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Report Q1/2023

State of Commerce Advertising

The quarterly report for decision makers in performance marketing, commerce content, and affiliate marketing
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There’s a
new kid in town

When conventional online advertising reaches its limits, a fresh approach is called for: Commerce Advertising. With a new index for the industry, which will be published regularly from now on, mrge shows what’s driving the players: What trends are shaping the market? Where is the greatest potential for growth? How satisfactory was the past quarter? This trend report supports experts and decision makers in their daily work and enables them to develop successful strategies for the coming quarter.

What is Commerce Advertising?

Commerce Advertising is a new approach to online advertising that combines the strengths of performance marketing, commerce content, and affiliate marketing: Contextually appropriate advertising at key moments of the customer journey helps users to make better purchase decisions, opens up attractive, diversified monetization pathways for publishers, and offers advertisers the opportunity to maximize performance through access to the purchase-critical touchpoints.
The Industry Survey

State of Commerce Advertising

We asked the top decision makers in Commerce Advertising for their assessments of the status quo and the future of the industry – and we will do so quarterly from now on. This will create a running index on the questions: What is currently driving the industry? How is business going? What trends can we expect? Where are the opportunities for growth?

About the
Commerce Advertising Panel

From advertisers and publishers to network operators and agencies: In this report, we bring together the key voices from across the industry and represent all relevant perspectives. What is the current mood in the market?

Key learnings

48 percent of respondents generate at least a quarter of their revenue from Commerce Advertising.
72 percent are satisfied with the past quarter (Q4/2022). Two-thirds were able to increase their sales during this period.
57 percent of respondents feel optimistic about the coming months.
AI & machine learning are currently the top trends in Commerce Advertising.
Cyber Week is the most important event of the year, and Singles’ Day has become a relevant event.
51 percent of respondents cite publisher diversification as the strongest growth driver in the industry.
Market Situation

Overall state of industry

The fourth quarter is usually the strongest in terms of sales. In 2022, inflation and price increases curbed consumer spending. How was this reflected in the industry?

How satisfied are you with the last quarter?

No crisis in sight: The Commerce Advertising industry is proving to be highly robust. 72% of respondents are satisfied, or even very satisfied, with the past quarter (Q4/2022).

How optimistic or pessimistic are you about the next few months?

Encouraged by the successes of recent months, around 57% are optimistic or very optimistic about the future.

How did your sales develop compared to the previous quarter?

In 2022, the fourth quarter again guaranteed strong sales: Over 65% of respondents were able to increase their sales compared to the previous quarter.

What is your sales forecast for the coming quarter compared to this quarter?

After the traditionally strong fourth quarter, expectations for the first quarter of 2023 are lower. Only around 13% expect more sales.
In the past few years, very few areas of digital marketing have experienced an upswing comparable to Commerce Advertising. The industry’s positive attitude confirms this. Thanks to the extremely profitable connection between advertisers and publishers, all parties involved can expect great things in the coming months.
Felix Witte
General Manager
& SVP Publishers, mrge
State of Commerce Advertising in Q1/2023

Executive Summary

Commerce Advertising is highly relevant.
Commerce Advertising generates a significant share of sales for market players, which underscores how publishers and advertisers stand to benefit from this approach to digital marketing. Commerce Advertising creates profitable links between industry players, and the successful companies have already recognized this relevance.
Commerce Advertising defies the crisis.
In 2022, inflation, supply-chain problems, and increased advertising costs caused profits to drop in global e-commerce. But Commerce Advertising not only defied the crisis, it even expanded its position in the media mix. As a result, satisfaction in the industry is currently high and the outlook for the future is positive. The upcoming State of Commerce Advertising index will show whether these expectations are confirmed.
Various trends are driving the industry.
Instead of one megatrend turning the whole industry upside-down, developments in Commerce Advertising are being driven by diverse developments: Automation thanks to AI and machine learning, influencer advertising, as well as privacy topics. Advertisers and publishers who embrace these trends will benefit in the long run.
Commerce Advertising is becoming more diversified.
In the coming months, the Commerce Advertising industry will continue to diversify. The variety of different publisher models will increase, giving advertisers more options to achieve their marketing goals. The challenge will be to find the right publisher for each goal. That’s why mrge is committed to uniting the strengths of all market participants.
Strong relationships between publishers and advertisers are critical.
Publishers and advertisers are no longer separate: Through shared objectives and exclusive deals, we will see increased collaboration. This will establish Commerce Advertising even more firmly in the minds of media professionals.

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Gain exciting insights straight from the industry's top experts and decision makers and boost your business with our Q1/2023 Report.
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