e-commerce display advertising trend header image

E-commerce | 07 min read

5 essential e-commerce display advertising trends | 2020

E-commerce and online shopping is set to increase this holiday season – as is the importance of display advertising. And knowing the key display advertising trends offers the potential to unlock revenue.

To help marketing teams prepare, Bannerflow recently analysed data from 2019 and the first half of 2020. Download our full infographic on general display advertising trends now.

Focusing on e-commerce, a recent survey by Delotte in the UK found About 40 percent of respondents did more online shopping during lockdown. Indeed, Covid-19 has drastically altered consumer behaviour and this holiday season (and beyond) things will never quite be the same again.

To help retailers here are our essential top 5 e-commerce display advertising trends based on our exclusive European data. Expert to learn the following insights:

  1. How preparing your best ever holiday ad campaigns is a must
  2. Why creating mobile optimised campaigns efficiently is essential
  3. How video can increase e-commerce display advertising CTR
  4. Why using dynamic ads allows you to stay agile and relevant
  5. Why going beyond the top display ad sizes means better results

1. Preparing your best ever holiday ad campaigns in advance

According to CLickZ “shoppers aren’t planning to significantly change how much they spend” this holiday season. In fact the big change this year is that more shoppers are likely to purchase online than go into physical stores.

Indeed, the importance of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas to brands cannot be understated this coming winter. And having the agility and in-house production capabilities to produce the volume of ads needed to be seen by customers will be critical.

Key shopping days CTR and ad view data

Key shopping dates display advertising data 2020

Even before the onset of Covid-19, data for 2019’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday indicated changing consumer habits. In fact, it’s clear that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now one mega online event that stretches over four days.

In 2020, having a display campaign ready to go for these dates is a minimum. However, just scheduling ads to drop isn’t enough this year.

Instead, we believe that preparing your best ever display campaign is something all brands should be looking to do this Autumn. Indeed, our hypothesis for 2020 is further increases in display CTR and conversion rates (CVR) due to a European consumers being more accustomed to shopping online.

This season it’s all about creating your best, optimised creatives, displaying your best offers, and using dynamic ads that use product targeting. Not only are these display ads simple to build and scale using a creative management platform (CMP) such as Bannerflow but they provide better performance too.

2. Why creating mobile optimised campaigns efficiently is essential

Mobile is now the number one device for e-commerce and retail display advertising. And it’s a trend that has long been coming. However, what it also means is that brands stuck in costly and slow ways of working need to change! If you can’t optimise ad experiences to different devices then now is a time to upgrade.

Mobile is number one device for e-commerce campaigns

Mobile e-commerce display advertising trend graph

Display campaigns must be able run across a variety of devices – even tablets. But how do you ensure that your display ads are perfectly optimised for 54% in the case of mobile ad views in 2020, and just 6.2% in the case of tablets?

By using the auto-optimisation feature found in an ad creator, such as Bannerflow Creative Studio, marketers can avoid long and lengthy production processes. It is essential in the Autumn of 2020 for advertisers to easily build the volumes required for multiple messages and markets. This ensures a campaign works across multiple devices smoothly and no additional time is spent editing individual ads.

It is also worth remembering that earlier in the year Google, announced a crackdown on resource heavy ads. If you wish to create impactful ads for multiple devices then having the best technology to reduce ad weight and optimise quickly is essential. In fact, it is one of the best practices when it comes to display advertising.

3. How video can increase e-commerce display advertising CTR

Before Covid-19 hit, use of video across display advertising was on the up. In fact, across all industries, it grew by 82% in 2019. Yet, for many e-commerce brands using video assets in display campaigns is still in its infancy.

Click-through rate and video usage increases

e-commerce display advertising trends 2020 video stats

Just 5% of all e-commerce and online retail display advertising featured a video in 2019. Which is tiny when you think of how impactful this type of creative is. Indeed, in-banner video offers a cost-effective way of engaging with a target audience by reusing creative assets within display ads.

When Covid-19 surged in early 2020, video usage fell – however, it’s CTR did not. Instead it rose slightly, seemingly suggesting that viewers still find this form of creative content engaging. Display ads containing video can cost more to publish, so it is also likely that this is the reason for the drop in usage.

However, we believe the use of video in display advertising is a great opportunity for e-commerce this Autumn – especially when optimised for mobile devices. Findings from a recent report by WARC found that brands are effectively engaging with consumers via combining video and mobile advertising.

Our data suggests that more brands could benefit from doing this within e-commerce and retail display advertising too.

4. Why using dynamic ads allows you to stay agile and relevant

The use of product feeds and dynamic advertising should be a key tactic for e-commerce display advertisers. What’s more, the technology required is already readily available and enables marketing teams to stay agile with a variety of messages and content during rapidly changing periods.

Growth of data feeds and dynamic content

Dynamic data for display advertising e-commerce trends 2020

Personalisation, through the use of dynamic advertising, has long been seen as a driver for increasing performance and getting a better ROI from display advertising. After all, which consumer doesn’t prefer ads that are relevant and timely? In fact our research found that there was an 8% increase in click-through rate for personalised ads in 2019 compared to 2018.

However, within e-commerce only 10.79% of the total volume of all display advertising in 2019 used a product feed. This is astonishing considering how easy they are to set up and use. Indeed, with such dynamic ad usage, there is a huge potential for many brands this Autumn.

Combining the use of product feeds, retargeting, and scheduling tools enables advertisers to create ads that are more impactful. Furthermore, this form of creative automation enables brands to stay consistent across devices and speak directly to customers.

Indeed, it can be no surprise that during 2020 the use of dynamic ads and data feeds rose by 5.53 percentage points. With in store opportunities less, staying personal with your customers through your display advertising is a winning strategy.

5. Why going beyond the top display ad sizes means better results

The top two banner sizes take up nearly 50.37% of all e-commerce display ad views in 2019. And these top sizes are mobile – which should come as no surprise!

Once again, this highlights the best practice of designing e-commerce campaigns mobile-first. However, in 2020 you need to do more than that! Instead you must also rapidly scale campaigns to hundreds of different ad sizes and versions too.

The top 5 e-commerce display advertising sizes

E-commerce display advertising trend banner sizes 2020

Indeed, the top two mobile sizes dominate; they account for nearly half of all e-commerce ad views. However, after the top two sizes there is a long tail of various other ad sizes. And these remaining half of display ads should not be overlooked for your e-commerce campaigns!

In particular, this display ad inventory represents billions of ad views and potential conversions. Moreover, when running an e-commerce programmatic campaign, being able to create all the different ad sizes of creative could prove very beneficial. Not only will more views see your campaign but they might be cheaper to serve too.

And the ad creator of a creative management platform is the best way for even the smallest in-house marketing team to produce effective campaigns, at scale. For example, it means your retail brand can match the largest investment of the year with massive volumes across a variety of ad placements.

What’s more, by being able to produce a range of formats, marketing teams are able to tap into some surprising benefits. Such as:

  • Easier to deliver campaigns – leave buying impressions to your demand side platform (DSP).
  • Reducing the cost per mille (CPM) since there is less competition lower for uncommon sizes.
  • Enabling your DSP to perform better since it can learn from more sizes.

Share this article

Exclusive infographic: Display Advertising Trends 2020

Do you want to know more about our platform?

Don’t hesitate to contact us by using the form below.