E-commerce grew 20% for Costco in fiscal 2015—20 times faster than store sales.
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A total of 92.9% of merchants taking part in the Internet Retailer survey list sales as the top benchmark to measure effectiveness of their search engine marketing programs, followed by sales conversions at 71.4% and web site traffic at 57.1%. 9.9% of merchants spend 5 cents or less on an average paid click, compared with 15.4% that spend between 6 and 20 cents, 48% from 21 to 50 cents, 18.7% from 51 cents to $1 and 8% more than $1.
In the future running a diverse search engine marketing program will become even more of a priority for retailers. Merchants will be forced to evaluate and implement new forms of digital marketing, such as contextual advertising, by which major search engines display ads on results pages based on which word or phrase the shopper has searched for, and mobile search, which will require retailers to maintain a more concise keyword inventory as customers use web-enabled cells phones or handheld devices to generate questions and shop for products.
“It was only about three years ago that many retailers started to get serious about all types of search engine marketing and since then more merchants are taking steps to diversify their programs and generate a positive return on investment,” says Alan Rimm-Kaufman, president and chief technology officer of direct marketing services and consulting firm The Rimm-Kaufman Group. “But they can never stop thinking about finding better solutions. Search engine marketing is constantly changing and the retailers that win at search are the ones that keep up with the times.”