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2020 Google Ads Benchmarks: Unlocking Seasonal Opportunities

Belle Phanawat

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. 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.

Emerging Opportunities During Amazon’s Prime Day

Successful retailers in 2019 were able to tap into seasonal surges throughout the year, no matter how brief. One of these shorter but profitable shopping seasons was Amazon’s Prime Day which spanned July 15 and 16. During this time, Amazon reduced its advertising presence on Google Ads, giving other retailers an opportunity to regain impression share on the SERP.

This same trend is happening currently on Google Ads, due to COVID-19. Amazon has reduced its presence on Google Ads in order to focus its resources and keep up with growing demand. Unlike its 2019 Prime Day spend reduction, this absence will last much longer, potentially through the summer months. Savvy retailers will be able to adapt to regain impression share and engage shoppers they may not have reached otherwise.

For instance, during Prime Day 2019, retailers’ impressions increased on Google Shopping by 16% between July 14 and 15, and impressions increased on Google paid search 4% during that same period.

Shoppers were actively looking for deals during this period, regardless of whether those deals appeared on Amazon’s platform or on Google search results. Revenue increased on Google Shopping and Google paid search by 12% and 17%, respectively, between July 14 and 15, demonstrating shoppers’ willingness to purchase.Prime Week 2020 Google Ads Benchmarks Google Shopping

On Google Shopping, the majority of growth occurred on mobile devices, with revenue up 13% year over year and orders up 4% during the full week that included Prime Day. Paid search experienced even larger mobile gains with revenue up 28% and orders up 25% during the same period year over year.

Prime Week 2020 Google Ads Benchmarks Paid Search

Although Amazon has continually expanded Prime Day into a longer, multi-day shopping event, COVID-19 has forced Amazon to delay Prime Day 2020 indefinitely. Amazon’s presence on Google Ads will not decline simply for Prime Day but for the foreseeable future. While navigating the retail space during these times may seem daunting, there is opportunity to capture new customers as consumer search behavior continues to shift.

Retailers Maintain Growth During a Competitive Winter Holiday Season

Retailers prioritized efficiency during a hyper-competitive 2019 winter holiday season, spanning October through December. Despite a 5% increase in average CPC on Google Shopping and 7% increase in average CPC on Google paid search during this time, retailers were able to maintain similar revenue and ROAS as the previous year. ROAS remained at 7:1 during this period, the same as 2018, while year-over-year revenue gains were flat. That is particularly impressive given the increase in costs and competition.

In order to drive greater efficiency, retailers doubled down their mobile efforts during the holiday period when engagement peaked. Mobile CPCs tend to be lower than desktop, saving ad spend. Mobile is also an increasingly effective way to reach shoppers during the research stage of their shopping journey and often contributes to a later conversion on desktop.

2020 Google Ads Benchmarks Device Click Share

The vast majority of consumers’ shopping activity on both Google Shopping and Google paid search occurred on mobile devices. 70% of clicks on Google Shopping during the 2019 holidays occurred on mobile. 58% of clicks on Google paid search occurred on mobile during this same period.

Not only did engagement increase on mobile devices, but orders and revenue also grew. Orders were up 5% on Google Shopping and 10% on Google paid search, while revenue increased 3% on Google Shopping and 8% on Google paid search. This suggests shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable not only researching on mobile but also purchasing.

Understand the seasonal shifts unique to your business. It’s important to analyze Amazon’s impact on your vertical during Prime Day and throughout the year and understand when shoppers’ online engagement spikes during these key shopping holidays. Knowing these trends will help you prepare for sudden seasonal shifts and capitalize on the opportunities they provide.

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.