Retailers and advertisers are taking full advantage of a digital-first business model to capture the surge in online shopping and changes in consumer shopping behavior, according to Adlucent’s “2021 Performance Marketing Industry Report,” which details shopping ad and search data, insights and holiday recommendations for retailers.

Paid search and shopping impressions in the first half of 2021 were 17% higher than in 2020 pre-pandemic, according to Adlucent, an Advantage Marketing Partners agency.

“Heading into the fourth quarter and the holidays, advertisers will need to develop a strategy that capitalizes on consumer demand and anticipates higher costs,” the report noted.

The data-driven retail marketing report provides trends for the leading advertising key performance indicators for several segments, including apparel and accessories, crafts and hobbies, home, outdoor and sport, electronics, health and wellness, and business-to-business goods. It includes an analysis of the paid search and shopping ads data across Adlucent’s advertising clients in 2021, paired with predictions and recommendations to guide performance marketing strategy for the rest of the year.

Among Adlucent’s findings:

  • Year-over-year cost per click is up 86% on mobile traffic and 70% on desktop, reflecting that mobile now drives two times the impression volume compared to desktop.
  • Demand is high across the apparel category; overall impression volume is up 38% year over year in the first half of 2021.
  • The home goods category has not seen a decline in demand from the new heights of 2020. Overall impressions are up 4%, and clicks are up 24% year over year.
  • Demand has declined in the health and wellness category, but post-click purchase rate has increased 22% and average order value increased 31% in the second quarter 2021 compared to the year prior.
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