Mobile and digital ad spending during holidays shows signs of recovery

Anne Freer | January 28, 2021

Mobile Advertising

Digital and mobile advertising spending was showing continued signs of recovery during the holiday season 2020.

According to a new report from Merkle, overall spending improved throughout Q4 2020 as shoppers began returning to stores.

Google paid search clicks rose 12% year-on-year while ad spending grew 12% on the platform.

Phones fell to 64% of total paid search clicks during the final quarter of the year which is similar to pre-pandemic levels.

Amazon benefitted from its Prime Day during Q4 2020 which Sponsored Product ad spend growing to 57% year-on-year compared to 50% in Q3.

Amazon has been busy rolling out new Sponsored Brand formats last year and moving ad spend between more traditional top-of-search results and newer formats.

Sponsored Display ads remained below Product ads and Sponsored Brands ads at 69%.

Ad spend on Facebook was similar during Q4 as it was the quarter before. It saw a 10% growth since Q1 2020. At the start of the year, advertisers pulled spending in order to save costs as pandemic lockdowns loomed.

Instagram ad spend was up 30% year-on-year during Q4. Impression growth slowed in the final quarter of the year.

“While the fourth quarter was still not immune to the ongoing economic pressures, it did show promising signs of a pre-pandemic performance, especially for retail and travel industries, heading into the New Year,” said Melissa Reilly, performance media and marketing communications, associate director at Merkle. “Channels are still trying to adjust to ever-changing consumer behavior trends, but we are seeing trends emerge that highlight a steady return toward levels of previous years.”

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