Top Paid Search Advertisers, Black Friday to Cyber Monday 2015

To assess the leaders in Paid Search advertising performance over the extended Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, AdGooroo examined U.S. Google Desktop/Tablet activity on three separate keyword groups from November 27-30:

  • 2500 Top Retail Product Keywords
  • 161 Black Friday-Related Keywords
  • 103 Cyber Monday-Related Keywords

Top Retail Product Keywords

During the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, 13,955 advertisers spent $15.4 million on Desktop Text Ads sponsoring the 2500 Retail Product keywords, while 2,453 advertisers spent $2.9 million sponsoring the keyword group via Desktop Product Listing Ads.  Top keywords in the group include ‘iphone 6’, ‘samsung galaxy 6’, ‘engagement rings’, ‘laptops’, ‘fitbit’ and ‘uggs’.

Black Friday Cyber Monday 2015 Summary Retail Keywords

Amazon led the Top Retail Product keyword group in Text Ad clicks with a 6.45% click share over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, followed by Walmart (4%), JCPenney (3.77%), Kohl’s (3.45%) and Macy’s (3.11%).

Notably, we recently looked at Text Ad activity on the same keywords from October 15 to November 15 and found that Target was second in clicks behind Amazon with a 4% click share. However, over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, Target was surpassed by the four competitors cited in the previous paragraph, falling to sixth place with a 3.09% click share.

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Summary PLA Retail 2015

As noted above, retailers sponsoring the Retail Product keyword group via Product Listing Ads had  far fewer competitors to contend with than in Text Ads—with the most notable absence being  Text Ad leader, Amazon, who does not sponsor PLAs in the U.S.

Walmart led all advertisers with an 8% PLA click share on the keyword group over the extended weekend. Best Buy was a close second with a 7.8% click share, followed by Macy’s (4.9%). Kohl’s (4.1%) and Target (4.1%). In total, these five advertisers plus eBay (2.8%), Sears (2.6%) and JCPenney (2.6%), accounted for 37% of PLA clicks on the keyword group over the weekend.

As with Text Ads, Target also fell in PLA click share on the keyword group, from 6% in October 15-November 15 to 4.1% over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend.

Black Friday Keywords

From November 27 to 30, 675 advertisers spent $1,540,000 sponsoring the 161 Black Friday-related keywords, including $508,000 on the term ‘black friday deals’ and $503,000 on ‘black friday’.

However, the bulk of spend on the Black Friday keyword group did not occur over the Black Friday weekend. From September 27 (when AdGooroo first saw a surge in Black Friday keyword spend) to November 26, nearly 1400 advertisers spent more than $9 million on the 161 Black Friday keywords, demonstrating that the Black Friday commercial holiday extends far beyond a single day or weekend of sales for retailers and shoppers.

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Summary BF KWs 2015

While less prominent on the Retail Product Keywords examined above, Target led all advertisers on the Black Friday keywords, generating a 13.08% click share over the Black Friday weekend. Although Target has maintained its lead on the keyword group since September 27, which we detailed in a report last week, its share of clicks dropped from a whopping 22.75% for the September 27-November 22 period that we previously examined. Amazon was second in Black Friday keyword clicks over the extended weekend with a 10.91% click share, followed by Macy’s (6.18%). JCPenney (6.07%) and Best Buy (4.06%).

Cyber Monday Keywords

Cyber Monday keywords generate significantly less Paid Search ad spend than Black Friday keywords. Over the November 27-30 weekend, 384 advertisers spent $411,000 sponsoring the 103 Cyber Monday-related keywords, including $235,000 on the term ‘cyber monday’ and $129,000 on ‘cyber monday deals’. From September 27 to November 26, 816 advertisers spent $2,372,000 on the Cyber Monday keyword group, bringing its total for the 2015 holiday season to $2.78 million.

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Summary CM KWs 2015

Although Amazon came in second to omnichannel Target on the Black Friday keyword group, Amazon led in performance on the digitally focused Cyber Monday keywords with a 14.13% click share over the extended weekend.  Target was not far behind with a 13.52% click share, followed by Walmart (11.41%), Best Buy (10.35%) and American Eagle (8.49%).

Interestingly, despite operating more than 5,000 physical stores in the U.S., Walmart appears to have been far more focused on Cyber Monday than Black Friday in its Paid Search campaigns over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend; the retailer had just a 1.63% click share on the Black Friday keyword group.

Note: The results of this report are limited to Paid Search activity on the 3 distinct keyword groups cited above. Advertisers may be sponsoring additional keywords that, if measured, would alter the findings of this report.