An early look at the paid search performance this holiday season shows retailers invested at record levels, beginning earlier, and are realizing new levels of revenue from their paid search efforts this year.
The record highs in paid search activity set in 2012 were surpassed this year as clicks increased 27 percent, impressions rose 12.5 percent and spending jumped 34 percent globally, according to Kenshoo’s seasonal shopping reporting to date.
Global retail click-through rates (CTR) increased 12.8 percent from 2012. Healthy click through rates meant that advertisers realized 27 percent more clicks year-over-year on a 34 percent increase in spend.
The shorter selling season meant retailers began ramping spend earlier ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. According to the Kenshoo report, retailers spent as much on the days leading up to U.S. Thanksgiving in 2013 as they did on the weekend before Cyber Monday.
US Paid Search Spend Rose Nearly 50 Percent
In the US, retailers increased paid search spend by 48.1 percent during the shopping season. Marketers in the US also ramped their holiday spending earlier this year, reflecting the global trend. Clicks jumped 42 percent, with an impression increase of just 24 percent due to a 14 percent bump in CTR.
Merchant revenues from US paid search increased by 31 percent from 2012. From November 9th on, US merchant revenue continued to exceed that of 2012 on a daily basis right up until Cyber Monday when revenue was flat year-over-year.
Devices — Mobile Revenue Share More Than Doubles
Revenue share from computers fell by 14.4 percent year-over-year to 77 percent. Revenue share from tablets more than doubled from 7.8 percent to 18.9 percent in 2013. Mobile phone share of ad spend increased 17.7 percent this year and click share rose 20.4 percent. Overall, global revenue share from phones was 4.1 percent — a small percentage, but more than double from 2012.
Tablet share of spend nearly doubled this year to come in line with phone spend share. Tablet took the bulk of revenue share from desktops, more than doubling from 2012 to 19 percent of the total.