How Amazon Sellers Approached The Cyber 5 In 2021

Data has began flowing in for the Black Friday to Cyber Monday gross sales occasion (the “Cyber 5” or “Turkey 5”). 

I wrote a recap of Black Friday on Amazon

earlier this week, positing that Friday’s event was underwhelming in contrast with prior years. And certainly latest evaluation from Adobe Analytics discovered that gross sales had been down on a year-on-year foundation for each Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

Amazon mentioned in a blog post today that it was a ‘record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday’ for the corporate, however didn’t specify precisely what sort of report was damaged. 

Across a cohort of 100 purchasers at my firm Bobsled Marketing, we discovered that gross sales quantity did develop over the vacation, simply not as rapidly as they did final yr. Sales over the 5-day interval had been up 52% in contrast with the prior yr (2020). This is in contrast with a gross sales improve of 109% final yr (2020 in contrast with 2019). 

While the outcomes had been muted, there are nonetheless classes to be discovered from the occasion.  Here are the developments on my radar from these early outcomes. 

Brands began selling offers earlier

Many manufacturers arrange their reductions sooner than common this yr. Among our purchasers at Bobsled Marketing, many initiated offers beginning early within the Thanksgiving week. Some of these opted for a step-up promotional plan, the place reductions began small however elevated over the vacation occasion. This had the good thing about capturing early buyers who didn’t need to take the possibility that inventory would run out, but in addition capturing buyers who had been motivated by larger reductions. At the identical time, the manufacturers weren’t main with their absolute best deal, preserving revenue margins. 

The Cyber 5 vacation, together with different buying occasions like Prime Day, additionally carry a problem in that a whole lot of “window buying” happens within the days main as much as the occasion. As a consequence, we typically see larger promoting impressions, however decrease precise gross sales and return on advert spend. Brands that run promotions or reductions throughout that ‘window buying’ interval may truly have the ability to carry these purchases ahead and seize market share.  

Discounts had been smaller

Anecdotally, buyers appear disenchanted within the depth of discounting this yr.  

Amazon’s language in its personal press launch was curious – as an alternative of discussing the low cost quantity, the main line was about how some merchandise on Amazon had been discounted extra deeply than different retailers: “On Black Friday alone, Amazon provided clients merchandise with unimaginable financial savings in comparison with different retailers”

According to a latest study from ecommerce analytics agency Profitero, Amazon had the bottom costs by a mean of 14% in comparison with all different main retailers. This distracts from the truth that reductions throughout the retail ecosystem had been maybe smaller general. 

Brands appeared to take an identical tack outdoors of Amazon too. The junk mail advisory agency Belardi Wong requested their purchasers if they’re deliberate to be kind of promotional throughout Cyber 5 weekend this yr in comparison with final yr. 26% mentioned they’d be extra promotional, whereas 48% mentioned they’d maintain on the identical degree of promotions.

Not working offers in any respect

As common, there are manufacturers that maintain out on discounting in any respect. Around 10% of our purchasers at Bobsled Marketing abstained from working promotions or growing their promoting price range over the interval – a lot according to earlier years. Reasons for holding again vary from a philosophical aversion to the vacation, to easily not having satisfactory stock to run offers.  

Despite not working offers, many of those manufacturers noticed gross sales will increase over the buying occasion, although the gross sales will increase had been typically lower than those that took an lively place. 

Black Friday versus Cyber Monday

Perhaps on account of the truth that offers began earlier this yr, Cyber Monday was much less aggressive for manufacturers who had been promoting their merchandise on Amazon. 

We discovered amongst our consumer group that the common Cost Per Click (CPC) was at $1.67 on Black Friday and markedly decrease at $1.28 on Cyber Monday (in comparison with a mean of $1.17). 

However, conversion charges on Cyber Monday (11%) had been decrease than on Black Friday (16%),  that means a relative wash when it comes to which day was higher to spend money on.   Black Friday was extra aggressive however buyers had been primed to purchase, and fewer inclined to attend for Monday’s offers. 

What the profitable manufacturers did

For manufacturers who noticed nice outcomes, their success might be tied to an general widespread denominator: they promoted their offers successfully.

Many ran on-site ppc advertisements, an efficient technique since many promotions comparable to Prime Exclusive Deals and coupons present up prominently within the advert unit. 

Some manufacturers leveraged outdoors advertising and marketing channels as nicely. Brands with a powerful e mail checklist and natural social media following used these channels to advertise their offers on Amazon. 

Others selected to unfold the phrase via influencers. This yr TikTok turned a extra mainstream channel. Influencers on TikTok, like on different social media channels, can setup Amazon affiliate accounts and obtain commissions on purchases made through their monitoring hyperlinks. 

Other savvy manufacturers leveraged a PR course of that allowed them to be featured in Gift Guides or Deal Guides by mainstream or area of interest media publications.  


What to make of all of it

Overall, the playbook for working a profitable Amazon Cyber 5 marketing campaign has not modified a lot. In 2020 I used to be enthusiastic about Amazon Live video as an innovative promotional channel, however this characteristic obtained much less ‘air time’ from Amazon themselves and positively much less focus from manufacturers this yr. 

While the general gross sales progress slowed in 2021, the massive takeaway is the truth that the Cyber 5 is not only a 5-day occasion. Shoppers have been educated to search for offers earlier and earlier within the season. This is a vital lesson to take into planning for 2022.

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