Ecommerce experts spend all year perfecting their strategies in wait for the Turkey Five: Black Friday through Cyber Monday. The big time has passed and with it came major lessons that we can use for the holiday season and beyond. From consumer interest to seller habits, let’s break down the data, so you can succeed.

The Data

The trends have held steady and Black Friday through Cyber Monday saw major increases in ad spend and sales. On the two major marketplaces, Amazon and Walmart, there was an increase in ad spend of $1 million on Black Friday alone. The following days were the same year-over-year or increased in 2023. 

When compared to Big Deal Days’ year-over-year increase of 53%, it may seem like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are less effective in recent years. However, there are several factors to consider:

  • Big Deal Days is a relatively new concept from Amazon, making it a larger draw for consumers and sellers alike. This discrepancy is also due to comparable data being light, making the overall increase appear larger. 
  • Occurring a month prior, Big Deal Days may have allowed consumers to begin their shopping early, instead of waiting for the post-Thanksgiving sales.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are not Amazon/Walmart exclusive, meaning that shoppers could find deals on other marketplaces and directly from sellers, directing traffic away from the main marketplaces.

With all this in mind, the consistent growth we’ve seen year-over-year for this shopping period shows that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still as powerful for sellers of all sizes as ever.

Thoughts from a Teikametrics Leader

With Amazon running deals earlier in November, some volume of traffic, spend, and sales were pulled forward by about a week. These deals capturing traffic earlier in the month spread performance out over 11 days, rather than five, creating the appearance of softer YoY growth compared to past years.

Reviewing Turkey 5 (Thanksgiving – Cyber Monday) specifically, competition was fierce – both within the marketplace, and across channels. Sales Per Click on Amazon was relatively flat during Turkey 5 YoY. Sales Per Click (SPC), the average amount of revenue driven by each click, indicates how much we’re willing to pay for a click. With flat SPC and increasing CPCs (+16% during T5 YoY), we can reason that advertisers recognized they had to get more aggressive to stay competitive and drive traffic. This decision to get more aggressive led to flat or slightly increased traffic and sales volume, while efficiency declined.

In all, the aggregated performance over the 11 days returned greater YoY traffic and sales growth, and indicates that Amazon was wise to entice holiday shoppers with deals earlier in the season than in years past.

—Laura Pattison, Senior Director of Strategy & Insights

The Takeaways

The biggest trend that we noticed across accounts, categories, marketplaces, and other variables is that Black Friday is no longer an in-person event. Instead of heading to the store early in the morning, shoppers are simply hopping online for their deals. That makes spend and strategy even more important for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

That being said, the intervening days are less trafficked and less competitive. This indicates that consumers are more focused on the shopping holidays and plan to complete purchases then. 

Additionally, the overall increase of 18.1% in daily ad spend year-over-year shows how the landscape has changed. Competition is an ever-increasing factor and marketplaces themselves are becoming more difficult to manage.

To compensate for these challenges, sellers need to level up their performance. Better strategies, smarter listings, and forward-thinking are all critical for growing in 2024 and beyond. The solution? Artificial Intelligence.

Predictive AI software like Teikametrics’ can do what others can’t. Instead of using historical data, it forecasts shopper interest and habits, meaning that you can spend your budget on higher-performing campaigns. Additionally, AI automates the entire optimization process meaning that you can improve every single listing, every hour, without needing to hire new employees or spend more time yourself. See what makes us different firsthand.