Commentary

Ecommerce Advertising Can Drive Digital Growth For Publishers

The economic recovery is driving greater demand for advertising, with Publicis Media's Zenith unit this week raising its 2021 forecast for global growth in media spending. The estimate is encouraging, though the agency cautions publishers will continue to face declines in print spending.
Zenith revised its growth forecast for ad spending to about 11% from its last estimate of 5.6% in December. In real numbers, total ad spend will reach $669 billion worldwide, or $40 billion more than in 2019 before the pandemic dampened demand.
For 2021, the agency forecasts an 8% slide in print spending, marking the 14th straight year of declines. Digital display advertising also will shrink by 15% as social media and search continue to gain a greater share of online ad budgets.
Ecommerce is a significant driver of this shift as small businesses seek ways to reach consumers shopping online more frequently.

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Zenith forecast that social-media advertising will rise 25% to $137 billion, for the first time exceeding paid search, which will grow 19% to $135 billion.

“Much of this is new money to the ad market, coming from small businesses that have had to pivot rapidly to ecommerce to survive lockdowns, and from budgets that brands would previously have allocated to retailers to secure physical shelf-space, which they are now spending on display and search ads on retailer websites,” according to Zenith.
The outlook suggests that publishers can find growth in advertising that drives traffic to ecommerce sites.

Affiliate sales from product reviews and shopping pages are more likely to expand as the ecommerce market continues to grow.

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