The Challenge of a Prominent Position: Decomposing Shopping Goals in Sponsored Search Advertising

Qing Huang, Bingjia Shao, Xiaoling Li, Tao He, Juanyi Liu, Xinjian Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some sponsored search advertisers might benefit from a top ranking for its primary effect, while others might suffer a loss when their product advertising is located in less prominent positions. This phenomenon could also reduce the efficiency of consumer decisions, leading to disadvantage in terms of product information. Thus, exploring strategies that reduce advertisers’ reliance on the position effect is important. Drawing on shopping goals theory, this study explores the moderating effect of consumers’ shopping goals through product type, promotion information, and keyword specificity. It tests the hypothesized structural model through hierarchical linear modeling, using a unique data set from a well-known Chinese e-commerce platform. The results show that both click-through and conversion rates decrease with the drop in advertising position. However, keyword specificity and the promotion information embedded in keywords, as well as experience (vs. search) products, can reduce the effect of position rank on both click-through and conversion rates. Additional analyses provide valuable insights for managers to improve their advertising effectiveness and apply efficient keyword strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advertising
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2021


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