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How to attract an online marketing intern

By Michelle Knepper, Canadian PressMore than three-quarters of Canadian businesses are already using analytics to improve their online marketing and digital marketing campaigns, according to an analysis of data from market research firm Insights West.

That’s up from the 57 per cent who said that way back in the spring of 2017.

The rise of digital marketing and social media, coupled with the growing popularity of online shopping sites like Amazon.ca and Google Shopping, has been one of the biggest drivers of the growth of online marketing, said Insights Western CEO Doug Bezanson.

“That is the new trend in the digital space and it’s going to become increasingly important in the next couple of years,” he said in an interview.

“What we have seen is that people have been getting more sophisticated and more involved with their marketing strategies and they are really, really happy with the way they are communicating with customers.

They’re happy with how they are targeting their customers.”

While online shopping has grown dramatically, online shopping and social marketing have remained relatively small players in the online market.

The trend has been growing in recent years as more companies and businesses are investing in analytics and online marketing.

As more businesses invest in analytics, and as more consumers adopt digital marketing, Insights says the online shopping industry will likely witness a growth in online sales growth.

“The biggest driver of online sales is people wanting to buy on the go,” Bezonson said.

“If you can find a way to make that experience easier and more engaging, that will be a big driver of growth for the industry.”

The Insights data also suggests that digital marketing is a growing business in Canada, accounting for roughly one-third of all sales, up from less than one-quarter in the first quarter of this year.

The trend has become more pronounced as Canada’s economy has been recovering from the Great Recession, said Ben Loughnan, an executive vice president at The Marketing Lab, a marketing and analytics consulting firm.

“It is a natural part of the overall retail ecosystem that people want to have a seamless experience with their shopping experience,” he told the Canadian Press.

The surge in digital sales is due in part to digital marketing companies being able to leverage existing business models to help drive revenue and keep people coming back to their sites, said Loughan.

“There’s a lot of room for the digital marketing industry to really take off in Canada,” he added.

Innovations such as “click to pay” and social sharing have helped drive sales growth online, and there’s an awareness of digital shopping in Canada that is “very high,” Loughans said.

The growing popularity and accessibility of online platforms such as Amazon.com, Google Shopping and Facebook is also driving growth in the marketplace, said Bezanson.

While consumers and businesses have long wanted to purchase online and to have instant access to everything they need, online retailing has been relatively inaccessible in the past, said Jason Regan, managing director of analytics firm Inrix, in an email interview.

In 2017, Inrix said online sales grew 15 per cent, compared with 14 per cent in 2016.

The number of sales online grew by an average of 11 per cent each year through 2020.

Regan noted that online retailers are not the only ones seeing online sales grow.

“Online sales are a growing component of retail sales, but are growing in parallel with the consumer’s demand for goods and services online,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The growth of digital commerce in Canada is the result of an influx of new customers, new opportunities, and the ability for people to spend more money online, he added, “all at the same time.”

A recent study from the Conference Board of Canada found that online sales increased by about 3.4 per cent annually from 2017 to 2019, compared to an increase of 3.1 per cent across all other sectors.

The average price of a $500 item on Amazon.CA rose by more than 5 per cent from 2016 to 2019.

In fact, the average price for a $250 item jumped more than 40 per cent during that time.

In an email, the Conference Council’s Marketing and Social Marketing Division spokesperson, Dan Hynes, said the rise in sales is “a good sign for retailers.”

“As Canadians have come to expect better and more affordable goods and service, online commerce is becoming a more important driver of economic growth, and retailers can now more effectively promote the goods they sell online,” Hynes said in a statement.

“We expect this trend to continue in the coming years, as more Canadians choose to shop online.”