One Out of Three Paid Search Clicks on Mobile

According to the Kenshoo 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report: Early Edition, retailers grew revenue from search advertising 19.1% YoY. They spent 34.1% more YoY but did so efficiently, boosting their click through rate (CTR) by 12.8% YoY to gain 26.9% more clicks YoY and slightly offset higher cost-per-click (CPC) rates. Boosted by the shortened shopping season in 2013, the report illustrates noticeable lifts in ad spend in mid-November compared to 2012.

Increase in 2013 Global Retail Paid Search Clicks, Impressions and Spend (Year-Over-Year)



Time Frame




Shopping season to date




Cyber Monday




Source: Kenshoo, December 2013

Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer for Kenshoo, says “… paid search is performing quite well for retailers during the peak shopping season… but Mobile and Product Listing Ads are stealing the show… As consumers show preference for shopping via mobile devices and engaging with richer ad formats… crucial for marketers to optimize paid search campaigns… “

More than one of every three global paid search clicks originated from mobile devices, and paid search marketers allocated 66.7% more of their budgets to mobile devices in the 2013 shopping season. In 2012, just 20.5% of total paid search spend went to mobile devices during the shopping season, but this increased to 34.4% in 2013 (17.7% to phones, 16.7% to tablets).

In 2013, computer revenues (although up year-over-year), saw a decrease in total revenue device share by 14.4% YoY to 77.0% of total.

Tablets more than doubled from 7.8% of total revenue in 2012 to 18.9% in 2013 -- a 141.7% YoY increase. With almost one-fifth of total revenue coming from tablets, this shopping season marks a major turning point in the importance of this device for retailers and consumers.

Phones captured just 4.1% of revenue share in 2013 yet retailers remain confident in the ability for phones to ultimately influence and impact purchase decisions. Advertisers know that consumers rely on their phones as an important resource for product information and pricing research, but will still turn to larger screen devices when ready to order online.

Retailers spent nearly twice as much (196.1% YoY) on PLAs during the 2013 shopping season as they did in 2012 and reaped rewards for doing so. Total global revenues from PLAs increased 417.4% YoY, and retailers generated nearly a 9 to 1 return on their investment. Improved performance of PLAs boosted the ad type’s average CTR by 30.3%, from 2.6% in 2012 to 3.3% in 2013. The increased efficiency enabled retailers to generate 115.6% more clicks from only 65.5% more impressions YoY.

In the United States, retailers outperformed the global benchmarks. U.S. shopping season revenues from paid search increased 30.7% YoY. Despite retail paid search spending increasing 48.1% YoY, U.S. retailers earned more clicks for their dollars in 2013, boosting their CTR 14.1% YoY to generate 41.8% more clicks while only requiring 24.3% more impressions to generate that website traffic.

Increases in U.S. Retail Shopping Season (Paid Search Metrics; Year-Over-Year)


Increase (Y-O-Y)









Source: Kenshoo, December 2013

For more information and charts, please download Kenshoo’s 2013 Global Online Retail Seasonal Shopping Report: Early Edition to get a breakdown of all the key SEM metrics for the season to date.


Next story loading loading..