mobile devices on a holiday background

Mobile Shopping Performance Set Clients Up For A Happy Holiday

Though the holiday season isn’t over yet, paid search has already seen substantial growth in traffic and sales. In line with industry trends, this is especially true for some of the hottest topics in paid search: mobile and Shopping campaigns.


In the case of our technology-based retail client, Black Friday and Cyber Monday drove substantially more traffic YoY in its mobile Shopping campaigns. (To note, this account underwent major restructures. This included audience list additions and keyword clean ups to ensure the highest efficiency for the busy season. Therefore, while we do still feel an increased interaction with Shopping ads is the main performance driver, these audits certainly contributed to holiday success.)


While the account set up is crucial, we also know that mobile Shopping ads do well because they show up at the top of a page. Top of page placements are particularly important on mobile, and since Shopping ads take up most of the SERP on a mobile device, it’s no wonder they’ve outperformed their desktop and tablet counterparts.


So, how did this all come together to impact our client’s mobile Shopping holiday performance? As you can see in the following table, it resulted in drastic growth in traffic.


Black Friday-Cyber Monday Mobile Shopping Campaign Performance

*2016 Date Range: November 24, 2016-November 28, 2016

**2017 Date Range: November 23, 2017-November 27, 2017


While we were pleased to see that this drove increases in impressions, clicks, and CTR, what stood out to us the most was the upturn in orders. Mobile hasn’t really been considered to drive paid search sales for a multitude of reasons. However, our 49% YoY increase in orders shows that the value of a mobile click continues to be on the rise.


Not only did we find that mobile Shopping traffic increased YoY, but we also found that it outperformed all other devices. Shopping traffic across all devices were up for our client this holiday season. However, our Shopping campaigns drove substantially more impressions and clicks on mobile in 2017, which is a change from desktop and tablets reigning supreme for traffic in 2016.


This shift in performance can be best illustrated in the following KPIs:


2017* Shopping Campaign Performance, By Device

*Date Range: November 23, 2017-November 27, 2017


2016* Shopping Campaign Performance, By Device 

*Date Range: November 24, 2016-November 28, 2016


We also noticed other critical performance points over Black Friday and Cyber Monday that could also be contributing factors:

  • Mobile Shopping campaign investments increased 53% YoY.
  • We saw a 50% decrease in mobile CTR. Though this generally is a cue to panic over increased competition, this was relatively good news for our client. While orders increased substantially YoY on mobile, our audience lists drove more relevant traffic. These consumers were more inclined to use their mobile devices to place orders this holiday rather than simply clicking on ads for research purposes.

So while it may seem we’re putting the sleigh before the reindeer by making assumptions on holiday mobile Shopping success before the holidays are over, we strongly believe these trends will continue throughout the season and beyond. Therefore, it’s in an advertiser’s best interest to fully optimize their Shopping campaigns to capitalize on this lucrative mobile performance trend.