Retailers Shifted Spend From Desktop Search Ads In 2013

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Retailer ad spend allocated to desktop text ads on Google AdWords has shrunk as budgets shift to product listing ads and mobile.

On the whole, retailers spent $2 billion on desktop text ads in the U.S. last year, down from $2.3 billion in 2012, according to search marketing research firm AdGooroo’s “Top Retailers in Search Report“. Mass retailers dominated the retail category, spending $553 million in 2013.

Amazon Continues Its Reign

Amazon held its place, not just as the top retailer advertiser, but the top AdWords text advertiser overall last year, spending $157.7 million on desktop search ads, according to Ad Age DataCenter’s ranking based on the AdGooroo spend data. Amazon does not participate in the Google Shopping ad program in which it would be required to share its mountain of product data with the Google, its rival in commerce search.

Amazon racked up 6.5 billion impressions, more than double that of Walmart, which overtook Target to become the second biggest mass retailer advertiser in 2013. The Ad Age ranking pegs Walmart as Google’s ninth biggest advertiser on desktop text ads last year and Target at number 20. Sears, Home Depot, Best Buy and Macy’s were the other retailers among to make the top 25 list of advertisers.

Leaders Dominate Their Categories

Looking at the top two performers in other retail categories, it’s clear that, while Amazon’s impression lead over Walmart is more dramatic in scale, it’s not unique. Over and over, the top advertiser in a category dwarfs its next-closest competitor. Ebay for example accumulated over 10 times more impressions (910 million) than the second ranked player in the Auctions & Classifieds category, Etsy, which had just 89 million impressions. Amazon-owned Zappos stands alone in the shoe retail category. Its 1.1 billion impressions overshadows Nike’s otherwise impressive 227 million impressions.

Adgooroo top AdWords retailers 2013

The full report is available for download here.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Associate Editor, assisting with the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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