Report: Product advertising is driving spend growth in search, social, marketplace

credit: Ginny Marvin

Product ad spend is outpacing overall market growth, according to a Kenshoo report.

Overall, paid search spending increased 10% year over year in the second quarter of 2019 on the Kenshoo platform, the company reported this week. Search product ad spend grew by 30% year over year, far outpacing text ad growth.

This lines up with what Merkle reported this week as well. Among its client base, Google Shopping spend grew by 38% in the second quarter, compared to overall Google search spend growth of 15% year over year.

Paid social commerce ad growth. Product ads on social are also booming. Kenshoo said social product ad spend increased by 38% year over year in the second quarter.

Amazon spend growth. On the Amazon advertising front, retailers running Amazon sponsored ads through Kenshoo spent nearly as much in the second quarter as they did in the holiday fourth quarter of 2018. “What makes it even more notable is that this channel is dominated by retailers who tend to double down in Q4 for the end-of-the-year holiday shopping season. As this channel continues to climb up and up in its digital advertising spend, this year’s Q4 is bound to be record-breaking,” said Kenshoo.

Why we should care. Platforms are making significant investments to court commerce advertising. Google is revamping Google Shopping, the social platforms continue to innovate with new commerce ad formats and capabilities and Amazon is just getting started. For retailers, that adds up to a host of new marketing opportunities.

The growth rates for search and social product ads “could be a signal that product advertising is starting to break out as its own discipline with bespoke budgets and managed somewhat like a single channel,” said Kenshoo. (The platform supports ads on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.)

Long tail product search. Product and mobile ads continued to put downward pressure on search click costs. CPCs were off 10% year over year overall, as click volume increased 23% on an impression jump of 41% in the second quarter.

“This influx of product ads are inherently long-tail terms with less competition and bid price as head [general] terms,” said Kenshoo. “Although individual volume on these niche terms can be low, in aggregate, they are moving the CPC and CTR industry trend averages down.”

Mobile passed 50% milestone. Mobile search click and impression share has hovered around 70% and while mobile spend share has been roughly 50% for several quarters on the Kenshoo platform. In the second quarter, mobile finally accounted for the majority of search spend, at 51%.


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Jim is a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist Spyder Digital and has over 19 years of experience in the field. His insight and ability to drive new business for his clients from the Internet is unparalleled.


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