Apple’s anti-tracking tool hindered retailers’ ability to target consumers with search ads

Apple Inc.’s ‘intelligent tracking prevention’ disrupted retailers’ ability to use Google’s remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) product, at least temporarily, according to a new Merkle report.

Apple Inc.’s “intelligent tracking prevention,” or ITP, disrupted retailers’ ability to use Google’s remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) product, at least temporarily, according to Merkle’s “Digital Marketing Report Q3 2018” that was released on Tuesday.ITP puts a significant damper on mobile ad tracking. For example, it limits the use of cookies for ad retargeting to 24 hours, and it deletes a site’s cookies if a consumer doesn’t visit for 30 days. Apple announced ITP last December and launched the feature with iOS and Safari 12 in mid-September. After it went into effect, RLSA click share dropped to a seven-month low, the report says. Overall, 30% of Google search ad clicks stemmed from ads that leveraged Google’s advanced targeting tools. Those include: Customer Match, which enables a retailer to upload its email lists to find its customers when they search on Google; remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), which let a retailer customize its search ads campaign for consumers who have previously visited its site; and Similar Audiences, in which Google targets users who are searching the same terms as users recently added to the merchant’s RLSA lists, such as Customer Match. That’s down from 37% in the previous quarter. Beyond ads that leveraged Google’s advanced targeting tools, Google search ad spending among retailers rose 18% year over year in the third quarter. Across all advertisers, clicks grew 9% and the cost per click rose 8%.Phones accounted for 63% of retail and consumer goods advertisers’ Google search ad clicks in the third quarter, with desktop accounting for 30% and tablets 7%. However, there was a sharp dichotomy between traditional text ads and Google Shopping ads; text ad spending grew just 3% while Shopping spending jumped 33%. And, excluding queries based on advertisers’ own brand names, Shopping Ads generated 87% of Google’s search ad clicks for retailers during the quarter, a five percentage point increase from the previous quarter. For brands running Google’s Showcase Shopping ads as part of their overall Google Shopping strategy, the new ad format accounted for 5.1% of Google Shopping phone clicks during the quarter, up from 4.4% in the second quarter. While that’s a relatively small percentage, Showcase Shopping click share has tripled since the fourth quarter of 2017. The report also notes that Amazon.com Inc.’s use of Shopping ads was roughly consistent with its use at the end of the second quarter; the retail giant accounted for 37% of Google Shopping impressions in the home goods category, where it has been a top competitor since the end of 2016, save for a brief period when it dropped out of Google Shopping Ad listings. Total visits driven by organic search rose 6% year over year. Organic search visits driven by Google grew nearly 9%, the largest percentage increase since the second quarter of 2015, which was just before the search giant boosted its ad inventory. The result was that the share of total site visits produced by organic search inched up to 26% and just under 25% on mobile devices. That’s only the second increase since the first quarter of 2017. Google continued to dominate mobile search during the quarter. The search giant accounted for 95% of U.S. visits driven by a mobile organic search during the quarter, up one percentage point from a year earlier.

Reference: digitalcommerce360.com

About the Author

Amin Lalani
Amin Lalani is a subject matter specialist in Internet Retailer with several articles and research paper published so far. He has done M.Phil from IoBM in Marketing with emphasis on Internet Retailing. Besides academia he has various other certification like SAP, Google Analytic, Microsoft Small Business Solution Provider and more.

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