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2020 Google Ads Benchmarks: The KPIs That Matter Most to Your Business

Mike Perekupka

The following data is excerpted from the 2020 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail. The report, now in its fourth year, analyzes Google Ads data for a representative sample of over 300 U.S. retailers across 14 verticals. These verticals include:

  • Apparel/Accessories
  • Auto Parts/Accessories
  • Books/Music/Video
  • Computer/Electronics
  • Flowers/Gifts
  • Food/Drug
  • Health/Beauty
  • House/Home
  • Jewelry
  • Mass Merchant
  • Office Supplies
  • Pet Care
  • Sporting Goods
  • Toys/Hobbies

Sidecar’s Google Ads Benchmarks Report is the most comprehensive look at Google Ads performance, trends, and strategies for 2020 and beyond. Download the complete report.

YoY Google Shopping ROAS Jumps In Most Verticals Despite Lower Click-through Rate

Google’s shopping and paid search channels play important roles in driving shoppers from discovery to purchase. While every retailer measures channel goals differently, it’s helpful to determine benchmarks for performance throughout the year and see how your business compares.

On Google Shopping, click-through rate dropped year over year in nearly every vertical examined in the 2020 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail. This drop can be accredited to Google increasing the number of Shopping ads that appear on the SERP, especially in the ad carousel.

Take note of the positive ROAS changes year over year in many verticals on Google Shopping. Retailers are placing more budget in their Google Shopping campaigns and seeing results; nine of the 14 examined verticals saw ROAS increase year over year, with Health & Beauty (+30%) and Toys/Hobbies (+8%) leading the way.

Apparel & Accessories Posts Strong Benchmarks on Google Paid Search

Google paid search is historically a high engagement channel. Google made several changes to its paid search channel in 2019, including the look and feel of paid search ads and the consolidation of impression volume. These updates influenced performance in the apparel and accessories vertical. 

Apparel retailers spent proportionately throughout the year on Google paid search. However, the latter half of 2019 saw the highest engagement in terms of average conversion rate and click-through rate. Retailers were most efficient over the first half of the year with ROAS highest between Q1 and Q2. If you’re a retailer in this space, consider increasing your Google paid search budget during the first half of the year when there is less competition. 

Health & Beauty Shoppers Are Most Active During Spring Months

Shoppers appeared most driven to search for health and beauty products on Google Shopping during Q2 of 2019, Sidecar’s research indicates. Perhaps most interesting is that retailers in this vertical spent the least amount of budget during Q2 on Google Shopping. Still, average conversion rate, average click-through rate, and ROAS were highest during this three-month stretch.

If you operate in the health and beauty vertical, consider pulling back spend during the year-end holidays and reinvest in the spring months when conversion rate and click-through rate are highest. This can be a way for retailers to improve efficiency when performance is lower in the winter and engage with shoppers during peak times of the year.

Read More About Your Most Important Google Benchmarks

Get the performance marketing benchmarks you need for 2020. Download the 2020 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail and learn about seasonal opportunities that you can take advantage of throughout the year, how you stack up against other retailers in your vertical, and how to navigate Amazon’s growing presence on Google Ads. Get specific performance stats in these verticals:

  • Apparel/Accessories
  • Auto Parts/Accessories
  • Books/Music/Video
  • Computer/Electronics
  • Flowers/Gifts
  • Food/Drug
  • Health/Beauty
  • House/Home
  • Jewelry
  • Mass Merchant
  • Office Supplies
  • Pet Care
  • Sporting Goods
  • Toys/Hobbies