Paid search helps Next in back-to-school season

UK retailers’ efforts around back-to-school (BtS) sales saw Next beating other chains more traditionally associated with the shopping season for the number of clicks around BtS-linked product.


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That's good news for the company that has been struggling to ignite growth in its stores and spur faster growth online, despite it having been an early mover in the explosion of e-sales in the UK.

Competitive intelligence platform Adthena has analysed the BtS season and the approach retailers took and found that Next won 25% of paid clicks on desktop for BtS search terms around school uniform, stationery and accessories. On google and Bing, it leapt from ninth place last year to top spot this time round.

Next hadn’t previously been the first name many parents thought of when it came to BtS, despite having a strong kidswear business, but boosting its spending this year saw it beating last year’s top retailers M&S and Sainsbury’s.

Adthena said M&S, saw its share of paid search spend falling to 9% from 21%, partly because Next’s share rose so much, but also as M&S itself shifted its spending to TV and outdoor ads, as well as social media.

Tesco and Clarks also put in strong performances and in fact, Clarks’ presence on the list underlines how the top ads were for shoes. One Clarks ad had over 66,000 impressions.

Much of Next’s advertising was around clothing but its top ad was also for ‘girls shoes’, gaining 25,000 impressions.

The success of paid-for search ads this year was clear from the fact that Adthena also said Next gained less than 7% of organic clicks, while Tesco got even less.

But while the company said Next was the winner for desktop clicks, as mentioned, it did less well on mobile, where Tesco and Clarks led. But this could change next year with Next ramping up its investment in mobile sites globally.

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