Posted January 8, 2009 12:33 am by with 18 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

By Rene LeMerle

For the best part of 2008, we heard the common tale of marketing budgets being shifted online, as companies sought affordable and measurable results. It seems the retail sector was no exception.

A report out by search management firm SearchIgnite suggests retail paid search grew 12% in Q4 2008, compared to 2007’s fourth quarter results. The growth trend was consistent across all the top three search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN).

Of the three months in Q4, Nov 2008 was the stand out, experiencing a phenomenal increase of 43%, which suggests retailers we going on the offensive to leverage Black Friday/Cyber Monday activity. Roger Barnette, president of SearchIgnite said:

Retailers were more aggressive with their paid search spend in the first half of the quarter compared with the year earlier in an effort to capture more consumer dollars ahead of the holidays.

Sales reports around the start of the holiday period were mixed, preThanksgiving down 4%, and Cyber Monday only up 1%. It’s not surprising then that December’s paid search growth was only 14%, as retailers remained wary about spending.

The report also observed a consistent conversion rate YOY (year on year) with only 3% growth, but the interesting shift was in average order value (AOV)—which dropped 10%.

2009 will see more retailers turning to paid search to drive sales, but as the report highlights, changing consumer habits based on the economic climate will force them to work harder and smarter to maintain revenue levels.

Rene LeMerle is the VP of Marketing at, a leading provider of results driven Search Engine Advertising and SEO services.

  • Online definitely is where the growth is, even if the average order value has decreased, so I guess we’ll see an even bigger swing towards online vs traditional marketing tactics in 2009.

  • Wow. Well this is good news for publishers. 🙂

    Advertising should switch to the web. Many people use it and its cheap. It’s probably the best marketing tactic for small businesses with small budgets.

    As for the fourth quarter increase, this was likely due to the REAL NEED to get customers to buy during one of the most dismal shopping seasons in our country’s history…

    Shirley’s last blog post..Google Maps’ Street View Helps Fight Crime!

  • Pingback: 2009 and The Year Ahead « Social Whisper()

  • I believe that online advertising will have major growth in 2009 as you have said. As our economy rebounds, there will probably be a positive growth in advertising and in particular online advertising.

    Patrick’s last blog post..Pays to Live Green Up for 6 Months!!!

  • The indications are clear and give a positive direction as to where the action will lie in the future. Advertisers must take note and get on the bandwagon asap. Agencies need to retool themselves too.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..New Year Resolutions to Help You Save Money

  • That’s not good for all us SEOers out there, surely?

  • I expected more. wonder how much organic budget spend was up this year.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..An Interview with Utah SEO Pro (Jordan Kasteler) by Martin Bowling

  • In the midst of all the bad news out there on the economy, it’s great to see the internet economy continuing to chug along.

  • No doupt i belive that the marketing and advertising area will live its gold age in 2009.

    Genel kultur’s last blog post..İNSANIN KÖKENİ

  • The sales are impressive, the spirit is positive, and all mentioned above give me a feeling that the online business will be a success in2009 as well.

  • Well I’m sure people spent more on Organic Search for the long term benefit.

    Saad Kamal’s last blog is Buying Paid Links

  • Advertising will always be needed, and even during hard times.

  • Inspite of world crisis, it would appear that not everyone is on the downside. Them and Facebook, obviously.

  • I’m glad to see these kind of numbers. I was worried that people might abandon web advertising as times get tough but this is definitely a step in the right direction!

  • The publishers will be pleased by these stats. Online advertising becomes more and more popular. It is really of great usage and benefit, especially for those who run small business and cannot spend big sums of money on advertising. I am sure the year 2009 will be notable by much bigger growth of web advertising.

  • I wonder what will be the numbers this 2009, numbers anyone?

    John’s last blog post..Busby SEO Test the hard way

  • what a way to start the new year

    thewutzupphilippines’s last blog post..CHR not in favor of testing

  • Great news, I am interested to see what happens in 2009. Once the worlds economy’s take an upward shift, it should shoot even higher. People are constantly realizing the importance of doing business online.