For Amazon, the Paid Rate — the rate at which paid-search ads are being clicked on in the Appliance category — rose from 30% in May 2016 to 55% in May 2017, according to data released Wednesday. Few other retailers that Hitwise tracks have show that type of increase.
Wal-Mart has also seen paid rates jump from 29% to 65% in the past year. Best Buy increased from 42% to 62%; Sears from 36% to 69%, and ePlacement Parts from 69% to 70%, according to data from Hitwise, a Connexity company.
Amazon pulls the majority of clicks from appliance searches. Best Buy and Wal-Mart saw an even larger jump in clicks this year compared with last year at 2.9% in May 2016 versus 4.7% in May 2017 and 1.8% to 3.9%, respectively. Amazon saw an increase from 5.3% to 5.9%; Sears saw an increase from 2.8% to 3.2%; and ePlacement Parts from 1.3% to 1.5%.
Amazon also increased the number of searches across the marketplace for garden-related products from 3.8% to 5.7%. Walmart followed, increasing from 3.2% to 4.6%; Wayfair, 3.4% vs. 4.4%; Hayneedle 2% to 3.6%; and Plow and Hearth, from 1.7% to 2%, respectively.
Amazon also more than doubled its paid-click rate since May of last year, from 22% to 59%. Walmart rose from 39% to 58%. Wayfair rose from 59% to 75%; Hayneedle, 65% to 85%; and Plow and Hearth, 45% to 66%.
Appliances and garden supplies are two categories in which Amazon leads in search clicks. Analyzing Web site traffic, the data shows that Wayfair and Amazon pull in the most clicks from Furniture category searches across the retail sites that Hitwise analyzed.
Wayfair increased its share of clicks on search advertisements on the marketplace from 5.91% in May 2016 to 6.51% in May 2017, whereas Amazon increased its share of search clicks from 4.54% to 6.09%, respectively. Overstock came in at No. 3, rising from 4.28% market share in May 2016 to 4.80% in May 2017, followed by Soft Surroundings at 1.45% vs. 1.91%, and Home Depot at 1.47% vs. 1.88%, respectively.
The study focused on changes in searches in four major Home & Garden categories and found that Furniture, Appliances, and Garden clicks from paid searches in the past year continue to overtake clicks from organic searches. Even in the DIY category, which maintains a slight organic lead, paid clicks are closing in.
The findings suggest all of the top five furniture retailers mentioned in the report — Wayfair, Amazon, Overstock, Soft Surroundings, and Home Depot—pulled more than half of their traffic from paid search in 2017.
Hitwise also found that women between the ages of 25 and 34 are 33% more likely to search for furniture online, and that searches for furniture rose 19% year over year since May 2016.
Searches around ceiling fans and bedroom products rose in May 2017 compared with the year-ago month, including smaller products ranging from bed covers to mattresses and beds.
Growing in popularity are search terms such as "tiny houses." In fact, people searching for garden-related items are nearly 5.8% more likely to search for tiny houses than the average person, but the data does not make the intent clear, whether curiosity or lifestyle is the basis for the search.
Overall, Home Depot pulls in the most clicks, but it spends relatively less on paid search than Web sites like Build, and Build Direct, which rely solely on e-commerce. YouTube's traffic remains almost completely organic, according to Hitwise.
The data tracks online behavior of more than 8 million individuals who are searching on more than 20 million Web sites across 500 million monthly search queries and from more than 100 million in-market shoppers. Qualitative consumer insights are added based on up to 60,000 attributes then made addressable across 650 million devices.