UK Apparel Advertising in Paid Search Up 23% in 2015

AdGooroo’s latest research report examines Paid Search advertising by the Apparel industry in the United Kingdom. Specifically, we looked at Desktop Text Ad activity on the top 2,288 Apparel keywords on, ranked by total ad spend. (Mobile search and Product Listing Ads were not included in the study.)

From January through July 2015, UK advertisers spent a total £41.2 million sponsoring the keyword group—a 23% increase over the same period in 2014, when they spent £33.6 million.

Notably, the increase in the Apparel industry’s Paid Search spend from January to July 2015 runs counter to the overall trend AdGooroo found across all UK Paid Search, which was down nearly 11% during this time period. UK advertisers spent a total of £773 million on Desktop Text Ads from January through July 2015 compared to £867 million spent during the same time in 2014.

Average cost per click and clickthrough rate for the Apparel keyword group increased in 2015 as well, though not as dramatically as ad spend. Apparel advertisers paid an average of £0.32 per click for the keyword group in the first seven months of 2015 vs. £0.30 during the same time in 2014, and experienced a 4.62% average clickthrough rate compared to 4.42% last year.

For a comparison with the U.S. market, U.S. Desktop Text Ad spend on the top 2,288 Apparel keywords in the U.S. totaled $289 million or around £189 million from January to July 2015. The average cost per click was $1.28 or £0.59 while the average clickthrough rate was 4.19%.

Note: The results in this study are limited to Paid Search activity on the 2,288 keywords examined. Advertisers may be sponsoring additional Apparel keywords that, if measured, would change the findings of the report.

Top Advertisers

Although the majority of sites in the Top 20 ranking are British companies, U.S.-based Amazon tops the list with £1,586,000 spent on the Apparel keyword group in the first 7 months of 2015. Boden (£1,095,000) and Nike (£1,041,000) earned the second and third spots respectively, followed by John Lewis (£976,000) and Asos (£885,000), who round out the Top 5.

UK Apparel Top 20 Advertisers

The majority of sites in the Top 20 are omnichannel retailers, having physical stores and, in some cases, catalogues, in addition to a retail website. Notable among these are three stores that originated in the 19th century but appear to be adapting just fine to the Internet era: the aforementioned John Lewis, Marks & Spencer (£803,000) and House of Fraser (£721,000).

Four sites owned by N Brown Group/J D Williams & Company made the Top 20 ranking, including Simply Be (£687,000), Jacamo (£505,000), Marisota (£379,000) and Fashion World (£353,000). Together these sites accounted for more than £1.9 million spent on the keyword group during the period.

Another notable trend in the Top 20 ranking is the presence of four shoe brands/stores: the previously cited Nike, Schuh (£615,000) Adidas (£572,000) and Clarks (£541,000).

Lastly, the luxury segment is represented in the Top 20 by Net-a-Porter (£484,000) and Ted Baker (£364,000).

Top Keywords

UK Apparel Top Keywords

Fourteen of the Top 20 Keywords by Desktop Text Ad spend on are branded keywords, most representing retailers ranked in the Top 20 Advertisers by spend. The brand term ‘nike’, for example, took the top position, generating £835,466 in spend from January through July 2015. However, combined spend on two Boden brand terms in the ranking exceeded all others, totaling more than £861,000 during the period.

Four of the top generic keywords pertain to special occasions: ‘wedding dresses’ (£417,696), ‘prom dresses’ (£359,691), ‘bridesmaid dresses’ (£308,571) and ‘wedding guest dresses’ (£211,287).