Businesses Continue to Boost Advertising on Major Digital Sites

BY Kathy Crosett
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We all know that selling digital marketing services may not be as lucrative or easy as selling a full-​page ad in your publication. But businesses continue to boost advertising on major digital sites, and they don’t always get it right. In 2020, local businesses discovered the power of advertising on Google, Facebook and Amazon. Here’s what your clients should know before they spend more on these platforms.


Part of the answer to this question is whether they are meeting the benchmarks for their industry. Sidecar’s 2021 Benchmarks report shows what happened with ad spending on the major platforms last year.

For retailers buying on Google Shopping, the average cost per click (CPC) dropped to $0.56 in 2020. The typical retailer earned a conversion rate (CVR) of 2.68% and a click-​through (CTR) rate of 0.84%. The return-​on-​ad spend (ROAS) is $6.43. If your clients were typical retailers, they generated an average order value of $134.96. Sidecar analysts measured an average cost per action of $21 for the marketers in their study.

For paid search, the cost per action varied widely between retail verticals. Businesses in the office supplies category paid $66.23, while the comparable cost per action was $3.78 for automotive parts and accessories vendors. The average CPA was $9.77 in 2020 on Google search, down by almost 20% from the previous year. Because many large companies pulled back on advertising at the start of the pandemic, smaller marketers had the opportunity to compete for positions on the search engine results page at a lower cost than before.


Facebook advertising also yielded great benefits for smaller retailers during the economic slowdown. For all retailers included in the Sidecar analysis, the CPC dropped 18%, but their ROAS grew by 29%. In the auto parts and accessories category, the average CPA on Facebook was $18.99. That figure was 4% lower than it had been the previous year.

Businesses Continue to Boost Advertising on Major Digital Sites

The ad market is growing more complex as the economy recovers. Your clients will find it challenging to optimize their ad spend across the major digital platforms. This is especially true for those clients that expanded e‑commerce revenue streams last year. As marketers continue to focus on e‑commerce to generate revenue, they realize they’re lacking expertise and time to master key tasks. Businesses want to conduct competitive analysis (43%) and track consumer shopping trends (32%), according to Sidecar’s 2021 E‑commerce Marketer Survey. When you use the Digital Audit and AudienceSCAN profiles from AdMall by SalesFuel, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you understand their business challenges and goals and show the power of your solution.

In the next 12 months, 46% of smaller businesses want to spend more time figuring out how to make Google Paid Search advertising work for them. 44% say the same thing about Amazon advertising. Sidecar’s research also shows that 66% of businesses plan to add vendors to help them with affiliate marketing (17%), SEO (16%), and video production (16%), among other tasks. As businesses continue to boost advertising on major digital sites, digital marketing services providers have a great opportunity to promote their strengths.