The Amazon-owned retailer generated 8.3% of total text ad clicks on back-to-school keywords from July 29 through Aug. 27. Walmart garnered 8.6% of Product Listing Ad clicks. Inc. and Walmart led the way when it came to driving consumers searching online for back-to-school clothes and supplies, according to a new analysis of 278 nonbranded back-to-school keywords from July 29 to Aug. 27 by search marketing data provider AdGooroo.

To assess retailers’ back-to-school campaigns, AdGooroo examined terms it felt it could confidently attribute to back-to-school advertising activity, such as “back to school,” “school uniforms,” “school backbacks,” “text books,” “school supplies” and “best laptops for college,” rather than looking at more general terms consumers might search, such as “backpacks” or “blue jeans.”

Zappos, which is owned by Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000, generated 8.3% of total text ad clicks on back-to-school keywords. Zappos outpaced Staples Inc. (No. 5 in the Top 500) at 7.0%, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No 33) at 6.2%, School Speciality Inc. (No. 240) at 5.9% and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (No. 3) at 4.0%.

Zappos appears to have bolstered its performance by its use of long-tail keywords such “back to school clothes,” “back to school outfits,” and “backpacks for school,” according to an Internet Retailer analysis of SimilarWeb Ltd. data gathered in August. At the same time, the retailer’s text ads included such details as “fast & free shipping,” says an AdGooRoo spokeswoman. Zappos declined to comment on its strategy.


Meanwhile, Walmart and Amazon performed significantly better when it came to Product Listing Ads, the visually-oriented ad format that presents product images, prices and business names to users searching on Google.

Walmart garnered 8.6% of PLA clicks on back-to-school keywords and Amazon, which is relatively new to PLAs, accounted for 6.0%. Those two retail giants were followed by Discount School Supply at 5.1%, Tween Brands-owned Justice at 5.1% and Dell Inc. (No. 4) at 4.0%. Walmart could not be immediately reached for comment on its strategy.