Costume retailers may have something to be scared about this Halloween, and it’s called Jet.com.
Last week in our annual Top Costume report we found that Jet.com led all costume retailers in Desktop Product Listing Ad (PLA) clicks in August and September, with a 17.4% click share on 2,892 top Halloween costume keywords.
We took another look at activity on the keyword group from October 1 through the 23rd, and found that Jet.com is not only still leading the category but had actually increased its share of PLA clicks during this period to 19.4%.
At the same time, Party City’s PLA performance showed dramatic improvements this month, going from a 4.6% PLA click share on the Halloween costume keyword group in August and September to a 17.8% click share during October 1 to 23. Given this momentum, it would not be surprising to see Party City surpass Jet.com and close out October as the category leader in the Halloween costume keyword group. Target also increased its PLA click share on the keyword group, going from 12.9% in August and September to 16.5% from October 1 to 23.
Walmart, on the other hand, saw a sizable decrease in PLA click share on the Halloween costume keyword group in October. Ranked #2 with a 14.2% PLA click share in August and September, Walmart dropped down to a 1.5% click share on the keyword group during the period from October 1 to 23.
A Different Story in Text Ads
Turning to Desktop Text Ads, SpiritHalloween.com led all advertisers on the 2,892 Halloween costume keywords from October 1 to 23, with a 12.7% click share, followed closely by Target (12.6%) and then Amazon (10.6%), CostumeExpress.com (10.2%) and WholesaleHalloweenCostumes.com (9.8%).
Jet.com ranked just 65th in Text Ad clicks with a 0.12% click share on the same keyword group from October 1 to 23, suggesting that the company’s strategy is primarily focused on PLAs. Given that much has already been written about the perceived competition between Jet.com and Amazon, it should be noted that Jet.com’s focus on PLAs is the opposite of Amazon, which is the top Text Ad sponsor on Google but reportedly does not sponsor Product Listing Ads on Google as a policy (in the U.S. at least).
Things To Come?
It’s a remarkable feat for Jet.com to break in at the top of a category like Halloween costumes, which has well-established, perennial leaders—especially for a company whose retail site only officially launched on July 21st this year.
So could Jet.com’s PLA performance in Halloween costumes be a preview of things to come in other retail categories? It may be too early to say, but we did find Jet.com had a notable share of PLA clicks during the first 23 days of October in two of the more prominent retail categories for Holiday shopping, Consumer Electronics and Mass Retail:
- 5.3% click share on 3,094 top Consumer Electronics keywords
- 4.1% click share on 2,984 top Mass Retail keywords
In other popular Holiday categories we examined, however, Jet.com did not fare as well.
- 0.9% click share on 584 top Jewelry keywords
- 0.4% click share on 339 top Mobile Device keywords
- 0.06% click share on 1,524 top Apparel keywords
Of course, a broader look at performance over this holiday season will be necessary to better assess Jet.com’s place in the retail landscape.
Note: The 2,892 keywords studied in this report are not inclusive of all Halloween costume-related keywords being sponsored on U.S. Google AdWords. The advertisers cited in this report may be sponsoring additional Halloween costume-related keywords that, if measured, would alter the report’s figures.