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Kenshoo 2012 Global Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report: Online Retailers Grew Revenue from Paid Search 36 Percent

SAN FRANCISCO, January 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Mobile phones generated more than 20 percent of U.S. paid search clicks; Google Product Listing Ads continued to deliver high return on ad spend

Kenshoo (, the global leader in premium digital marketing technology, today unveiled the Kenshoo 2012 Global Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report. The research presents aggregate search engine marketing data and analysis culled from more than 24 billion paid impressions and clicks on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other global search engines during the holiday season.

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"Smart retailers capitalized on increased online consumer shopping activity this past year by proactively creating product-level search campaigns and optimizing them throughout the holiday season," said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at Kenshoo. "Overall, retailers using Kenshoo drove big gains in paid search revenue and increased return on ad spend (ROAS), an impressive feat considering heightened competition and rising costs."

Globally, the average paid search cost per click (CPC) rate increased 11 percent year-over-year (YoY) to $0.48. Clicks increased 23 percent and converted at a rate 25 percent higher than 2011, helping produce considerable YoY growth in revenue from paid search.

In the United States, revenues driven by paid search increased 23 percent YoY. Mobile phones generated more than 20 percent of paid search clicks, more than triple the year prior. Meanwhile, tablets generated eight percent of U.S. paid search clicks and ad spend while delivering six percent of total conversions and nearly seven percent of revenue.

Google's Product Listing Ads (PLAs) experienced spikes in ROAS on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S., while maintaining a very high ROAS for the first three weeks of December. The PLA format appeared much less prone to the weekly fluctuations observed from the overall holiday numbers including paid search text ads.

Some of the other key U.S. insights presented in the report include:

  1. Thanksgiving Day saw the highest average order value, topping $150, as consumers loaded up their shopping carts.
  2. The days after Christmas and Thanksgiving are big spending days for consumers.
  3. Cyber Monday delivered the biggest increases in YoY clicks and ad spend reflecting heightened consumer interest and search marketing activity.
  4. Consumers are marking their calendars for Free Shipping Day as impression volumes jump 75 percent YoY.

The Kenshoo 2012 Global Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report provides charts, graphs and insights supporting these trends along with search marketing imperatives for advertisers in the year ahead for search, social and mobile.

The data analyzed for this report reflect a representative cross-section of Kenshoo clients (advertisers and agencies) managing paid search programs for the retail vertical across all major markets (including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, U.S. and U.K.) with active campaigns tracking impressions, clicks, conversions and revenue over the 12+ month period from November 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012. This index includes all major retail categories such as, but not limited to, electronics, books, apparel, appliances, shoes, sporting goods and more. The data set covers 24+ billion paid impressions and clicks on search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, AOL and Baidu that delivered more than $1.7 billion dollars in online sales revenue.

In addition to the U.S., the Kenshoo 2012 Global Online Retail Holiday Shopping Report also includes sections covering search advertising trends in the United Kingdom. Please visit to download the entire report.  

About Kenshoo

Kenshoo is a digital marketing technology company that engineers premium solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. Brands, agencies and developers use Kenshoo Enterprise, Kenshoo Local and Kenshoo Social to direct more than $25 billion in annual client sales revenue. The Kenshoo Universal Platform delivers automation, intelligence, integration and scale to make better marketing investments. With campaigns running in more than 190 countries for nearly half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks, Kenshoo clients include CareerBuilder, Expedia, Facebook, KAYAK, Havas Digital, Hitwise, iREP, John Lewis, LendingTree, Resolution Media, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens, and Zappos. Kenshoo has 16 international locations and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance and Tenaya Capital. Please visit for more information.

Kenshoo is a trademark of Kenshoo Ltd. Other company and brand names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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