Over the last few years, traditional retail has stagnated with some of the world’s most ubiquitous retailers shuttering their storefronts. But as total retail sales stay flat, digital retail is experiencing rapid growth with no signs of slowing in the years to come. According to a late 2016 eMarketer study, digital retail sales grew 23.7% in 2016, and sales expected to grow to a total of $4.058 trillion by 2020, making up 14.6% of total retail spending that year.

As digital retail continues to grow and offer consumers new ways to shop, we worked to identify the ways retailers are planning to generate revenue and grow their business, what they are prioritizing and the challenges they expect to face. To gather these insights, we conducted a survey in January 2017 with 202 marketers, primarily representing brick-and-click retailers, ecommerce companies, and online marketplaces.

We’ll be unveiling this research at eTail West, where ecommerce and multi-channel leaders from all around the globe will be connecting next week.

Here are some key takeaways about how marketers in our survey plan to approach the challenges facing them over the next year:

  • One in five marketers surveyed said their organization fell short of its 2016 marketing goals
  • For retailers looking to increase revenue in 2017, email and mobile are the challenges to focus on
  • 51% of marketers surveyed agreed that there is significant room to innovate on their email marketing strategy in 2017
  • Retailers in our survey expected to make the biggest investments in innovating cross/multichannel campaign management in 2017 (28%), followed closely by email marketing (26%)