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Report: Amazon led big retailers in digital ad spend increases during early holiday season

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Marketing LandAmazon led the way among big retailers in increasing their digital holiday advertising spend, according to ad sales intelligence firm MediaRadar, which analyzed sales data from October and November 2016 and 2015. The e-commerce giant increased digital ad spend during the early holiday push by 224 percent year over year. Linear TV ad spend also rose — by 76 percent — while its print investment dropped 10 percent.

“Most retailers are reducing print spend while focusing on other channels, like linear TV and digital,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and co-founder of MediaRadar in a statement. “Online ad spend, however, saw some of the biggest increases percentage-wise. This is driven by shifting consumption and shopping patterns among holiday consumers.”

Just two of the major retailers that MediaRadar measured (Kohl’s and Target) increased print spend during the holidays this year, while four (Amazon, Walmart, Target and Macy’s) increased digital ad spend and four (Amazon, Target, Macy’s and JCPenney) increased their linear TV ad spend.

Walmart spent 168 percent more on digital ads this past holiday. Target increased digital ad spend by 161 percent, and Macy’s by 34 percent.

However, digital did not see gains across the board. Going against the grain, Kohl’s was an exception to the shift to digital and TV. The retailer increased print spend by 59 percent, while cutting linear TV ad spend by 7 percent and digital by 58 percent.

Sears and Nordstrom each cut ad spending across print, digital and linear TV. Sears cut digital spending by 72 percent. Nordstrom’s digital ad spend fell by 28 percent year over year.

JCPenney spent less on digital and print in 2016, while increasing TV ad spend by 49 percent, according to MediaRadar data.


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