Black Friday 2021

Black Friday spending in the US fell for the first time ever as consumers ventured back into physical stores and started their holiday shopping earlier than usual.

According to data from Adobe, US consumers spent $8.9 billion in 2021 compared to $9 billion in 2020 for Black Friday. Spending for Thanksgiving this year was recorded at $5.1 billion, the same as 2020. These figures were lower than expected and it was the first time that retailers had seen decreased spending during one of the largest annual shopping periods.

Across the pond, data from banks and card issuers suggests that UK shoppers spent more than one fifth more than they did in 2020. The number of payments via Barclaycard were up 23% between midnight and 5pm compared with the same period in 2020, when most of the UK high street was in lockdown, and was up 2.4% from 2019. The card business also reported a jump in spend for Cyber Monday with the volume of payments up by 16.7% from 2020 and 4.5% from 2019.

Despite the overall drop in US sales, figures from Captify show that Amazon saw a 260% increase in usage on Black Friday year on year and had 89% more searches this year compared to Walmart.

What’s more, according to Numerator, with its sprawling marketplace, next-day delivery options and competitive pricing, Amazon captured an impressive 17.7% of Black Friday sales- more than any other retailer.

Having looked at Black Friday performance both in the US and UK, we wanted to delve a little deeper into the brands that we manage on Amazon and compare our clients’ sales with overall performance trends.

To do this we analysed brand performance year over year on clients whose advertising activity we manage. Overall, we recorded a 40% increase in grocery sales and a 38% increase in the beauty category. Across all of our clients, we saw a 44% increase in advertising spend which was matched by a 38% increase in sales across all advertising clients.

The primary reason behind this increase is because year over year we saw an increased number of competitors which made it even more challenging for us to capture consumers in the research phase. So, in order for us to compete for share of voice, our CPCs had to increase. Overall, our accounts over both grocery and consumer electronics saw an average of a 20% increase in CPC’s when comparing CPC’s from Nov 20 vs Nov 21. What’s more, we saw an increase in the volume of generic search terms, which in turn, triggered generic ads which we know have higher CPC’s generally.

It should be noted that increasingly Amazon is a pay-to-play platform, whereby if you do not invest in advertising, you simply will struggle to maintain top-of-search visibility. This is exacerbated by the hype around Black Friday and the high budgets larger brands invest in the event. All of these factors have resulted in an increase in spending throughout the period.

Black Friday can be a fantastic way to leverage sales, outreach your brand to new customers and build data. At Tambo, we take a 360 approach to your business, leveraging our expertise, data analysis tools and creative marketing strategies to ensure that your business benefits from Black Friday events in the long term. Yes, sales will increase during this week but it's how you anchor these events to expand your brand and revenue further.

Enjoy this time of year to boost your brand awareness, build customer loyalty and strategically encourage cross selling and upselling opportunities for your brand. You might be launching a discount on one product but you are impacting your whole business for the year to come.

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