Online Ad Spending by Retailers Doubles for Holidays

You’d have to be living in a cave if you failed to notice that retailers’ spending on traditional media — especially spending by upstart e-tailers — is skyrocketing as companies attempt to capture holiday buyers.

It turns out that television, print, and radio aren’t the only ones benefiting from the buying blitz. A new report released by AdRelevance on Wednesday reveals that online spending is shooting up dramatically.

“It’s no secret that the e-tail sector is growing at torrid rates. In fact our numbers show that online ad impressions in the category doubled over the past four months alone,” said Charlie Buchwalter, vice president of media research at AdRelevance.

Total online retail ad spending increased by an average of 100 percent from July to November, according to the report, with the biggest increases coming from drug and toiletry vendors, auction houses, and toy and collectable sellers.

The average campaign size increased by 73 percent, from 695,000 impressions to 1,203,000 impressions. Unsurprisingly, toys and collectibles led the pack here, with an increase of 2,747,767 impressions. Auction houses were next, followed by office supply sellers.

Overall, department stores were the biggest spenders, racking up 33 percent of total impressions. Auctioneers came in second with 16 percent, and drug and toiletry vendors sharing third place honors with technology sellers. Each bought nine percent of impressions, according to AdRelevance.

Some of the growth comes, not from bigger spending by existing firms, but because of the sheer numbers of new players coming onto the scene.

The number of retail companies advertising online leaped from 236 in July to 472 in November. Growth in the number of companies had an especially big impact on the auction sectors advertising numbers.

Although eBay and uBid are still the most significant spenders, Yahoo Auctions and Infoseek were close behind. Interestingly, Amazon.com decreased its auction-related ad spending by a dramatic 92 percent between August and November.

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