Commercially, Christmas starts months before the 25th of December, and for perfume, the competition was tough this year.
If we use Statista’s 2013 numbers as a guide, people buy the majority of their Christmas gifts months before December. 17% bought their presents in October, 31% finished shopping in November, while 25% had already bought gifts before September. As such, brands that succeed in PPC are in it for the long haul.
Meanwhile, 62% of customers planned to buy perfume and cosmetics this Christmas, according to another Statista survey.
Share of Voice (Organic)
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumeorgnicSOV.png” title=”Top perfume brands share of voice, Adthena data” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumeorgnicSOV.png”][/lightbox]
In terms of organic share of voice (SOV) – that is, non-paid traffic that found its way to the different brands – The Perfume Shop was head-and-shoulders above the others. This company never dropped below 25%, while none of the other brands could reach 20% during the period when it really mattered (October to November).
In our last article on perfumes, we speculated that The Perfume Shop has the perfect name, combining its own brand with keywords that will attract anyone who’s looking for perfume online.
If anything, it could be said that the other brands shaved a bit off The Perfume Shop’s lead, collectively gaining more traffic towards the holiday season. Individually, however, the difference wasn’t that impressive.
What the Brands Got for Their Money
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumeSOS.png” title=”Top perfume brands share of spend, Adthena data” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumeSOS.png”][/lightbox]
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumepaidSOV.png” title=”Top perfume brands paid share of voice, Adthena data” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumepaidSOV.png”][/lightbox]
Fragrance Direct is the clear winner this time, though when seven of the ten other brands all ramped up their spend for November, it’s hardly surprising that Fragrance Direct’s paid SOV took a dive.
Clearly, Christmas means a lot to these companies, and even if everyone’s happy to spend a fraction of what Fragrance Direct spends throughout the rest of the year, they’re certainly not happy to do so for Christmas.
Looking at the paid SOV graph, you can see that being the biggest spender only worked for Fragrance Direct part of the time. Our friend The Perfume Shop, meanwhile, stole its glory for February-May, despite far more modest spending.
Specifically, for 1 November, Fragrance Direct had 19%, and The Perfume Shop 16%, SOV. For the same period, Fragrance Direct accounted for 22%, and The Perfume Shop 13%, of the spend.
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumeheadtohead.png” title=”Top perfume brands, keywords head-to-dead, Adthena data” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/perfumeheadtohead.png”][/lightbox]
The three brands featured in the graph above are Fragrance Direct, John Lewis (who fared rather poorly), and Marks and Spencer, which didn’t score in our metrics at all. As you can see, Fragrance Direct bid on the most keywords, but not that many more than John Lewis or M&S.
Given that the company spent a lot, those extra keywords must have been the particularly desirable and expensive ones. The keywords on which only M&S and Fragrance Direct bid were very few, suggesting totally different strategies.
Given Fragrance Direct’s success, it seems fair to say that M&S’ were in fact the wrong keywords.
Let’s take a look at the ad copy from the period’s top performer.
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ads1.png” title=”Perfume brand ads, Adthena” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ads1.png”][/lightbox]
Look at the top ad there; it seems to demonstrate the most important elements of retail advertising: What is it? How much of a discount will I get? What part of it is free? As it happens, all but one of the top ads from Fragrance Direct followed this scheme.
Overall, it looks as though The Perfume Shop is making the most of its natural advantage and, even though Fragrance Direct is at the top, The Perfume Shop still got more click for its pay. The Perfume Shop had the happiest Christmas: as usual, fortune favours the savvy.
(Main image credit: William C/flickr)