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Retailers Outspend Luxury Brands on Luxury Keywords in Paid Search [Report]


In the battle for luxury shoppers, top retailers in 2013 outspent top luxury brands on Google AdWords paid search ads in four of five categories: apparel, beauty and cosmetics, shoes, and watches, according to a new AdGooroo report.

Handbags was the only category in which luxury brands outspent retailers.

Below is a breakdown of the investment in U.S. paid search spending for luxury apparel.

Luxury Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spending on Luxury Keywords

In 2013 alone, five of the top personal luxury brands spent nearly $22 million on paid search in Google AdWords. This didn’t include the money invested in mobile search or Product Listing Ads.

Let’s look at some additional findings.

The Biggest Luxury Apparel Spenders

Which brands are investing the most in paid search for luxury apparel? Below you’ll find the top 10 brands by spend. Louis Vuitton claimed first place with $1.3 million, which is more than double the next brand on the list.

Top 10 Luxury Apparel Brands by Paid Spend

Retailers aren’t far behind in their ad spend. In fact, many retailers spent more than the luxury apparel brands themselves on PPC. You’ll notice that six of the top 10 retailers by spend are department stores.

Top 10 Retail Advertisers on Luxury Apparel Keywords by Spend

Luxury Beauty Cosmetics

For their 2013 report, AdGooroo collected data on 810 luxury beauty and cosmetic keywords. There is a significant gap in spend between the top brands and retailers and those that came in at the end of the top 10.

Top 10 Luxury Beauty  Cosmetics Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spend

Luxury Footwear Brands Retailers

The ads spend for luxury shoes is significantly less than that of luxury apparel and luxury beauty and cosmetics. Here are the top 10 brands and retailers by ad spend:

Top 10 Luxury Shoes Brands vs. Retailers Paid Search Spend

Luxury Handbags

Chanel, the top brand by spend in the handbag category spent $816,000 in 2013 while the brand in tenth place (Burberry) spent only $53,000. The gap was not so significant between retailers with Neiman Marcus spending $480,000 in position number one and The Luxury Closet spending $135,000 for 2013.

Top 10 Luxury Handbag Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spend

Luxury Watches

It’s no surprise that Rolex came in number one in Paid Search by spend with $149,000. The next brand (Cartier) spent $50,000 less on paid search. Below you’ll find the breakdown by brand and retailers for the top ten by spend in each category.

Top 10 Luxury Watch Brands vs Retailers Paid Search Spend

What Are Advertisers Getting for their Investment?

Based on the significant investment that advertisers are making in paid search, it is essential that we understand what their impression share is off of that budget.

  • Louis Vuitton’s ad spend far surpassed that of any other brand or retailer in luxury apparel. However they only had a 3.45 percent impression share, and was steamrolled by retailers.
  • The top retailers by spend in beauty and cosmetics got their money’s worth. Amazon came in with nearly 11 percent of share of voice, but brands didn’t fair so well in this category.
  • Retailers also dominated luxury shoes. Saks Fifth Avenue, which had the top spend for retail, had a 9.87 percent impression share.
  • Amazon and Saks Fifth Avenue also dominated handbags, with 6.79 percent and 5.06 percent impression share, respectively.
  • Websites that sold luxury watches at a discounted price were winning the war in this category. The top retail spender was and they had the highest impression share, 8.72 percent.

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