Good morning, let’s look back on digital commerce.

As we head into a new year, we’re taking stock of the changes and trends of 2019 that will help shape marketing in 2020. Today, we focus on news and trends in digital commerce marketing with a selection of influential stories and a Pro Tip from the community.

If you work in digital commerce, be sure to check out the special two-day Digital Commerce Marketing track at SMX West this February.


Taylor Peterson
Deputy Editor

1. Instagram debuts in-app checkout for e-commerce brands by Amy Gesenhues on March 19, 2019
The feature allows users to make purchases without leaving the app.

2. Retail in 2019: Store evolution, tech adoption and what it will take to win by Greg Sterling on January 3, 2019
Three retail experts weigh in on the the future of the store.

3. Amazon enables dynamic bidding, bid adjustments for Sponsored Products ads by Ginny Marvin on January 15, 2019
Advertisers can opt-into automated bidding and tailor bids for the search ads by page placement.

4. Rethinking the marketing funnel with Consumer Decision Journeys by Mark Meyerson on February 25, 2019
The way customers shop and interact with brands has changed and the CDJ provides a practical framework for marketing to customers along this journey.

5. Walmart wants your ad business by Ginny Marvin on February 26, 2019
The company sees an advantage in its trove of digital and in-store customer data.

6. Microsoft acquires e-commerce advertising vendor PromoteIQ by Jennifer Cannon on August 5, 2019
The sponsored products platform will be a division of Microsoft Advertising.

7. Shopping as entertainment and how social commerce will succeed by Andrew Waber on May 29, 2019
Traditional ad formats on social channels will face a shakeup as Facebook and others aggressively test new ad experiences to make purchases without ever leaving the platform.

Pro Tip Throwback

Advertising rates vary by category on Amazon, so do your homework

“Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands advertising is particularly intense across certain categories on Amazon,” explains Andrew Waber of Teikametrics. “If you’re a seller in those markets, you need to gain a thorough understanding of which search terms you should target, both from a volume and margin perspective, and be able to bid to value effectively. Once you have enough data to make an informed decision, you may want to trim down the list of terms you are targeting against, and reallocate budget and adjust bids towards that smaller, higher volume subset, especially during high-traffic periods like Q4.”

“Conversely, in those few categories with top conversion rates outstripping advertising placement rates, marketers should see this as a market inefficiency they may be able to take advantage of. In these categories, it’s more likely you’ll find relevant, fairly popular search terms where a Sponsored Product ad for your product can rank high on the page, without breaking the bank on a CPC basis.”

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Resource Spotlight

Digital Agency Survey 2019

Digital agencies have been on the leading edge of digital transformation, but they are not immune to the challenges of adapting to changing technologies, advances in automation and evolving client capabilities and staff skill requirements needed to evolve. Strategic services will become a greater priority as campaign execution and management becomes increasingly automated. Agencies are also sensitive to client in-housing trends, however, most agencies surveyed in our report were planning to add services in the coming year and hiring — or trying to hire. Many reported having trouble filling positions in a competitive market. 

Learn more and download the full report »


Leftover 2019 budget? Put it to great use!

Register for SMX West before the year is over and join us February 19-20, 2020 in San Jose for a fabulous training and networking experience! Discover actionable tactics that can help you achieve your search marketing goals and connect with a thriving community of like-minded professionals. The experts at Search Engine Land have redesigned the agenda just for you, featuring 85+ unique sessions on SEO, SEM, and digital commerce marketing. Sharpen your skills, broaden your horizons, and prepare for what’s next: Register for SMX today!

Register now! »