Paid Search Spend Surges 27%, Mobile Grabs 40% Thanksgiving, Black Friday Spend

online-shopping-target-featuredAmid reports that brick and mortar sales were lackluster over the Thanksgiving weekend, ecommerce is looking like a bright spot this holiday season, with mobile devices playing an increasingly important role.

Mercent, which powers major retailer campaigns online for brands including Brookstone, Office Depot and HSN reports same seller online sales increased 40 percent on Thanksgiving Day compared to 2012. Black Friday same seller sales hit a record high, increasing 35 percent

Paid search saw big increases in click volume and retailer spend. Retailers spent 27 percent more on paid search campaigns this Thanksgiving and Black Friday than in 2012, according to a new report from Kenshoo. Thanksgiving saw a 33 percent increase in paid search spend year-over-year, and Black Friday spend rose 21 percent from 2012.

“Kenshoo saw dramatic increases in paid search ad spend and online sales revenue on these two days signifying the peak shopping season is off to a hot start. With the 2013 calendar condensing the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we expect the torrid pace to continue,” said Aaron Goldman, Kenshoo CMO.

Smartphone and tablet activity grabbed significant spend share this season. Spending on Computers fell 24.1 percent from last year to 60.3 percent for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Smartphone budgets shot up 79.1 percent to 21.2 percent of total paid search spend. Tablets saw search spend share skyrocket 113.6 percent to 18.5 percent of total search spend.

“It’s clear that the story of the shopping season to date is the mobile migration,” added Goldman. “In fact, this isn’t just a migration we’re seeing, it’s a full on revolution. With phones and tablets accounting for nearly 40% of all paid search ad spend on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, it’s clear marketers have multi-device strategies in place to lure consumers wherever and whenever they’re shopping.”

Mobile devices accounted for 44.2 percent of all paid search clicks in 2013, with 27 percent going to phones and 17.2 percent of clicks going to tablets. That’s up from just 27.7 percent of paid search clicks in all of November 2012, and 14.5 percent during the 2011 holiday shopping season.

Computers still dominate paid search revenue, though even that hold is slipping. Computer revenue share fell from 90.4 percent in November 2012 to 73.2 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. The share of revenue coming through mobile devices increased 176 percent this year, with 22.4 percent from tablets and 4.4 percent from phones. Phone revenue is still relatively paltry. This year, though, tablets may have reached the tipping point as consumers are becoming more accustomed to settling in on the couch and shopping on their tablets in the evening hours.

Mercent saw Google Shopping growing faster than as a source of orders for their clients over the two-day period. Google’s efforts to provide more engaging shopping tools for consumers appear to be paying dividends.  Mercent reports that while Amazon grew 26 percent year-over-year on Thanksgiving, Google Shopping grew almost 70 percent.  The channels posted similar results on Black Friday.

Related Topics: Channel: Retail | Search Ads: General | Search Ads: Mobile Search | Search Marketing | Search Marketing: General | Search Marketing: Mobile | Search Marketing: Shopping Search Marketing | Stats | Stats: Spend Projections | Top News


About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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  • ReferralCandy

    Mobile devices accounting for 44.2% of all paid search clicks in 2013! Now that’s epic.

    Though I wonder if it’s a isolated event, or is mobile commerce going to keep on going up and up! That should serve as a clear signal for businesses to get cracking on optimising their mobile sites!

    Thanks for posting this, Ginny!

    Sam Hum

  • Openuris

    The report on paid search spend is fundamentally inaccurate due to huge changes in google services they aren’t acknowledging.

    The statistics are faulted since they’re not taking into account google killing all free shopping feeds this summer. A huge amount of total conversions previously came from google’s free product listings, formerly google base, then google product search, which has now been forced into paid-only adwords product listing ads. My statistics show PPC conversions and thus spend are up about 20 – 50%, site dependent, over last year, almost linearly at the expense of canceling the free product search.

    They’re comparing apples to oranges trying to make a direct YOY comparison. Without compensating for what free product listings would have accounted for last year, this simply shows me a redistribution from a free service to a paid one.

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