In 2020, more customers shopped online due to the pandemic. According to data from Merkle, shopping behavior continued to correlate with changes in COVID-19 cases and related mandates and public-safety concerns this year.
Merkle published its Q3 2021 Digital Marketing Report today, which analyzed key trends across paid and organic search, Amazon ads, paid social, and display ad spend.
According to a company spokesperson, “Most platforms experienced double-digit traffic growth in Q3 2020, however, that, in combination with more expensive clicks and impressions this year, set up channels to see Y/Y (year-over-year) declines in traffic in 2021.”
Merkle found that consumers were eager to venture out of their homes this summer. On organic search, paid search, and Amazon Sponsored Products, retail Y/Y traffic comps were worse in July – while shoppers turned to mobile to meet their search needs more than they ever had previously; however, the numbers improved in August and September, following a similar trajectory as COVID-19 cases in the US.
Traffic was down Y/Y across Amazon Sponsored Products (-61%), Amazon Sponsored Brands (-11%), Google paid search (-11%), and Google organic search (-8%) in the third quarter of 2021.
With traffic down in comparison to the same period last year when ecommerce saw exceptional growth, cost-per-click (CPC) was up thanks to intense competition.
Paid search CPC was up 41% Y/Y, with neither Google nor Microsoft immune to increases, Merkle found. Amazon Sponsored Products CPC was up 43% Y/Y while Sponsored Brands CPC jumped 76%. In paid social, Facebook and Instagram CPM increased 46% and 11%, respectively.
Merkle’s report delves into much more detail, you can find the report on MerkleInc.com.