Data & Insights

15 min

How to Prepare Your Black Friday Cyber Monday Marketing Strategy 2022

Martin Saunders, November 15, 2022

It’s that time again! Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is coming up fast, so advertisers need to form an advertising plan now to capture as much of the increase in shopping activity as possible. 

Last year, Amazon captured 17.7% of overall Black Friday sales, more than any other retailer,  underscoring the size of the opportunity available for Amazon advertisers this year. 

Below we’ll dive into performance data from recent years to give you an idea of what to expect, along with recommendations on how you can maximize the impact of your investment for this year’s Black Friday Cyber Monday peak period.

A look at last year: Amazon ad sales rose in Q4 2021

A look at last year: Amazon ad sales rose in Q4 2021

In Q4 2021, ad sales began to increase and gain momentum around November 1 before peaking on Friday, November 26th (Black Friday) and November 29th (Cyber Monday), with ad sales increasing by 131% and 146%, respectively. 

Although ad sales fell after BFCM, they remained well above the October and November averages in the period between Cyber Monday and the run-up to Christmas. Sales declined sharply on Christmas eve, dropping to nearly 20% below September averages, before recovering on December 26th. 

What does this mean for 2022? We expect ad sales this year to develop in a similar fashion to 2021, with one notable exception: the Prime Early Access Sale, which ran from October 11th-12th this year, will likely mean that many advertisers will see a spike in sales corresponding to those dates.

Gifting impressions show consumer activity beginning earlier in 2022 than in 2021

Gifting impressions show consumer activity beginning earlier in 2022 than in 2021

Impressions resulting from gifting search terms occur when shoppers use search queries commonly associated with gift giving. For example, someone whose search included terms like “Hanukkah gifts,” “gifts for boaters,” or “men’s gifts” would receive ad impressions for gifting search terms.

In the chart above, we can already see some of the impact that the 2022 Prime Early Access Sale has had. There is a spike in the 2022 trendline from October 11th to 12th, when gifting search impressions jump by approximately 2x. 

Another noteworthy feature of the 2022 trendline is the jump in gifting impressions in the first week of November. If growth in gifting impressions continues at a higher-than-expected rate throughout the month, November’s strong start may portend stronger demand for the BFCM peak period (we suggest a posture of cautious optimism).

What does this mean for advertisers? Advertisers who have products with longer consideration windows should start increasing bids now. The same goes for advertisers who want to take a more aggressive tack, starting to bid on gifting search terms now—while monitoring progress and adjusting accordingly—could yield large gains further down the line.

November ad sales followed similar trends in 2020 and 2021, despite a Q4 Prime Day in 2020

November ad sales followed similar trends in 2020 and 2021, despite a Q4 Prime Day in 2020

Despite 2020’s Q4 Prime Day, we see that sales growth evolved in the same way throughout November 2020 and 2021. In both years modest but steady sales growth started on November 1st, before increasing drastically on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Despite inflation, a changing macroeconomic environment, and lingering supply chain issues, this year we expect shopping behaviors to be similar, with ad sales gaining momentum as the month goes on until the days prior to Christmas (see the first chart for December data.) It’s important to make sure that you have enough budget planned to accommodate this increase in traffic.

Spending increased across the board during Cyber 5 2021

Spending increased across the board during Cyber 5 2021

Last year, ad spend increased the most on Black Friday (+79%) and on Cyber Monday (+58%), though ad spend remained elevated throughout the week. 

The days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday present a unique opportunity for advertisers who would like to be more aggressive, as ad spend (and thus CPCs) drop but sales remain higher. For this reason, we recommend that advertisers increase their budgets by 100% from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Regarding Q4 budgets more broadly, poise and flexibility will be important during this year. The macroeconomic environment has become more challenging in many ways, so we recommend checking in on your strategy at the end of each month to see if sales were what you anticipated and adjusting budgets accordingly.

ACOS and ad spend remained high in December 2021

ACOS and ad spend remained high in December 2021

In December 2021, month-over-month ad spend remained relatively flat, hovering slightly below November 2021 averages until just before Christmas, when advertisers increased spend to try to capture some of the last-minute shopping activity.

During early-to-mid December, ACOS remained elevated relative to November before dropping during the week of Christmas. A notable feature of the ACOS trendline is that it briefly dips below the November month-on-month average from December 23rd to 25th. This coincides with an increase in the ad spend trendline, which crosses over the ACOS trendline on December 23rd, with ad spend increasing as ACOS falls from December 23rd to 25th. 

This means ad sales outpaced ad spend in the run-up to, and including, Christmas last year, creating an opportunity for advertisers to capture more sales before the end of the year at a relatively profitable cost.

Automate your Amazon Black Friday Cyber Monday strategy with Perpetua

Because increasing bids & budgets for peak periods isn't easy, Perpetua is upgrading its 1-click opt-in program to make sure your advertising campaigns are on point for BFCM. It will implement the following best practice campaign settings.

  • Date

  • 11/22 - 11/23

  • 11/24 - 11/25

  • 11/26 - 11/27

  • 11/28

  • 11/29 - 12/2

  • Budget

  • 125%

  • 250%

  • 150%

  • 250%

  • 100%

  • ACOS

  • 100%

  • 115%

  • 100%

  • 115%

  • 90%

The opt-in program was built by our data strategists and product team, and was created based on trends we've observed in recent years. For advertisers who want a little more control, our software also allows customers to create a custom strategy directly in Perpetua.

Opt in to implement this ad strategy automatically for all of your relevant campaigns today. Or, if you’re not already a Perpetua customer, you can learn about our industry-leading eCommerce growth infrastructure here.

To get started or learn more about how Perpetua can help you scale your Amazon Advertising business, contact us at hello@perpetua.io