Black Friday Cyber Monday 2021: What You Need to Know
4 min

Black Friday Cyber Monday 2021: What You Need to Know

Michelle Meleskie, October 20, 2021

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means peak sales events are near. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are opportunities for advertisers to stand out from the competition, reach already engaged shoppers where they are browsing, and drive incremental sales. But how do you know how to best optimize your ads to achieve maximum success for your brand?

It seems every time we release a blog post about trends in the industry, we've talked about how we are back to the "new normal." However, it has become more and more challenging to compare the year ahead to previous years given how many things have changed.

With that in mind, this year we wanted to cover what the actual impact of the pandemic was on Q4 2020, and what this means as we move into Q4 2021.

Prime Day Moved back to June in 2021


One significant difference between 2020 and 2021 is that Prime Day was moved to Q4 in 2020, with it returning to its usual June date in 2021. With an additional shopping holiday during the quarter, we found that Cyber 5 lost some of the momentum we usually see.

What does this mean for 2021? Take into consideration how having Prime Day in Q4 impacted your sales and how much you spent on advertising last year. You will likely see a slower October, with higher spending and sales coming in November and December. We don't anticipate a spike in sales similar to Prime Day until we reach Cyber 5.

Despite shipping delays, 2020 was similar to 2019


Leading up to the 2020 holiday season, there were concerns regarding how much sales would increase on Amazon, as there were extreme shipping delays. However, despite all these concerns, sales growth almost identically mirrored 2019, showing that shoppers habits are pretty much set. One important note: Prime Day did occur in October of 2020, which we believe resulted in Cyber 5 not seeing the same growth as in 2020.

What does this mean for 2021? Despite ongoing talks of supply chain issues this year, we expect shopping behaviours to mirror this trend once again, and continuing to make purchases up until the final days before Christmas. Ensure that you have adequate budget planned (see below) to accomadate for this increase in traffic.

Holiday Shopping hasn't kicked off... yet


There has been a lot of talk about people beginning their holiday shopping early, although it doesn't look like this has come to Amazon yet. We typically see gifting traffic increase at the start of November, and aren't seeing any increases earlier than anticipated.

What does this mean for 2021? The above further reinforces that shoppers aren't behaving significantly differently this Q4 than in previous years and beginning their shopping early. That being said, if you have products that have larger consideration windows and you need to bid on gifting keywords, keep in mind that this traffic will start to increase at the start of November.

So what should your strategy for 2021 be?

We recommend using 2020 as guidance for setting your 2021 budgets, with the one caveat being shifting any budget from Prime Day to Cyber 5.

Increases in Spending over Cyber 5


In 2020, we saw spending spike slightly over 100% relative to what advertisers had been spending in the weeks prior, and we recommend doing something similar.

The name of the game in 2021 is being flexible and adjusting as necessary and as new trends emerge. We recommend checking in on your strategy at the end of each month to see if sales were what you anticipated or if things are shifting to earlier in the year.

What about for the month of December? We recommend being flexible. Plan to have a month similar to the last 2 years, but also be open to changing budgets and bids as new trends emerge.


Spending increases up until shortly before Christmas, with shoppers drastically slowing spending around the 22nd of December. Important to note is that we also see ACOS climb in this final week. The best time to capture sales are earlier in December when there is increased spend without an increased ACOS.

Automate your Holiday strategy with Perpetua

We understand that increasing bids & budgets for each holiday isn't easy, so we are upgrading our 1-click opt-in program. You will see this directly in Perpetua in the upcoming weeks.

This program was built by our data strategists and product team, and was created from trends we've seen in prior years. For advertisers who want more control, our software allows customers to create a custom, smart strategy directly in Perpetua.

To get started with Perpetua, or if we can help support your Q4 advertising strategy in any way, let us know at

To get started or learn more about how Perpetua can help you scale your Amazon Advertising business