- Three mobile ad formats — mobile shopping ads, dynamic ads for products on social media and video ads — have shown strong spending growth during this year's holiday shopping season. Shopping campaigns on mobile grew 44% on Thanksgiving and 43% on Black Friday from a year earlier, faster than other devices, according to a study by digital ad platform Kenshoo.
- Spending on dynamic ads for products on social media grew more than 60% on Thanksgiving and almost 50% on Black Friday from a year earlier. The ad format, which aims to generate a direct response from a viewer, has resonated with consumers, Kenshoo said.
- Video ad spending grew almost 40% on Thanksgiving and nearly 50% on Black Friday. Video ads continue to grow outside of branding campaigns, Kenshoo said.
Kenshoo's report indicates mobile ads are a key part of the holiday marketing strategy for brands and retailers as shoppers shift their online buying to smartphones and tablets. Lower-priced mobile shopping ads pushed down the average search cost-per-click (CPC) by 8% on Thanksgiving and 10% on Black Friday from a year earlier. Those declines are consistent with a trend seen in Q3 2018, when the average CPC for search advertising fell by 15%, Kenshoo said. E-commerce search advertisers boosted their Thanksgiving spending by 20%, exceeding the 16% increase for Black Friday, to reach shoppers looking for early deals.
While CPCs declined, search click prices increased from $0.27 during the Nov. 1-21 ramp-up period to $0.41 on Thanksgiving and $0.50 on Black Friday. The increase indicates that marketers were more willing to pay for ad placements that reached shoppers who were more likely to make a final purchase. Conversion rates rose from 4% during the three-week ramp-up period to 5.6% on Thanksgiving and 8.3% on Black Friday, which supports the strategy of reaching audiences on those two days, Kenshoo said.
E-commerce ad spending surged threefold on Black Friday from the average daily spending during October as more marketers bought ads on Amazon. E-commerce ad spending also was 2.1 times higher than during the November ramp-up period. That spending boosted sales 348% from an average day in October, and 229% from the November ramp-up. The improvement in sales led to a 55% jump in ROI while cost-per-acquisition (CPA) dropped 16% from October. ROI increased 41% and CPA decreased 14% from the Nov. 1-21 average, Kenshoo said.