Retail Leaders in Holiday Paid Search Advertising 2016

On December 2, AdGooroo examined leadership in paid search advertising performance over the 2016 Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. As part of our parent company Kantar Media’s Winter Holiday Advertising Trends report, today we expand upon our previous research by examining U.S. Google desktop text ad and product listing ad click share from November 21 through December 11, 2016 on the same 2500 popular retail product keywords that we previously analyzed from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Overall, the same advertisers who led text ad and product listing ad click share on the 2500 retail product keywords over the 4-day Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend also led on those keywords from November 21 through December 11 . However, there was some jockeying in click share percentage.

Text Ads

Holiday 2016 Top 2500 Retail Product Keywords 11-21 to 12-11 TEXT ADS

Amazon again led in text ad clicks on the 2500 retail product keywords, but increased its click share to 8.2% over the extended 21-day period from 6.3% over Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. Macy’s increased its click share to 5.8% from 5.4%, while JCPenney dropped to 4.3% from 5.9%. Kohl’s maintained a 3% click share and Target dipped slightly to 2.9% from 3.0%.

Product Listing Ads

Holiday 2016 Top 2500 Retail Product Keywords 11-21 to 12-11 PLA

On the product listing ad side, Walmart again led in PLA clicks on the 2500 retail product keywords during the 21-day period, with the same 8.1% click share it enjoyed over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. Best Buy and Kohl’s both decreased in click share over the 21-day period compared to the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, as Best Buy dropped to 6.5% from 6.6% and Kohl’s dropped to 6.1% from 6.7%. Target and Macy’s both increased their click share, as Target jumped to 5.2% from 4.1% and Macy’s improved to 4.0% from 3.8%.

Shift From Text Ads to Product Listing Ads

As we saw over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, there has been a significant shift in paid search advertising spend from plain text ads to product listing ads in 2016 compared to 2015.

According to AdGooroo data, advertisers sponsoring the 2500 retail product keywords spent $48.7 million on U.S. Google desktop text ads from November 21 through December 11, 2016 compared $96.5 million on those keywords during the same 21-day period in 2015. Much of the difference in year-over-year text ad spend shifted to product listing ads in 2016, with advertisers spending $48.1 million on product listing ads, November 21-December 11, compared to $19.1 million during the same period in 2015.

As previously noted, we believe the shift in spend from text ads to product listing ads is likely due to Google dropping text ads from the right rail of its search results pages in 2016 as well as the company increasing the number of product listing ads on its results pages.

In total, paid search desktop spend on the 2500 retail product keywords dropped over the 21-day period this year compared to last year, decreasing from $115.6 million in 2015 to $96.8 million in 2016. Although mobile search spend was not included in this study, we believe the year-over-year drop in desktop paid search spending on the retail product keyword group was likely offset by a surge in mobile search spend on the keywords this year, due to both consumers increasing their use of mobile devices for shopping and Google making significant advances in implementing its long-term mobile-first strategy.

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