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Smartphones and Tablets Driving E-Commerce

8 May, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

LOS ANGELES – Search advertising is on a serious upswing, says a new report titled “State of Paid Search.” Total search advertising spending across Google and Yahoo!-Bing increased 21.6 percent year-over-year in first-quarter 2013.

Keith Wilson, vice president of agency products at The Search Agency, the organization that issued the report, says consumers using mobile and tablets to buy products have helped drive the growth.

Despite impressions being down 4 percent year over year, the report found a 15-percent increase in search click-through rate that led to an 11.7-percent increase in overall clicks. Coupled with an 8.8-percent year-over-year increase in cost-per-click, total advertiser spend across Google and Yahoo!-Bing increased 21.6 percent.

After four consecutive quarters of a relatively consistent market share split between Google and Bing, Bing’s share of advertiser spend grew to 21 percent, up 3.6 percent year-over-year and 3 percent quarter-over-quarter.  Bing saw strong growth on tablets, increasing its share of spend from 10.6 to 15.3 percent year-over-year.

Consumers increased click volume on smartphones by 86 percent. And despite a 10.4-percent drop in smartphone cost-per-click, total advertiser spending on smartphones was up 68 percent year-over-year. Total spend on tablets went up 135 percent.

The retail industry saw tremendous growth on mobile and tablets. Smartphone click-share for retail increased 78.2 percent year-over-year and 69.9 percent quarter-over-quarter. Tablet click share increased 71.8 percent. Click traffic from smartphones and tablets for the retail and E-commerce sector was larger than any other vertical in the study looking at consumer and business services, media and entertainment, real estate and construction, travel and leisure, with 39.6 percent of clicks.

Clicks on product listing ads increased enormously and product-listing ad clicks coming from smartphones and tablets increased 100 percent and 59.7 percent quarter-over-quarter, respectively. Tablets came in at 9.9 percent of product listing ad clicks last quarter. For the first time, likely due to improvements to format and visibility on newer models, smartphones made up more than 2 percent of product listing ad clicks.

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