HalloweenCostumes.com loses text search ad clicks to Amazon in the final week of October. Product Listing Ad clicks follow suit.

As Halloween drew closer, specialty Halloween retailers received fewer paid search clicks, a new study finds.

Amazon.com, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, generated the most clicks on search text ads related to costumes, decorations and other Halloween-related items, according to a recent analysis of 823 Halloween-related keywords between Sept. 1-Oct. 15, Oct. 16-24 and then Oct. 25-31 by search marketing data provider Adgooroo.

HalloweenCostumes.com generated the most clicks on text ads between the periods of Sept. 1-Oct. 15 (15.9%) and Oct. 16-24 (24.2%), however the costume retailer drove just 15.2% of text ad clicks on the Halloween keywords in the final week, Oct. 25-31. Instead, Amazon.com was the leader in this later period, with 26.4% of the text ad clicks, which was an increase from 12.0% during Oct. 16-24 and 13.6% in the weeks of Sept. 1-Oct. 15.

Similarly, other specialty Halloween retailers, such as SpiritHalloween.com, WholesaleHalloweenCostumes.com, HalloweenExpress.com and HalloweenCity.com, generated fewer text ad clicks as Halloween approached.

“Some specialty retailers may purposely pull back on paid search advertising as the holiday approaches because they are not as well-equipped to offer expedited shipping as the major retailers,” says Jim Leichenko, AdGooroo’s director of marketing. “Starting around Oct. 27, text ads from Spirit Halloween encouraged consumers to ‘Shop Your Local Spirit Halloween’ pop-up store and provided them with a 20% off in-store coupon. HalloweenCostumes.com, on the other hand, offered same-day shipping in their ads.”


Product Listing Ads for those same Halloween keywords tell a similar story as large merchants generated the most clicks and increased their share closer to Halloween. PLAs are a visually-oriented ad format that presents product images, prices and business names to users searching on Google.

Leading the group were large merchants OrientalTrading.com with 18.1% of clicks Oct. 25-31, and Target.com with 14.5%, followed by Yandy.com at 8.6%, HomeDepot.com at 5.8% and Walmart.com at 4.8%. All five retailers increased their share of PLA clicks in the last five days of October.

Leichenko notes that major brand retailers may have received more click share than niche retailers because last-minute shoppers may have been more likely to click on ads from retailers they have purchased from and received fast shipping from before. “Or, they may want to take advantage of same-day in-store pickup, which Target promoted in its ads,” he says.