Ecommerce channel advertising continues to grow faster than search or social

San Francisco (January 28, 2020) Kenshoo (, a global leader in marketing technology, today released The Kenshoo Q4 2019 Quarterly Trends Report and an accompanying infographic, detailing Q4 spending in all channels during a compressed holiday season – there were six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than in 2018. Social (24%), paid search (6%) and Ecommerce Channel Ads (ECA) (30%) advertising spending all grew year-over-year (YoY). 

As the only marketing platform that combines data-driven insights and optimization technology to help make informed decisions, scale and measure performance across all major publishers, Kenshoo identifies the trends shaping each stage of the consumer journey, including:

  • For a 28-day holiday period ending 10 days after Thanksgiving, spending grew 29% on Social Product Ads, 22% on Search Shopping Campaigns and 23% on ECA year-over-year;  as the focus of the holiday season, spending growth for the Cyber 5 (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) increased 41%, 30% and 40%, respectively
  • With a 30% YoY increase in ad spending, ecommerce channel advertising continues to grow faster than search or social
  • On Kenshoo, more than half of social spending now runs through Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO); between Google Smart Bidding and Kenshoo Portfolio Optimization (KPO), two-thirds of search spending in Q4 used automated or algorithmic bidding
  • Instagram spending grew 22% YoY as ecommerce advertisers shifted budgets to Facebook during the holiday shopping season
  • Product ads comprised 38% of Q4 spend for ecommerce accounts in social, and 44% in search
  • Mobile ads comprised 88% of Q4 social spending and 54% of search spending
  • Total monthly spending on Pinterest peaked in November; impressions peaked a month earlier

Detailed findings on social and paid search advertising performance include:

  • Social spending increased 24% YoY and 28% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ)
  • Social impressions increased 28% YoY and 7% QoQ
  • Social clicks increased 24% YoY and 9% QoQ
  • Social cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions decreased 3% YoY and increased 20% QoQ
  • Paid search spending increased 6% YoY and 19% QoQ 
  • Paid search impressions increased 8% YoY and 29% QoQ
  • Paid search clicks increased 9% YoY and 14% QoQ
  • Paid search CPC decreased 3% YoY and increased 4% QoQ

“For the first time, we’re seeing a majority of spending across channels using automated or algorithmic tools to refine and optimize digital spending,” said Chris Costello, senior director of marketing research for Kenshoo. “This starts to paint a picture of how marketers are becoming more comfortable trusting the technology running their programs when it comes to targeting and optimization. And in the transition, those marketers are connecting the dots from ad delivery to ROI across channels like social as they have done before in search and ecommerce, expanding the playing field dramatically for performance-based marketing.”

From driving demand in social, to exploring in search, and closing the sale in ecommerce, Kenshoo connects advertiser messages directly with consumers. With machine learning intelligence to drive unparalleled performance, Kenshoo integrates directly with more social, search and ecommerce platforms than any other marketing solution.

Visit download the full report, to view the infographic, or, Kenshoo’s QTR research hub. 


Analysis is drawn from a population of nearly $7B in annualized advertising spend, comprising over 3,000 advertiser and agency accounts across 40 vertical industries and over 150 countries running on the Kenshoo platform across Google, Microsoft, Baidu, Yandex, Yahoo! Japan, Verizon Media, Amazon, Apple Search Ads, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and the Facebook Audience Network.

Except where noted, only advertisers with 15 consecutive months of performance data are included. Some outliers have been excluded. Ad spending and pricing are measured using Ex-FX or “Constant Currency” adjustments, where results are based on native currency, and only translated to common currency after aggregation.

About Kenshoo

Kenshoo is the leading marketing technology platform for brands looking to plan, activate and measure growth strategies across the most-engaging digital channels. Kenshoo offers the only marketing solution that combines data-driven insights and best-of-breed optimization to help make informed decisions, scale and measure performance across Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, Apple Search Ads, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Verizon Media, Yandex, Yahoo Japan, and Baidu. Kenshoo’s machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence leverage market signals and enable companies to predict and keep pace with the omnichannel customer journey. With 27 international locations and backing by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, Tenaya Capital, and Bain Capital Ventures, Kenshoo generates over $350 billion in annualized revenue for the world’s top brands. Please visit for more information.

Kenshoo brand and product names are trademarks of Kenshoo Ltd. Other company and brand names may be trademarks of their respective owners. 

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Nick Olsen

PR Return