As an ecommerce business owner, knowing how much is being spent on online advertising gives you a sense of how the overall market is performing. Recent data shows that digital ad spend worldwide is expected to hit $601.8 billion in 2023, after a 9.5% increase from the previous year.

But what sectors contribute the most to the rising expenditure? Here’s a breakdown of global digital ad spend by industry.

Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

Digital ad spend by industry: 2022

According to the latest breakdown of digital ad spend by industry, the sector with the highest annual digital ad expenditure is fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). In 2022, the FMCG industry accounted for 19.5% of overall digital ad spend worldwide. In other words, nearly $1 out of every $5 spent on online advertisements came from FMCG businesses. This marked a fractional 0.1 percentage point fall in ad spending share for the sector—in 2021, its share was recorded at 19.6%.

Second on the list sorting digital ad spend by industry is retail. Retail companies were responsible for 12.7% of the total online advertising expenditure last year. Like the FMCG industry, retail’s share of the total digital ad spend also dipped marginally, by 0.2 percentage points from 12.9% in 2021.

→ Click Here to Launch Your Online Business with Shopify

Pharma and health care is in third place on the chart ranking digital ad spend by industry, with 7.9%. Together, the FMCG, retail, and pharma and health care sectors were responsible for 40.1% of the overall digital ad spend in 2022. Telecommunications and entertainment and media round out the top five, with shares of 6.7% and 6.6%, respectively.

Next on the list comparing digital ad spend by industry are travel and leisure and financial services. In 2022, businesses in each of these sectors contributed to 6.1% of the total ad spend worldwide. 

It’s worth noting that the travel industry’s ad expenditure share was markedly higher before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, its share registered at 7.2%, before falling to 5.8% in 2020 and recovering slightly to 6.2% a year later.

The business services sector follows, with a share of 5.7%. Automobiles and technology and electronics complete the top 10 list comparing digital ad spend by industry, with shares of 4.7% and 4.1%, respectively.

Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

Want to learn more?