Revenue and budgets associated with paid search advertising increased throughout the holiday season to date, but Thanksgiving Day activity skyrocketed, cementing its position as a powerhouse day for e-commerce

San Francisco (December 8, 2011) – Kenshoo (, a global leader in digital marketing software, today unveiled the first edition of the Kenshoo 2011 Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report. The complimentary report contains graphic presentations and analysis that document year-over-year (YoY) growth of total sales revenue for retailers driven by search advertising (22 percent), search budgets (29 percent) and average order size (5 percent) and spotlights the significant growth of Thanksgiving Day activity, cementing the holiday’s position as a major online shopping day.

“Cyber Monday showed continued year-over-year gains on all key volume metrics but the lifts were not as dramatic as Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday,” said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer for Kenshoo. “It appears retailers and shoppers front-loaded their activity to get a jump on the holiday season. As a result, increased competition in search advertising auctions inflated cost per click prices for retailers but overall return on ad spend held strong.”

Some key findings from the early 2011 holiday season include:
  • Consumers are Buying More and More at a Time: Total holiday sales revenue for retailers driven by search advertising increased 22 percent YoY and average order size grew 5 percent
  • Heavy Competition Drives Costs Up but Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) Still Strong:  Search advertising budgets increased by 29 percent YoY throughout the season, and  average cost per click increased 9 percent, but overall ROAS was $5.22.
  • Thanksgiving Cements its Position as a Major Online Shopping Day: Search advertising conversion rates on Thanksgiving increased 28 percent YoY and sales revenue grew 40 percent.
  • Retailers saw Fewer Opportunities for Ad Exposure During Peak Days but Higher Response Rates When Exposure Occurred: Search advertising impressions decreased 9 percent YoY during the 5 days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday but total clicks increased 16 percent.
  • Consumers are More Trusting of Search Ads and Retailers are More Savvy at Paid Search Campaign Management: Overall search advertising click-through rates for the holiday season to date increased 11 percent YoY.

“Despite the increased competition, retailers should feel jolly about the performance of paid search advertising thus far,” added Goldman. “Although the spike in activity on Thanksgiving dwarfed the growth achieved at other points, Kenshoo retail customers managed to boost revenue by more than 20 percent as a whole throughout the first heavy wave of holiday shopping and generate more than five dollars for every one dollar spent on search advertising.”

The Kenshoo 2011 Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report also includes implications and recommendations for advertisers, a calendar timeline of day-by-day holiday season revenue fluctuations, and a glossary of search marketing terms and formulas. The research provided in this report is based on the Kenshoo U.S. Retail IndexTM, a cross-section of Kenshoo retail advertisers covering verticals like apparel, electronics, entertainment, home improvement, gifts, luxury goods and toys. The dataset includes paid search advertising in the U.S. across such channels as Google, Yahoo and Bing for the 28 days leading up to Cyber Monday in 2011 and that same period in 2010. The 2011 statistics were culled from an aggregation of more than 12 billion total search advertising impressions, 160 million clicks and three million online sales transactions.

Please visit to receive a complimentary copy of the report.

About Kenshoo
Kenshoo is a digital marketing software company that engineers technology solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. Advertisers, agencies and marketing providers use Kenshoo Enterprise, Kenshoo Local and Kenshoo Social to direct more than $15 billion in annual customer sales revenue. The Kenshoo Universal Platform delivers automation, intelligence, integration and scale to make better marketing investments. Kenshoo powers 6 of the top 10 global hotel groups, 7 of the top 10 retailers, 7 of the top 10 telecoms, 9 of the top 10 ad agency networks, and 23 of the Fortune 50 companies. With campaigns running in more than 100 countries, Kenshoo customers include Annalect, Barnes & Noble, CareerBuilder, Facebook, Havas Digital, Hitwise, iREP, John Lewis, LendingTree, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens, and Zappos. Kenshoo has ten international offices and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Arts Alliance. Please visit for more information.

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