Walmart Tops in Paid Search Toy Clicks, Black Friday-Cyber Monday 2018

Kantar Media analyzed U.S. Google desktop paid search clicks on 895 popular toy keywords over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, including ‘lego’, ‘playstation 4’, ‘lightsaber’, ‘xbox one’ and ‘hatchimals’. (We did not include mobile search in the study.)

Just as we saw with 2500 top general retail product keywords, product listing ads were clicked far more than text ads. PLA’s accounted for 88% of clicks on the toy keyword group while text ads drove 12% of clicks. And once again, Walmart led the field, capturing nearly 25% of all product listing ad clicks on the toy keyword group over the weekend, while it’s captured 4.1% of PLA clicks. In total, the two Walmart brands captured or more than 25% of total clicks across both product listing ads and text ads.

Kohl’s ranked second in PLA’s, with a very strong 16.4% click share, followed by Target (8.5% click share) and Amazon (4.5% click share).

Amazon led once more in text ads, gaining a 20.3% click share. Xbox ranked second with a 17.3% click share, followed by four advertisers with similar results to each other: Kohl’s (6.9% click share), JC Penney (6.7% click share), Lego (6.4% click share) and Playstation (6.2% click share).

Competitors Flourish in the Absence of Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us delivered a formidable search marketing performance over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend last year, ranking third in PLA’s with an 8% click share on the same 895 toy keywords, while also ranking second in text ads with an 11.4% click share.

This year, of course, the now defunct Toys “R” Us is gone from the paid search arena. And although its absence is not the only factor in competitor brands gaining click share on the 895 toy keywords this year, it undoubtedly contributed. For instance, Walmart increased its 2018 PLA click share on the toy keyword group by 9.2 percentage points compared to the 2017 Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, while Kohl’s saw a year-over-year increase of 10.3 percentage points on PLAs.

Target, on the other hand, lost click share this year, falling from a 9.1% PLA click share in 2017 (good enough to rank second) to an 8.5% click share this Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, ranking third behind Walmart and Kohl’s. 

Lastly, we noted on November 20 that no paid search advertiser has sponsored the keyword ‘toys r us’ since March 2018 when Toys “R” Us stopped advertising in the wake of its announced demise, even though consumers have searched that term millions of times per month since then. That trend continued over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, for retailers at least. We did find that a financial assistance program for former Toys “R” Us employees, TRU Financial Assistance Fund, sponsored the term from November 20 through the 23rd.

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