Posted by Ryan Hornacek, Analyst
Last week, online retailers started to flatten out paid search holiday spend. As a result, our aggregate group of retailer clients' YoY spend was only up 26%, compared to 43%, 65%, and 97% over the previous 3 weeks. This decline was more a result of advertisers investing in paid search earlier in the season and maintaining that level rather than a decrease in spending. In fact, our retailers increased YoY paid search investment every week during the holiday season, not just the last part of the season as they did last year.
Furthermore, paid search spend—and clicks—have peaked for the season. As spend levels off, clicks have also leveled off, up 52%, roughly the same amount as the previous week. And as the market has been more stable this year, retailers have been able to find more efficiencies in their campaigns. The result is CPCs down YoY for the third consecutive week. During the 12/11 to 12/17 week, CPCs were 17% lower YoY. This week—as we cross the holiday ground shipping cutoff—we expect spend, clicks and CPCs to decrease further.
The below chart and graphs show YoY holiday paid search spend, clicks and CPCs for our aggregate group of retailer clients: