Retailers Spent Dramatically More on Paid Search In Advance of Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Marin Software tracks a 59% increase in Thanksgiving Day ad budgets as consumers look online earlier to inform holiday buying decisions

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (Marketwire – November 27, 2012) – In the battle for revenue online, retailers increased search advertising spend 59% on Thanksgiving Day 2012, compared to 2011.   Across the five popular shopping days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, cost-per-click (CPC) also skyrocketed 20% higher than 2011, as competition for search terms among retailers increased.  According to data released today by Marin Software, provider of the leading digital ad management platform for advertisers and agencies, U.S. retailers saw across the board increases in paid search ad spend, impressions, clicks, and cost-per-click.

News Facts:

  • Marketers are increasing investments in online advertising during the 2012 holiday season in an effort to drive more revenue from increased awareness, brick and mortar store traffic, and online sales.  A large increase in paid search spend and clicks occurred each day across the five popular shopping days from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, compared to 2011. 
  • Retailers increased search advertising spend 59% on Thanksgiving Day 2012, compared to 2011, indicating an earlier start to this year’s holiday season.   Due to more investment on Thanksgiving, average cost-per-click for paid search ads also increased on Thanksgiving to 22% more than 2011.
  • In aggregate over the five days, paid search spend by retailers increased 43% and cost-per-click increased 20% over 2011, as competition among retailers for search terms grew, signaling the heightened importance online advertising plays in driving bottom line growth for retailers.
  • Cyber Monday continues to be the blockbuster day for retailers online, garnering more clicks than any other day, but the five day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday is growing in importance as shoppers look for deals throughout the week.


  • “Retailers are not only investing more dollars online, but they are doing it earlier in the consumer buying cycle,” said Matt Lawson Vice President of Marketing at Marin Software.  “Consumers increasingly rely on online alerts, ads and reviews to inform their buying decisions and advertisers are looking to keep ahead, especially during the critical holiday season.”