2018 Ends With Retail as Biggest Mobile Ads Buyer


  • In the last six months of 2018, the biggest mobile ads buyers were retailers who were looking to reach holiday shoppers. They contributed 49% of the market share. Media followed retail at 23%, finance at 6% and telecom carrying one of the least shares at 4% according to Smaato.

  • The most significant spending within retail was in retail chains with e-commerce websites and an online presence like Walmart, Amazon, and Wish. These marketplaces topped fashion, electronics and packaged good categories.

  • Marketplaces contributed a 13% increase in the share retail took in mobile ad spend.

Smaato performed research based on impressions, bids and ad requests on its platform. It found the holidays to be awash with promotional activities, what with retailers looking to boost their ad spending to reach shoppers as part of a marketing strategy. During the holidays, mobile shopping increased to 64% with most shoppers using their phones to places orders. A survey by Adlucent revealed that mobile is playing an important role in shopping research. It boosted impressions by 113% for PLAs and caused mobile orders to go up 152%. Adlucent found mobile ad revenues to go up 239%.

Amazon, Google, and Facebook were the primary beneficiaries of the holiday craze as every company reported increases during the last quarter of 2018. Amazon’s ad business went up 95% exceeding Facebook’s reported 30% increase and Google’s 20%. Of all ad sales, Facebook made, 93% were from mobile ads, which was a 5% increase from 2017. Amazon ads drove the e-commerce surge seen at the end of the year, according to Kenshoo.

For retailers, a couple of markers contributed to the growth including the five days leading to Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday and Alibaba’s Single’s Day. Alibaba saw a 27% growth in sales to make $30.8 billion during the one day. 90% of those sales were made through mobile. 57% of the shoppers ordered goods from overseas – the US, Japan, South Korea.

Retailers can take advantage of and lengthen the momentum towards the holiday by increasing what they invest in social media and mobile marketing to be able to reach people all through the year. 50% of retailers admitted to shopping apps being a priority in omnichannel strategies. 45% of them listed mobile PoS as vital to them. Just recently, Shopgate reported that over 57% of consumers use retailer apps to shop in-store. It helps if they can find and redeem coupons on the apps.


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