Yesterday we reported on paid search performance in the U.K. and found that the traditionally U.S.-centric, day-after-Thanksgiving shopping day of Black Friday is catching on overseas as UK retailers increased paid search investments 88% year-on-year for the day. While Black Friday may be on the rise for the Brits can the same be said Stateside?
In 2013, we saw significant increases in spend from U.S. marketers on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, with 65% and 47% year-over-year (YoY) increases respectively. This year for retail clients in the U.S. who were on the Kenshoo platform in both 2013 and 2014, Thanksgiving saw another healthy bump in spend (up 49% YoY) and peak sales (Revenue up 54% YoY), as well as the biggest growth of the full cyber weekend, including Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
While investments increased across the board, it’s notable that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw the smallest YoY spend increases. At the same time, we saw advertisers consistently boosting spend on the immediate days leading up to Thanksgiving and the weekend following. As retailers release promotions earlier throughout the season due to consumer trends shifting, they are similarly upping paid search investments to reflect the evolution to catch early shoppers.
Despite Black Friday and Cyber Monday seeing smaller YoY changes, both dates came out as the highest spending dates of the season thus far and saw higher yearly revenue upticks, which means positive ROI gains for retailers. So, don’t declare these key dates dead just yet.
Overall, paid search remains robust as the shopping season unfolds, with November 2014 clocking in with year-over-year upticks across nearly all key metrics including impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and conversions. Most markedly, advertiser revenue saw a healthy 34% bump this November when compared to last year.
To echo the words of the NRF: while the future of the season looks bright for retailers, “it’s a marathon and not a sprint.” There’s still time left to capture eager shoppers and intelligently optimize your programs to maximize your returns. So, full speed ahead!