Between a shorter holiday shopping season and trade headwinds, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 offered respite for retailers. Full weekend sales are estimated to have increased 19% from LY, topping $29B. This year the shift towards mobile and digital shopping was decided: Cyber Monday saw $9.4B in e-commerce sales and $81.5B has been spent online since the beginning of last month. Innovations to the digital experience are keeping pace with consumer expectations. Of course, Amazon was an enormous player within the digital segment: Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day in their history, and “hundreds of millions” of products were ordered throughout the weekend. As VP of Marketplace Strategy, I focus on accelerating business for our clients on Amazon. In lockstep with the channel at large, our clients saw big wins. Below I offer highlights of what success looked like on Amazon during this momentous weekend and how it was achieved.VIEWING PROMOTION AS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Whether through one-day shipping or announcing free Whole Foods delivery for Prime Members, Amazon has cemented their focus on customer experience. In concert with that mentality, it is a best practice to provide consumers with a strong deal for the entire period of Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Some of our clients began promotions at the beginning of the week; we saw sales pick up from that effort as early as the Wednesday prior to Black Friday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer one-day events, rather a week-long shopping experience, in which the consumer is doing in-depth research on what they want and shopping throughout the week. Amazon keeps the momentum going after the Black Friday weekend, with Limited Time Deals running two weeks after BFCM and Holiday Deals beginning the week of December 16th.
SUPPORTING PROMOTION, STRATEGICALLY
Our clients ran discounts ranging from 15% to 30% off, across a range of promotion types including Vendor Powered Coupons, Email Promo Codes, and Deal of the Day. We found that the most successful promotions were those coupled with support, both internally through Amazon Advertising or externally through email marketing and social media. Brands that did not participate in any deals saw a significant decline, some with business decreases of -25% when compared to an average week. For those brands that did offer a promotion, we saw an average lift of 131% on Black Friday when compared to an average day. Cyber Monday numbers were even stronger, with our client brands experiencing a 223% increase over an average day. Amazon Deal of the Day, offered on Cyber Monday, helped drive sales up +40% to those on Black Friday.
Promotions were the route to achieving the highest sales in Amazon’s history, and they were emboldened by Amazon Advertising. Among our clients, Amazon Advertising drove over 40% of the total sales during the four-day period. With massive amounts of competition and noise on the channel, brands that bolstered their efforts with internal search marketing efforts stood out. Reviewing Amazon Advertising in depth, Cyber Monday drove the strongest performance in terms of volume and efficiency. Brand demand was also the highest on Cyber Monday, as consumers shifted from brick and mortar shopping to reap the deep discounts online. As expected, Sponsored Product Ads drove the majority of sales, followed by Sponsored Brand Ads. We saw success with our display advertising (Amazon DSP) as well, though it was retargeting efforts that influenced the majority of the weekend’s sales.
Amazon’s incredible growth over BFCM, year-over-year, proves that consumers are satisfied with both the deals and the experience. Strategically investing and activating on the channel can drive revenue and accelerate bottom line growth. If you would like to discuss powering your brand’s Amazon strategy for 2020, reach out to us.