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Paid search budgets, click costs, click through rates and the use of mobile devices increased significantly

San Francisco (January 17, 2012) – Kenshoo (, a global leader in digital marketing software, today released its full Kenshoo 2011 U.S. Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report. The report presents aggregate holiday search engine marketing data and analysis culled from an aggregation of more than 28 billion total search advertising impressions, 350 million clicks and eight million online sales transactions.

“The 2011 holiday shopping season in the U.S. was a true battle for retailers with search advertising competition reaching new heights and budgets up 31 percent over last year,” said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at Kenshoo. “Thankfully, Kenshoo customers were prepared,  capitalizing on increased consumer shopping activity during key dates and taking advantage of the growing role of mobile devices as shopping tools. Overall return on ad spend was $5.57 for U.S. retailers managing search campaigns through Kenshoo during the holiday season. In other words, for every dollar spent on paid search, advertisers got $5.57 back in online sales revenue.”

More than 14 percent of all clicks for the period measured by Kenshoo happened on a mobile device. Tablets, which represented more than eight percent of all clicks, produced $149.84 per conversion and a 2.72 percent conversion rate. Mobile phones converted online far less (.87 percent) but drove more than six percent of total clicks. Among consumers who did use smartphones to make purchases, Apple iOS users represented a more desirable audience; they spent 13 percent more on purchases and delivered a conversion rate that was almost 20 percent better than Android users.

Aside from mobile phone and tablet usage, the Kenshoo 2011 U.S. Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report identified seven key insights:
  1. U.S. consumers used the Internet more often for holiday purchases and they’re spending more
  2. Heavy retail competition drove costs up but return on ad spend remained strong
  3. Thanksgiving cemented its position as a major online shopping day
  4. U.S. retailers saw fewer opportunities for advertising exposure but higher response rates when exposure occurred
  5. U.S. consumers trusted search ads more; retailers ran more savvy paid search campaigns
  6. Last-minute shoppers still purchased online the week before Christmas
  7. Deal-seeking and gift card redemption drove higher post-Christmas revenue

The Kenshoo 2011 U.S. Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report provides data, charts, graphs and insights supporting these trends along with implications for advertisers and 2012 predictions for search, social and online marketing in general.

The research provided in this report is based on the Kenshoo U.S. Retail Index™, a cross-section of Kenshoo retail advertisers covering verticals like apparel, electronics, entertainment, home improvement, gifts, luxury goods and toys. The data set includes paid search advertising in the U.S. across channels like Google, Yahoo, and Bing from November 1, 2011 through January 2, 2012 and compared to that same period one year prior. The mobile and tablet data represents a subset of retailers in the index and a shorter window of analysis for the month of December 2011 only.

Kenshoo also published two additional reports: the Kenshoo 2011 U.K. Online Retail Christmas Shopping Season Report, covering search advertising trends in the United Kingdom, and the Kenshoo 2011 Global Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report, covering worldwide search advertising trends. Please visit to download these reports in their entirety and get the latest updates.

About Kenshoo
Kenshoo is a digital marketing software company that engineers technology solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. Brands, 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 Accor, Annalect, Barnes & Noble, CareerBuilder, Facebook, Havas Digital, Hitwise, iREP, John Lewis, KAYAK, 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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