The Complete Amazon Black Friday & Cyber Monday Marketing Strategy 2020

The Complete Amazon Black Friday & Cyber Monday Marketing Strategy 2020
By Franz Jordan in Amazon Marketing Tips, Amazon PPC. Last updated on

If you’re reading this, you’re probably smack dab in the middle of what might be your most profitable quarter selling on Amazon, ever. 

It’s a busy season — not only are Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, but we’re hot on the heels of Amazon’s first fall-season Prime Day. With twinkling lights and santa statues already making their first appearances, it’ll be Christmas day in no time. 

Called your parents yet? 

If you’re elbow-deep in this mayhem to cash in on the rush, your marketing strategy needs to be rock-solid. With the right preparation, you stand to make a holiday-happy profit on Amazon. 

Miss a beat, however, and you’ll spend the New Year festivities handling returns, filling a drained inventory, and explaining to your boss why your ACoS turned the size of your Thanksgiving turkey. 

Not to worry — just follow the advice in this article. We’ll give you some background information on Black Friday / Cyber Monday, exclusive data from our Sellics Prime Day report, and a solid marketing strategy for blissful peace of mind. 

No thanks needed: Just enjoy your freedom and direct your thankfulness to noble causes.

Let’s dig in!

Is your competitor’s ACoS lower than yours?

As part of your holiday prep, benchmark your Amazon PPC performance against your competitors’ now – for free – to learn where your attention is needed.

 

What is Black Friday / Cyber Monday?

Black Friday is the traditional prelude to Christmas shopping in the USA. It takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which is always on the fourth Thursday in November. 

A nice, long family weekend, with plenty of time for shopping — and enough heavy discounts to match the festive disposition. 

Since everyone had the same idea and hit the road in unison, pedestrian and vehicle traffic used to stuff the streets and stores to deadlock. 

Allegedly, oversaturated police in Philadelphia started using the code name “Black Friday” to refer to the pandemonium. It stuck — also because, for years, retailers turned their number from red to black on this day. 

Black Friday (which soon included the weekend) was created by offline retailers. Once the technology of online stores was advanced enough to offer shoppers a real alternative, however, digital businesses wanted a piece of the action and simply added one more day as a counterpart: Cyber Monday. Naturally, since then, Amazon has extended the buying frenzy, promoting sales for weeks before and after 

For years, the deals and shoppers’ focus have increasingly gone digital: favouring online stores and marketplaces from the comfort of their homes over facing long line-ups at brick and mortar stores. 

But this year, eCommerce holiday shopping is expected to make up an unprecedentedly large piece of the pie – with even former holdouts taking their business online

In 2020’s new normal, eCommerce is not only preferred but sometimes mandated – with some of the USA’s largest retailers canceling in-store events over their concern for creating crowded spaces in the wake of COVID-19. 

And, we expect the holiday season to do nothing but accelerate this trend. 

So how can you make the most of this opportunity? 

Before we get into stats and strategies, let’s get some important dates out of the way:

When is Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2020?

  • Black Friday: 27th November 2020
  • Cyber Monday: 30th November 2020

Amazon has yet to announce the sales’ official start and end times, but ‘Black Friday’ & ‘Cyber Monday’ deals can be expected to span for up to three weeks beginning on the 20th. 

Bridging the gap between Prime Day and the quarter’s other major deal days, Amazon’s Holiday Dash deals are going on now.

When is the deadline to submit Lightning Deals for Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2020?

The deadline for lightning deal submission is

October 9th, 2020

We’ll revisit the importance of Lightning Deals later. For now, let’s explore why you should invest in the Q4 rush.

Why Black Friday / Cyber Monday is a big deal for your Amazon business

Reliably, Amazon sees an impressive YoY growth. But this year, they’re seeing a record-breaking volume of sales that have far exceeded expectations. In fact, compared to last year, Amazon recorded nearly 2x growth in Q3. 

For sellers and vendors, this is great news: A rising tide on Amazon lifts all boats. In fact, Prime Day this year – a first in Q4 – marked the two biggest sales days ever for small and medium-sized businesses on the platform, growing 60% from 2019.

A reliable growth pattern combined with conditions that favour online shopping (due to covid-19), all indications suggest we’re heading into a record-breaking spending season on Amazon. 

Compared to the same period last year – between March and July – a look at Sponsored Products performance shows that revenue is up 81%, CvR is up 11%, and that CPC is down 12%. 

Let’s look at how you can get a piece of the holiday pie.

Marketing & Advertising Strategies to Maximize Your Profit on Black Friday / Cyber Monday: DO’s and DON’Ts

Do increase your ad budget

Revenue growth is likely to surpass even significant increases in ad spend on deal days, so don’t be shy. 

While tough competition is likely to drive CPCs much higher, this will be met by an increase in ASP and CVR, resulting in a favorable RoAS. 

PPC Performance metrics on Prime Day
PPC Performance Metrics from Sellics’ 2019 Prime Day Study show an increase in RoAS

Do optimize your bids – especially during key phases.

Leading up to the holiday deal days, you’ll want to gradually increase your bids as CPCs in the market rise, to cash in on an increasing CvR.

On Black Friday, we recommend you increase your bids by 30% and on Cyber Monday by 25% – RoAS is high and likely to hit an annual high on Cyber Monday.

Bid optimization roadmap for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The projected Q4 ad revenue trend highlights the importance of increasing bids on deal days.

When it’s over, remember that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just the beginning of the serious shopping season – we’ll see a gradual increase in CvR and revenue through mid-December, meaning you should consider increasing your bids and/or keeping them high until as late as the 20th of December. 

Do target peak times

Cash in on FOMO: As the day draws to an end, shoppers feel the Fear Of Missing Out. The golden hours between 7-11 pm PST are the most profitable of the year, with almost 30% of the Cyber Monday revenue concentrating on bedtime. Pinpoint this sweet spot with Sellics Ad Scheduling.

Do benchmark your performance

How can you tell if your ads are performing well relative to your competitors’ in your same category and marketplace? Use the new Sellics Benchmarker [Beta] to learn where your attention is needed most. 

Don’t wait – get ready now

Polish your listings (see below for the best ones), build up your reviews, stock up your inventory, automate your PPC campaigns.

Perhaps most importantly, you should optimize your campaign structure

For Sponsored Products, we recommend using automatic campaigns for research, category campaigns for reach, and manual campaigns to drive ad revenue.

Then, use the top performing keywords and ASINs from your (optimized) Sponsored Products campaigns for your Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display campaigns.

Don’t neglect different ad types 

Our studies show that Sponsored Brands are under-utilized but offer, in some cases, a better ACoS than Sponsored Products. Even when they don’t, they have the potential to boost your products’  overall performance – even when consumers don’t engage with the ad.

Finally, to target low hanging fruit near the buy box, consider scooping up additional sales with Sponsored Display ads.

Don’t highlight poor-selling items

While shoppers are definitely on the lookout for a deal, a clearance-sale price isn’t a quick fix for a product that’s already not selling well. Instead, leverage the additional traffic to put your very best foot forward. 

Promote high-ticket items that are sure to sell well.

How to Prepare for Black Friday / Cyber Monday on Amazon 

Since ads drive almost 40 % of all Cyber Week sales, it’s a good idea to nail down your advertising strategy. 

Tip: How to easily bulk edit your budgets and bids for the holiday season with Sellics

Now that you know how to structure your PPC campaigns let’s also take a look at an Amazon Advertising holiday-exclusive: Cyber Week Lightning Deals.

What Are Amazon Lightning Deals?

Lightning Deals are flash sales of eligible products that appear prominently throughout Amazon for a limited time, usually around four hours. 

The highly visible placement, substantial discount, and limited availability make Lightning Deals very attractive for shoppers and advertisers alike. Unsurprisingly, this promotion comes at a price, especially during the holidays.  

How do Lightning Deals Work?

Submitting a Lightning Deal doesn’t mean that your promotion will automatically appear. With the help of an algorithm, Amazon determines the best deals out of the pool of submitted ads and ranks them according to the likelihood of which will drive the most sales.

Deals with the best price, quantity, and inventory are then awarded the best time and position on Amazon.

To find out more about how to set up Lightning Deals and their strict minimum requirements, please refer to our Prime Day article.

Is your competitor’s Conversion Rate better than yours?

As part of your holiday prep, benchmark your Amazon PPC performance against your competitors’ now – for free – to learn where your attention is needed.

 

Conclusion

Congratulations! You just read everything you need to know about Amazon Black Friday / Cyber Monday advertising. No imaginary clickbait listicle, but hard, data-driven facts so you can piece together your individual marketing strategy and power through the holiday season.

For maximum advertising efficiency, combine rule-based bid automation with keyword harvesting. With this state-of-the-art technology, your ads will be running on the most efficient bids and the most profitable keywords. 

Don’t forget to start early — Spend some time reading up on ACoS (the Amazon ROAS) and consider trying out Sponsored Brands ads. It pays off to understand how Amazon’s dynamic bidding and placement options work. 

While you’re at it, review how to run effective product targeting campaigns.

If you’re new to Sellics, start a free 14-day trial and explore the entire advertising suite, including bidding automation and PPC management. 

Stick to the Sellics strategy and you’ll be painting your numbers black in no time!

Did you know? Seller Central only stores the last 60 days of your sales activity — As a Sellics customer, you can review your entire Amazon ads history and see how well your Black Friday / Cyber Monday efforts are performing, year after year. Don’t forget to let us know how you did, we love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays — 
From all of us at Team Sellics

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