What Internet Retailers Spend on Paid Search

Paid search is a significant driver of impressions for Internet retailers but acquiring users through the channel certainly does not come cheap.

Search engine intelligence provider AdGooroo released a thought-provoking infographic on the paid search retail universe which breaks down the $2.3 billion dollars spent on performance advertising (full year 2012 for AdWords combined with half-year 2012 for Yahoo! Bing) by retail category.

"Mass retailers" collectively spent a whopping $490 million and as a result received far and away the most impressions of any retail category according to AdGooroo which calculated that Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, jcpenney and Macy's racked up a whopping 13 billion impressions in total.

Adgooroo also took a closer look at the 2012 paid search spend for specific retail categories - a useful exercise in determining sector growth potential and current competitiveness. Besides the $490 million for mass retailers (approximately 21% of the total spend), six retail categories spent over $100 million including Apparel & Fashion ($271M), Consumer Electronics ($202M), Home Improvement ($155M), Stationary, Greeting Cards & Printing ($150M), Beauty & Cosmetics ($101M), and Shoes ($100M). Spend for Sporting Goods ($94M), Jewelry ($78M), and Flowers/Mail Order Gifts ($80M) also made a respectable showing to round out the list.