 23). By the numbers: 200+ amazing Facebook user statistics (August 2015).

Retrieved from Williams, J. (n.d.). The basics of branding. Retrieved from

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Learning Activities (Non-Graded) The following video provides a step-by-step explanation for approaching an Internet marketing strategy: Edwards, A. R. (2012, June 27). Internet marketing strategy – step by step [Video file]. Retrieved from The following video describes the advantages of using Facebook ads to promote an e-commerce: Shopify. (2013, November 20). Lesson 4: Introduction to using Facebook ads to promote content –

ecommerce university [Video file]. Retrieved from The following video offers tips for SEO and content marketing: Shopify. (2013, November 20). Lesson 1: The state of search: SEO & content marketing – ecommerce

university [Video file]. Retrieved from Non-graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.

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