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Amazon is winning the online search war — at least it is across the consumer electronics category.

When analyzing the consumer electronics (CE) searches, Amazon advertises on over 30,000 search terms — more than double its closest competitors, Walmart and Best Buy, according to a study from search intelligence provider Adthena. Between October and November, the firm analyzed over 370,000 search ads for 179 retailers.

According to data, Amazon’s share of CE ad spend on desktop sits at 15.35% — the largest among all top retailers, including Walmart and Target. With their investment, Amazon has won 49.65% of the category’s click share.

Amazon also owns a 26.87% share of CE ad spend on mobile, a move that is earning the company 43.18% of the share of clicks.

The online giant also leads clicks on generic search terms. These search ads are designed to support organic search terms for a wide range of CE products, such as ‘Nintendo switch’ or ‘wireless headphones,’ as well as research-driven keywords, such as ‘gift ideas.’ These generic searches also prompt paid advertisements.  Amazon’s 16.87% share of clicks among generic search terms firmly positions the company as the leading advertiser in the space, the study revealed.

“Amazon is winning the search wars for three reasons: They are running campaigns against more search terms than their competitors; they have high consistency in SERP ads, and are the most frequent advertiser in CE,” said Ashley Fletcher, director of product marketing at Adthena. “The success is largely driven by Amazon’s pure brand terms, versus generic terms,” said Fletcher. “Search queries on terms exclusive to Amazon, like ‘Kindle,’ ‘Amazon Prime,’ ‘Fire TV,’ and others, offer much better value across the entire online consumer electronics vertical, giving them lucrative, high-volume/low-CPC search conversions. Amazon is the undisputed champion here.”

Additional findings around volume, consistency and frequency include:

• Amazon’s average search ad position for all ads is weighted heavily on first, second and third. This suggests that their CE search ads do not fluctuate much from these positions.

• Major CE competitor Target is running a second and third ad position strategy, advertising heavily on search terms which achieve an average ad position between second and third. Their ads do not fluctuate considerably from their second and third ad positions.

• Walmart is focused on the third ad position. They also have a larger proportion of search terms that serve ads with an average position of third in comparison to their competitors.

• Best Buy advertises on fewer search terms overall, compared to other top retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target. However, these ads perform well on first position search terms. This suggests that their SEM team have found a small niche in the competitive landscape.

• Amazon’s pure brand ad frequency (branded search terms only) fluctuates between 53%-80% on desktop, and 86%-96% on mobile. The brand frequency is how often Amazon’s ads appear when consumers search on Amazon’s branded search terms. These figures are higher than the equivalent frequency rates for competitors (on their own branded search terms). This gives Amazon an immense lead over the competition.

“This study confirms the impact of paid search on CE sales,” Fletcher added.

“Our data suggests that paid search is the key revenue driver which gives Amazon, in particular, velocity and momentum to capture and secure a position as a leading retailer in global territories and markets,” she said. “Amazon’s investment in the channel eclipses that of competitor retailers — which speaks to their overall performance.”


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