Paid Search Outperforms Overall E-commerce for the Holidays

Posted by Chris Costello, Senior Manager, Digital Research


One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to use more bullet points.

 

·         Performics reports that average year-over-year retail sales posted a 15% increase over last year for the holiday season, defined as November 1 through December 23 to correspond to comScore’s definition.

·         We define this as the growth for an “average retailer,” which takes the average daily sales across a group of retailers that meets certain threshold requirements and sums it across all the days in the season.  Using this metric allows us to control for changes to our client roster over time, and while it is somewhat sensitive to outliers, it provides a consistent basis for comparison.

·         This number may seem out of alignment with comScore’s report of a 3% decline, but when you look back over the last several years, search revenue (at least based on Performics’ internal numbers) has always outperformed overall e-commerce, although that gap is narrowing as the paid search channel matures (see below).

 

comScore holiday growth*

Performics holiday growth

2008

-3%

+15%

2007

+19%

+33%

2006

+24%

+63%

2005

+25%

+73%

2004

+29%

+128%

* source: comScore

 

·         Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the entire season for Performics retail clients, posting 216% growth over last year.

·         Shoppers showed greater concentration of activity in the two weeks after Thanksgiving, with year-over-year growth disappearing by “Cyber Monday III” and then actually dropping by half by the following Monday, three days before Christmas.

·         Christmas day, however, showed considerable growth over last year, possibly due to some combination of gift cards, shoppers trying to get the jump on post-Christmas deals, and insufferable relatives.

 

Performics-holiday-data