TECHNOLOGY

Study: Search engine giant garners most retail search ad spend

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

When it comes to digital shopping ad spend, Google is leading the charge.

Currently, Google Shopping, a service that allows users to search for products on e-commerce sites and compare prices between different vendors, is driving 80% of all retail search ad spend and 85% of all paid search clicks, according to “The Rise of Google Shopping, The Search Advertising Report, for Q1 2018,” from Adthena, an artificial intelligence and machine learning-based search platform.

According to the study, Google Shopping ads, commonly referred to as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), have become the most popular ad format for retailers, with ad spend now far more than text ads. In 2018, Google Shopping ads already drive 76.4% of retail search ad spend. In addition, 76.4% of search spend generated 85.3% of all clicks.

Fashion and apparel advertisers in the United States are the most dedicated users of Google Shopping ads. Their PLAs fuel 84.6% of all search ad spend in the category, and win nearly 90% (89.7%) of all clicks.

Mobility is also playing a role within PLA penetration. Mobile PLAs make up 38.6% of a retailer’s total search ad spend, and PLA mobile campaigns received 41.8% of all clicks in retail search advertising. Google shopping ads on mobile also drove 79% of device ad spend and win 87.2% of clicks.

Clicks on shopping ads are driven by non-brand search terms — but not by much. In the U.S., branded search terms fueled 33.6% of Google Shopping ad spend, as opposed to the 76.4% across all search.

“The dominance Google Shopping ads have in search is incredible,” said Ashley Fletcher, VP of marketing, Adthena. “From desktop to mobile, our data reveals that Google Shopping ads have become the most attractive units for retailer advertisers and are truly setting the stage in terms of search.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Report: Amazon lowering price of Prime Pantry

BY CSA Staff

Amazon is making another strategic move in the home delivery battle.

The online giant’s Prime Pantry service is lowering its monthly membership model to $5, down from the $6 fee it currently charges per box, according to Bloomberg.

A company spokeswoman said that the price change will happen gradually. The company is using the discounted price to encourage Prime Pantry shoppers to commit to a monthly service charge that gives them free shipping on orders of at least $40.

The Prime Pantry program enables members to order non-perishable grocery items that are delivered in a single box for delivery for a flat fee.

This is the latest price cut from the online giant. Earlier this week, Amazon lowered the cost of its Prime membership for Medicaid recipients to $5.99 per month. The regular annual membership for Prime is $99 per year, or $12.99 a month.

To read more, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Mobile, Amazon, voice search tops for driving digital sales

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

As the universe of marketing options expands, retailers must reconsider where they are investing their digital marketing budgets.

Consumer online retail spending in the United States will grow by 55% in the next five years. To grab their piece of the proverbial pie, retailers need new digital marketing channels to influence customer spending, according to “Data Brief: Retailers’ Options for Digital Marketing Spending are Growing,” from Forrester Research.

While traditional channels, like Google search, remain dominant, their gradually eroding market share is giving way to new marketing options — and many are already influencing online shoppers’ purchase decisions. One of these influencers is mobile.

While approximately 2% of total retail occurred via smartphone commerce in 2017, mobile accounts for a 56% share of total digital ad spend. Meanwhile, it influences 32% (or $1.1 trillion) of total retail sales in the U.S., making it a significant opportunity to transform customer’s brand perception, according to the study.

Search is also changing the game when it comes to influencing online sales. While Google has long been closely bound to search advertising, the tide is beginning to shift — and Amazon is leading the charge. The online giant is putting more stake into its own search advertising business, and roughly one-third of today’s U.S. online retail spending is done with Amazon. This positioning gives Amazon an edge over Google in e-commerce searches.

Marketing opportunities are also evolving from emerging technologies, such as voice. Specifically, smart speakers are driving a renewed interest in voice. The U.S. installed base of smart speakers is expected to grow from 21 million in 2017 to 166 million in 2022, giving retailers another touchpoint to influence their customers, data revealed.

Voice offers opportunities for marketers to reach consumers in their moment of need early in their purchase journey, even if the final transaction happens elsewhere. Voice search marketing initiatives are also expected to grow, albeit at a gradual pace.

Consumers still need to demonstrate a willingness to use voice for the type of activities that would allow for the insertion of marketing content. While many smart speaker users are currently interested in using their device for activities, like researching and ordering products, relatively few currently use their device for such purposes, the study revealed.

For example, 8% of users rely on smart speakers to research merchandise, while 54% are interested in using it for this task. Meanwhile, 12% currently use devices to order merchandise, while 48% are interested in giving this functionality a try, according to data.

In the long-term however, the gap between usage and interest has the potential to narrow. And as voice technology capabilities improve, they will better handle more complex tasks, the report added.

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