March 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

Paid search paid off this Valentine’s season for three retailers

NetElixir has released a snapshot of how three brand-name retailer clients fared with paid search Feb. 1-13: average order values increased 2%, 4% and 38%, and cost-per-click dropped significantly.

Paid search gave three online retailers a sweet treat this Valentine’s Day season: average order value was up and cost-per-click was down. These are the results of a snapshot search engine marketing vendor NetElixir Inc. just released of three of its web retailer clients, which the vendor did not name but describes as well-known brands.

Average order value for orders stemming from paid search clicks at the first gifts retailer jumped 4% year over year for the first 13 days of February. It increased 2% for the second retailer and soared 38% for the third.

For the first retailer, cost-per-click in paid search fell from $0.89 during Feb. 1-13, 2008, to $0.77 in the same period this year. It fell from $0.92 to $0.83 for the second retailer and from $2.10 to $1.50 for the third.

For the three retailers combined, 72% of sales stemming from paid search clicks occurred during the last five days before Valentine’s Day, compared with 69% during the same five days last year.

“Economic pressures have led to a reduction in the number of search advertisers, and this may be a reason for lower cost-per-click this year compared to 2008,” says Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir. “And brand-name companies are pulling ahead, as online buyers give preference to security over experimentation with lesser known companies.”

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