Top Retail Brands Now Invest More on Product Listing Ads Than Text Ads

Prod­uct List­ing Ads are a grow­ing trends, and for many brands, essen­tial to get them in the mix when con­sumers are in the con­sid­er­a­tion stage of the pur­chase fun­nel. With top retail brands increas­ing the lev­el of invest­ment in PLA’s, it rep­re­sents an impor­tant...

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Prod­uct List­ing Ads are a grow­ing trends, and for many brands, essen­tial to get them in the mix when con­sumers are in the con­sid­er­a­tion stage of the pur­chase fun­nel. With top retail brands increas­ing the lev­el of invest­ment in PLA’s, it rep­re­sents an impor­tant part of any eCom­merce marketer’s adver­tis­ing bud­get.


Prod­uct List­ing Ads (PLAs) have been increas­ing­ly influ­en­tial in paid search adver­tis­ing. Marin Soft­ware research revealed that adver­tis­ers increased spend on PLAs by near­ly 300 per­cent in 2013, and one out of every five paid shop­ping clicks in 2013 was on a PLA.

Those are pow­er­ful sta­tis­tics and it’s no sur­prise that PLAs are begin­ning to make an impact on adver­tis­ing bud­gets. A study by AdGooroo shows that on aver­age, the top 20 adver­tis­ers spent a whop­ping 63 per­cent of their desk­top paid search bud­get on PLAs, with only 37 per­cent devot­ed to tra­di­tion­al text ads.

Even more inter­est­ing is the vari­a­tion by which indi­vid­ual retail­ers bud­get for PLAs. Rakuten.com spent an incred­i­ble 99.9 per­cent of their adver­tis­ing bud­get on PLAs, while on the oth­er end of the scale Ama­zon spent 100 per­cent of their desk­top paid search bud­get on tra­di­tion­al text ads and 0 per­cent on PLAs. (Notably, Ama­zon report­ed­ly does not spon­sor PLAs as a pol­i­cy.)

Oth­er top retail brands spend­ing a major­i­ty of their adver­tis­ing bud­get on PLAs includ­ed Wal­mart (71 per­cent), Best Buy (79 per­cent), Sta­ples (85 per­cent), Uline (77 per­cent), GlobalIndustrial.com (90 per­cent) and The Vit­a­min Shoppe (98 per­cent).

A notable men­tion must also be made for eBay who, hav­ing deter­mined in a 2013 study that paid search is inef­fec­tive, have now revised their paid search strat­e­gy by spend­ing 93 per­cent of their bud­get on PLAs and only 7 per­cent on text ads.

Advertisers Spending Big on PLAs Are Reaping The Rewards

AdGooroo’s study also showed that the top 20 adver­tis­ers spent more on PLAs ($283 mil­lion) than tra­di­tion­al text ads ($176 mil­lion) dur­ing Q2 2014, with the aver­age cost-per-click of $1.63 for PLAs and $1.07 for text ads.

Over­all, although PLAs account­ed for just 37 per­cent of the 8 bil­lion total impres­sions gar­nered dur­ing the Q2 2014, 50 per­cent of all clicks were on PLAs, which had an aver­age click-through rate (CTR) of 5.96 per­cent, com­pared to a 4.91 per­cent CTR for text ads.

You can read the full AdGooroo report on paid search PLA spends on their web­site.

This arti­cle first appeared on the Linkdex blog.


Let us know your thoughts on the impor­tance of PLAs to your busi­ness.

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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