Paid search advertising proved a worthy investment for US retailers during the 2012 holiday season (November 1 – December 31), according to [pdf] a new report from Kenshoo. Looking at key metrics during the season, the study finds that average return on ad spend crept up 1% from last year to $5.84, while conversion rates increased 4% to 2.84%, and average order value was up 3% to $109.46. All told, sales revenue driven by paid search grew by 23% year-over-year as transaction and impression volumes each grew by 20%, and clicks by 16%.
The study also illustrated some key paid search-driven trends during the holidays. Namely:
- Cyber Monday remained the biggest online sales day (as also reported by comScore for overall retail e-commerce), followed by Black Friday and Thanksgiving, which grew by more than 60% year-over-year;
- Thanksgiving Day saw the highest paid search-driven average order value of any day, up 19% year-over-year to pass $150;
- Average order value was also higher than average the day after Christmas;
- Search ad impressions grew by 66% year-over-year on Cyber Monday, while clicks were up 51%; and
- “Free Shipping Day” saw 75% more search impressions, 36% more clicks, and 45% higher conversion rates this year than last.
About the Data: The data analyzed in the U.S. section of the Kenshoo report reflects a representative sample of Kenshoo clients (advertisers and agencies) managing paid search programs for the retail vertical in the U.S. with active campaigns tracking impressions, clicks, conversions and revenue over the 12+ month period from November 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012. This index includes all major retail categories such as, but not limited to, electronics, books, apparel, appliances, shoes, sporting goods and more.