Black Friday Cyber Monday: By the Numbers

By Michelle Meleskie on November 11, 2020

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a few weeks away. It's time for Amazon advertisers to start thinking about how to maximize the increased traffic the holiday season is sure to bring.

We took a look at the data to help inform (and automate 😏) your Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2020 Amazon advertising strategy.

2019 Sales, Spend and ACOS through Black Friday and Cyber Monday

*Baseline made up of aggregate average sales from previous 5 weeks (Weekdays).

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Last year (as expected) spending started to significantly increase on Thanksgiving, with increases in spending of almost 200% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. ACOS decreased for all of Cyber 5 with the largest decreases in ACOS on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with ACOS increasing on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday.

Key Takeaways: Start to increase budgets on Thanksgiving, as this is when spending starts to really increase and ACoS decreases. The day after Cyber Monday you should lower bids and budgets as this is when spending drops and ACOS rises.

2019 ACOS drivers: CPC and Conversion Rate

*Baseline made up of aggregate average sales from previous 5 weeks (Weekdays).

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Despite an increased CPC over Cyber 5, there was a decrease in or flat ACOS as conversion rates increased significantly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

On the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, CPCs were still high, but ACOS has increased as conversion rates went back to normal. For this reason, we recommend bringing your budget down as you decrease your ACOS target on this day.

Key Takeaways: CPC increases over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, but is offset by increased conversion rates to keep ACOS down. You may need to increase bids as CPCs rise, but decrease them on the day after Cyber Monday as CPCs are still high, and conversion rates have returned to normal.

When does Cyber 5 really begin?

*Baseline made up of aggregate average sales from previous 5 weeks (Weekdays).

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Shoppers start to browse the Sunday before Black Friday, as there is an increase in impressions and a decrease in conversion rates on this day.

Key Takeaways: Shoppers are thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and you should be too. Make sure your listings are cleaned up in advance, and expect to see a decrease in your conversion rates during this week.

Should you start to increase your ACOS targets and budgets this early?

*Baseline made up of aggregate average sales from previous 5 weeks (Weekdays).

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We recommend leaving your budgets and ACOS targets until Thanksgiving. There was an increase in ACOS in the week leading up to the Cyber 5 weekend last year as Impressions and Spend increased.

Key Takeaways: Although shoppers start browsing the Sunday before Black Friday, they are not converting as much and ACOS is increasing. If you are increasing budgets and bids in this week, you will likely see your ACOS increase even more.

How is shopping different for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

*Baseline made up of aggregate average sales from previous 5 weeks (Weekdays).

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Shoppers are doing more browsing over Cyber 5. There were significant increases in impressions, but decreased clickthrough rates.

However, when shoppers do click an ad on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, they are much more likely to convert.

Key Takeaways: Shoppers are browsing more, and when they click on an ASIN, they have a high purchase intent. More than ever it is important that your product images and descriptions (along with your pricing) are enticing.

Automate your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy with Perpetua

For Prime Day 2020, we allowed customers to engage with Perpetua's AI-powered ad engine and build custom, AI-powered strategies with Perpetua Recommendations. Advertisers could define budget and target ACOS for their goals, depending on their strategy. This, paired with Perpetua's ability to bid more aggressively during higher traffic times, resulted in significantly higher conversions for those who participated than those who didn't.

While Prime Day this year saw increased traffic, Amazon's major shopping event not drive the sales performance we've seen in prior years. With that said, companies who opted-in to Perpetua’s Prime Day program or implemented a custom strategy on their account saw higher overall conversions across both Prime Days compared to advertisers who did not.

Now, we're bringing this program to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Here's how it works:

  • 50% budget increase on Thanksgiving (Ramp up starting November 26)

  • 100% budget increase on Black Friday through to Cyber Monday (November 27 - November 30)

  • Budgets back to default and 10% target ACOS decrease (December 1)

  • ACOS targets back to default December 2

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, AI-powered 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 hello@perpetua.io.