Across categories, shopping ads accounted for 63% of Google search ad clicks in the second quarter of 2019. And much like other retail categories, shopping ads dominate hair search results.
In the fourth quarter of 2018 through the first quarter of 2019, they accounted for 59% of paid search results across nonbranded terms, while text ads and Google’s showcase store ads only accounted for 22% and 15% of paid results, respectively. Although hair care and color brands tracked in Gartner L2’s study claim 55% of text ad results across nonbranded terms, they fall short on shopping ads, winning only 15% of results.
Brands without DTC e-commerce, which account for a large share of the hair industry, can’t hold shopping ads through brand-owned efforts. Therefore, they should prioritize second-order visibility through retail partners, as retailers won 47% of results from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the first of 2019. The most visible retailers on shopping ads are, in order, Walmart, Ulta and Amazon. Unilever brands come out on top in the fragmented, mass-oriented platforms of Amazon and Walmart, while L’Oréal and Henkel win out on the oft higher-priced specialty retailer Ulta.
DTC brands should balance owned efforts with retail partners’ efforts, prioritizing must-win categories over their full assortments on this high-conversion, competitive format.