Amazon and telecom brands spend big on paid search

Mid-year report reveals retail spend up 24% year-on-year

UK retail spend on paid search increased 24% year-on-year in the first half of 2016, according to new research released today by the Kantar Media company AdGooroo.

According to the study – which examined desktop text ad activity on the top 250 retail product keywords during the six months up to July 2016 – advertisers spent £26.7 million on the keywords examined in the first half of the year, compared with £21.6 million during the same period of 2015. Online giant led the field in spend in the first six months of 2016, followed by Apple and John Lewis. 

Retailers in the telecoms sector – including and – dominated the remainder of the list, making up 6 of the top 20 entries and spending a total of more than £2.2 million. According to AdGooroo’s study, the presence of so many telecoms in the retail ranking is driven by the strength of just 12 mobile-specific terms in the top 250 keywords, which accounted for £4.5 million, or 16.85%, of total paid search ad spend on the keyword group during the first six months of the year.

However, apparel & accessories keywords were the dominant category among the top 250 retail product keywords, with 86 apparel terms generating nearly £6.7 million in paid search ad spend during the first six months of 2016, or 25% of the total spend across all 250 terms.

"Our findings clearly show a strong start to the year for retailers in terms of paid search ad spend compared with the first half of 2015. In fact, according to AdGooroo data, the 24% year-over-year increase in paid search spend we measured in the retail sector outpaced the UK search industry at large, which increased paid search ad spend by just 7.4% in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.” 
Richard Stokes, CEO at AdGooroo.

The top five UK retailers by keyword ad spend in the six-month period were:


The top five retail product keywords by paid search spend in the six-month period were:

  1. “iphone 6s”
  2. “engagement rings”
  3. “samsung galaxy s6”
  4. “business cards” 
  5. “mobile phones”

Top 20 advertisers on retail keyword group by paid search spend:

Top 20 UK retail product keywords by paid search spend: 

Top 250 UK retail product keywords grouped by category as a percentage of total spend: 


AdGooroo examined desktop Text Ad activity on the top 250 retail product keywords from January 2016 through June 2016.

About AdGooroo

AdGooroo is a Kantar Media company and global leader in Search Marketing Intelligence that helps the world’s best known brands and their agencies achieve a competitive advantage in the search marketplace. Founded in 2004, more than 4,000 search marketing professionals trust AdGooroo for reliable, actionable insights to uncover their top competitors’ paid and organic search strategies and improve their own campaign performance. Offering a complete picture of the search marketing landscape, AdGooroo enables clients to view current and historical data—including spend estimates, performance statistics, keywords and ad creative—for virtually any advertiser’s text ad and product listing ad campaigns across desktop/tablet and mobile search in more than 50 countries.

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