When it comes to ecommerce, how did various companies across sectors fare this year in terms of search? What was the average cost of a Google ad, what were the top companies in the sector, what sub-categories were searched the most, and what was the average search volume in each category? To better understand this, Searchmetrics analyzed thousands of keyword searches and released its findings in the US eCommerce Market Analysis 2021 report. As part of the study, the company analyzed seven major sectors of ecommerce, including apparel, DIY, beauty, furniture, electronics, health, sporting goods.
A major finding from the analysis was that Amazon ended on top in most of these sectors. Having said that, it was also the company that spent the most on Google Ads in almost all these sectors.
The following are a few more insights in detail.
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1. Dresses, Pants, and One-pieces Dominated the Apparel Category
When it came to searches in the apparel sector, the sub-categories with the highest were dresses, pants, and one-pieces. More than half (51.5%) of the queries in the industry were transactional, while 46.8% of the queries were informational. The average cost per click (CPC) for a Google ad in this category was $0.79, and the average search volume per keyword in a month was 10,049, an 84% increase compared to 2019. The leading domain in the category? It isn’t a surprise that it was Amazon. It was followed by Nordstrom, Adore Me, and Express. Asos, Anthropologie, and Macy’s ended up in the lower end of the top 10 domains.
2. Informational Queries Dominated in the Beauty Sector
When it came to the beauty sector, hair care, make-up, bath and body sub-categories garnered the maximum user interest. About 48.8% of queries in the sector were informational, while 48.6% were transactional. The average CPC was $1.22, and the average search volume per keyword in a month was 7,120, an increase of 83% over 2019. The top companies in the sector were Amazon, Ulta Beauty, and Sephora. Walmart, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan ended up in the lower end of the top 10 list.
3. Hardware Accessories Garnered Highest User Interest in DIY
The sub-categories that garnered higher user interest in the do-it-yourself (DIY) sector were hardware accessories, building materials, and power and electrical supplies. Having said that, about 50.3% of search queries were informational, and 47.2% were transactional. The average CPC was $1.16, and the average search volume per keyword in a month was 28,170, a whopping 190% increase than 2019. Interestingly enough, while Amazon was the company that spent the most on Google Ads, it ended up second in the top 10 domains, following The Home Depot. Lowe’s came in third, and Walmart came in the eighth position.
4. Transactional and Informational Queries Came Head-to-head in Electronics
In electronics, laptops, desktops, and mobile phones were the categories that garnered maximum user interest. While about 49.4% of queries were transactional in the sector, informational queries came close (48.8%). The average search volume per keyword in a month was 5,142, an increase of 119% compared to 2019. The average CPC in the sector was $0.94. The top three companies by market share were Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart. PCMag came in the fourth position.
5. Transactional Queries Dominated the Furniture Sector
Sofas, beds and accessories, and room dividers were the top sub-categories in the furniture sector. About 62.3% of queries on Google were transactional, and about 62.3% were informational. The average CPC in this sector was $1.18, and the average search volume per keyword per month was 12,772, a 193% increase over 2019. The top spender in this sector was Wayfair. It was also the top company by market share in the sector, followed by Amazon and The Home Depot. Ikea came in the sixth position.
6. Amazon Tops the Market Share in Health Sector
When it came to the health sector, mobility and accessibility and light therapy lamps were some of the sub-categories of high user interest. While the informational queries in the sector were 53.6%, transactional queries were 44.2%. The average CPC was $1.98, and the average search volume for a keyword in a month was 5,216, an increase of 86% over 2019. Interestingly enough, Amazon spent the most on Google Ads, and it was also on top of the domains by market share. It was followed by Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and Healthline.
7. Average Search Volume Per Keyword Exceeded 35,000 in Sports Goods Sector
The top sub-categories in this sector were athletics, outdoor recreation, and exercise and fitness. Transaction queries in the sector were about 47.7%, while informational queries were 49.3%. The average CPC was $0.83, while the average search volume per keyword in a month was a whopping 36,232, an increase of 137% compared to 2019. The top companies by market share were Amazon, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Walmart in this sector. Olympics came in fifth in the list.
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Quick Analysis and Tips for Ecommerce Players
It can be seen from the data that a significant percentage of queries are informational, which means people are looking for information online before making a purchase. This is an opportunity for brands to gain more traffic and conversions. It can also be seen that there is not much competition for information-driven sites in search results, unlike purchase-driven sites. That means more suitable and valuable content can increase user engagement.
Another interesting fact is that while Amazon spent the most in almost all sectors and was also the top domain in terms of market share in four sectors, it came second in three sectors. This means that brands can take on Amazon in certain ways and set themselves apart from the company. They can do this by incorporating product tips, product comparisons, and related articles.
Further, identify consumer trends and respond quickly to them. For example, it may be seen that in the furniture sector, certain pandemic-related products were more in demand. It is evident that pandemic has altered the way people use their space. Similarly, there are certain products that were more in demand in the health and sports goods sectors due to the pandemic. Online retailers who are on top of these trends reap the most rewards.
Lastly, invest more in content than ads. While paid ads and searches generate immediate traffic and conversions, they work only till you pay for the ads. Further, click-through rates for ads are much lower than high-quality organic rankings. To get more high-quality organic rankings, ecommerce players should create long-term strategies that focus on improving content and making the buying process user-friendly.