Retail accounts for largest share of mobile search ad expenditure in 2018

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. February 8, 2019

Mobile accounted for 36% of digital search ad spend in the retail sector and 41% of spend across all verticals in Q4 2018, according to the latest benchmark report by Marin Software.

Therefore, mobile presented as a critical screen type for product purchasing decisions, particularly during the holiday season.

The report also noted that Instagram Stories ads were on the rise, at a 36% increase from the previous quarter. Instagram received 18% of total Facebook spend.

Over the year, other formats such as dynamic product ads and collection ads also witnessed noticeable rate increases. Dynamic product ads for example accounted for 35% of total Facebook ad spending in Q4.

Meanwhile, Google Shopping Ads generated 36% of all search spend across all measured verticals. According to the data, eCommerce channel ads increased 5x since January 2018.

“eCommerce is growing as an advertising channel and as a result, we’re seeing the industry shift more spend toward lower-funnel ad formats, such as Google Shopping Ads and Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook, that allow brands to capture consumers’ attention at the most critical points in the purchase journey,” said Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software.

“Instagram Stories has been another up-and-coming ad format that the industry is paying close attention to. With 400 million daily active users, advertisers are flocking to this format to take advantage of the direct attention of a massive audience. It’s a lower-cost yet effective alternative to Instagram Feed ads.”

At the same time, paid search spend was up 10% worldwide year-on-year. Financial Services and Retail led, but as inventory prices go up, clicks aren’t necessarily increasing.