For the Skai Q4 2018 Quarterly Trends Report, Skai’s Senior Director of Marketing Research, Chris ‘Coz’ Costello, analyzed performance data taken from over 3,000 advertiser and agency accounts across 20 vertical industries and over 60 countries. In today’s post, Coz goes deeper into Q4 2018 paid search shopping campaigns.
As you can see from the title of this article, even I can’t escape football metaphors this week, so I’m just going to embrace it and see just how many I can fit into today’s post!
The fourth quarter is always important for search marketers, and not just because everyone will be searching next week for all of the commercials that brands produced in Q4 for the big game, or drowning their sorrows with a little retail therapy [or are Jets fans], that’s a different fourth quarter.
I’m talking about the marketer’s most important time of the year, Q4, October through December, the time when retailers figure out if their search campaigns are going to get over the goal line as the clock (or calendar) runs out.
In our most recent Skai Quarterly Trends Report, we saw that across all search marketers, search shopping campaigns increased their investment more than any other segment. This retail-heavy category grew by 34% compared to Q4 of last year and up 81% from Q3 2018. That’s like a touchdown plus the two-point conversion!
This ad format has become more and more important to retail and ecommerce advertisers, as it allows retailers to transform their entire product line into dynamically-generated ads based on a data feed comprising core information about those products.
In fact, over the past five quarters, the share of spending from these ads from accounts—defined as ecommerce advertisers by Skai—increased from 39% to 45%, while just over 4 out of every 5 search impressions from these advertisers is a shopping ad!
These ads are also the most sensitive to holiday seasonality, both in terms of volume and pricing. Think about it. More shoppers search for more products more often during peak shopping periods, so there are simultaneously more search results (i.e., more volume) and these shoppers are more valuable to advertisers due to increased purchase intent. Hence, two factors driving spending increases on search shopping campaigns during the season.
We all know the key to a successful quarterback is mobility—and shopping campaigns are no different.
Consumers are searching for the products they need wherever they are, and advertisers are responding to these “mobile moments” by serving up ads more often on smartphones. As a result of this increase in both the breadth and depth of mobile searches, 3 out of every 4 search shopping impressions in Q4 was on a mobile device.
So there you have it. Search shopping campaigns spiked the ball in 2018 and I would expect that to continue in 2019. Time for an end-zone dance!
Enjoy the big game, Sunday!
To see the full Q4 2018 Quarterly Trends Report data:
- Check out the live, interactive infographic
- Download the Skai Q4 2018 Quarterly Trends Report
- Watch the webinar
- Download the webinar slides