With the 2019 holiday season coming to a close, the retail period of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, known as the “Cyber 5,” has been one for the books. On Amazon, Cyber Monday became the greatest shopping day on record in Amazon’s history, outpacing Black Friday and Amazon’s shopping juggernaut, Prime Day. They sold over 25 million products from the home category on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. From an awareness perspective, they also were the most buzzed-about big retailer on social media that week.
As expected, Amazon reflected upward trends in the ecommerce industry and excelled during the holiday season. Verified by Amazon, marketplace customers around the world bought hundreds of millions of products overall.
Worldwide on Amazon, children made toys the biggest seller. More toys were sold on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 than ever before. Specifically, Hasbro, LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader's Castle and a "Frozen 2" edition of Monopoly were top items of note.
Additionally, fashion had its biggest sales day ever on Amazon. Here in the United States, toys – other than those by L.O.L. Surprise! – took a backseat to products like the Instant Pot Duo80, 23andMe DNA kits, and iRobot Roombas in topping sales, according to CNN. Numerous shoppers also purchased Amazon’s Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K.
Aside from product trends, consumer shopping continued to shift from physical retail to online during the holiday season. This year, fewer shoppers stood in line during the wee hours of the night for Black Friday deals now available from the comfort of home. According to ShopperTrak, brick-and-mortar store sales on Black Friday dropped 6.2% compared to 2018. However, some shoppers did prefer to work off the turkey by shopping on Thanksgiving Day, and physical retail rose 2.3% that day as a result.
What Brands Should Know for 2020
Hopefully, your brand benefited from the record-setting Cyber 5 days.
Adlucent clients prepared for the holiday season by learning from 2019 marketing metrics and using them to excel during the holiday season. Optimized product pages and enhanced creative allowed Adlucent clients to benefit from the lucrative shopping period.
We’ve outlined some of the top tips to implement for 2020 based on trends and strategies the Adlucent team noticed this Holiday Season.
When to Start:
Ramping up before the holiday began and planning campaigns according to historic data made the biggest difference. Beginning November 22, 2019, impressions and clicks started climbing significantly and steadily increased. In the two days before Thanksgiving, average daily impressions for one client jumped from 2-3 million to over 4 million. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, respectively, brought in the highest traffic.
How to Budget Ad Dollars:
In terms of effectiveness, Sponsored Brand Ads performed better than Sponsored Product Ads and cost less to run. Be sure to keep a flexible budget in order to keep campaigns live throughout the day. Due to heightened activity, some ad campaigns needed to be increased by 5-10k per day.
Tips for Keywords:
Do not stress if your strategy doesn’t include the perfect holiday keywords; Adlucent clients did not see significant added lift using holiday-specific keywords. However, you should make sure to focus on owning brand terms, as opposed to bidding on highly competitive keywords during the holiday period to be more efficient. Also, negative keywords implemented throughout the holiday season helped keep ad costs down and made sure spend was funneled into top-converting keywords.
Product Targeting Insight:
Brands that were both invited to participate and willing to pay a fee appeared in the Amazon Holiday Gift Guide. Knowing those products would draw more traffic, Adlucent clients found some success by targeting SKUs in the guide that were relevant to their own offerings. As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approached, we expanded targeting to relevant product listings outside of the Amazon Holiday Gift Guide.
Utilize Lightning Deals:
Adlucent clients saw a year-over-year boost when taking the opportunity to rerun Lightning Deal ads. The data shows a positive impact on consumer purchases from implementing Lightning Deals. Throughout the Cyber 5, shoppers are looking to capitalize on what they perceive to be the best offers available.
Which Type of Campaigns Worked the Best?
Exact match campaigns saw stronger performance over phrase or broad keyword campaigns. Therefore, optimizing and converting these to exact match proved beneficial.
Stay in the Holiday Spirit:
For brands, the holiday shopping afterglow continued after Cyber 5. Continuing into December, impressions, clicks, and sales remained above pre-holiday levels. Additionally, the halo-effect of holiday spending even spread to clients that do not traditionally sell more during the winter months. They, too, received additional traffic which created a sales uptick.
After the Holiday Season, What’s Next?
The end to the Cyber 5 retail holidays doesn’t have to mean an end to lifting sales. The benefits can continue for brands that take advantage of the days following. For example, the days after Christmas and into the New Year present opportunities to target potential customers seeking replacements for returned gifts. And note, information from Deloitte shows that most holiday shoppers do not completely finish holiday shopping until December or January.
Finally, be sure to keep accurate data and analyze the trends. When the holiday rush is over, observing what went well and what did not will prepare your brand for the 2020 holiday season. Brands measuring and leveraging the influx of new data will surely be in “prime” position for success next year.
Have a prosperous New Year! And, if your business is looking to start 2020 off on the right foot in the marketplace, our Amazon experts are ready to guide your strategy and run your marketing. Reach out today to get started.