Yelp announced last week that display ad revenue declined 4% on the year, following earlier promises that it would phase out display ads in efforts to improve the user experience. Combined with Apple’s well-publicized plan to enable ad blocking, the information would seem to herald a shift away from display advertising.

However, that news has not deterred brands from diving into mobile advertising. Mobile programmatic display ad spending will surpass its desktop equivalent for the first time this year, and 36% of marketers allocate over 10% of their online budgets to mobile. With a growing number of retail brands investing more in mobile than desktop ads, the question arises: Which retailers will benefit from the transition?

The same ones that currently benefit, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail, which finds that the brands with the most mobile impressions also capture the most on desktop. This is true across categories, from Ikea in Home & Gift to Zales in Watches & Jewelry – suggesting that those who understand the value of display advertising are also the leaders in optimizing creative for smaller screens.

Unique Brand Ads vs. Relative ImpressionsThere is one exception in the Beauty & Skincare category, where Bath & Body Works generates the most mobile impressions, despite having a comparatively small set of unique creative assets. In contrast, Sephora has a more diversified campaign strategy with nearly 12 times more mobile creatives, but only outdoes its competitors on desktop. As mobile ad spending overcomes desktop and websites like Yelp cut down on ad space, those strategies may well shift amid increased competition for views.

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