Black Friday/Cyber Monday Case Study for 2021
In this article, Helium 10 provides insights into consumer behavior trends on the Amazon platform by providing an example from our PPC data. This data sheds light on the Amazon market for dolls over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you run PPC, these insights will help you manage your account throughout the remainder of the holiday season – even if you don’t sell dolls, as some of the behaviors can be seen across a broad range of products. If you don’t use PPC, this example will provide context for the trends that you see in your organic Amazon traffic.
While the news for Black Friday 2021 may leave you with the impression that results were not what was hoped for, it was still a profitable day. As an entrepreneur, you have a different set of concerns and interests than does a major retailer. For you, each day counts. You are more flexible, and this empowers you to move with the market. We hope this example helps you to get excited about the possibilities open to small businesses on the Amazon platform.
Cost per click (CPC) is expected to rise on Black Friday. As clicks may or may not lead to sales, it’s important to pay attention when CPCs begin to rise. We see that some products, including doll, had a moderate increase in CPCs over the Black Friday weekend. If increased CPCs are accompanied by increased traffic, you can maintain your profit margin, but you must monitor other metrics.
Extreme CPC inflation is more likely to happen on expensive items because the more something costs, the more you can afford to pay to get a potential customer. We don’t see this happening on doll, which has an average order value of $32. CPC for searches containing doll ranged from $0.40 to a peak of $0.65. Even though the CPC inflation is not extreme, it’s still only one metric and does not reveal the full picture.
We see an increase in conversion rate prior to Black Friday and continuing through Cyber Monday. While CPC was increasing, conversion rate was also increasing. It’s good to continue spending under these circumstances, as the traffic is converting. The metric you can use to track the relationship between how much you are spending and how much you are selling is called advertising cost of sale (ACoS). As a seller, we recommend that you monitor your ACoS to ensure profitability.
ACoS for doll remained stable for the entire month of November. Since December 2nd it has been rising. CPCs are still at Black Friday levels, but the conversion rate has dropped. As a seller, we recommend that you keep ACoS as high as possible while being mindful of your break-even point. However, remember to consider your total advertising cost of sale (TACoS). Whereas ACoS is specific to your PPC advertising, TACoS takes into account all of your sales across the Amazon platform. PPC advertising can improve organic sales, as customers may see your PPC ad, but click on the organic search result.
This blend of higher conversion rate and increased CPCs are features seen when there is an increase in consumer demand. Impressions are the closest metric available to see the customer intent as represented by their search. Impressions for doll on Black Friday reached three times the level of impressions from the previous Friday. Cyber Monday’s week-over-week increase in impressions was two times the level of impressions compared with November 19th. This is a substantial uptick, considering that sales for doll have been increasing since late September.
In the case of doll, consumer interest (and subsequent sales) started much earlier than Black Friday, but the anticipated Black Friday and Cyber Monday spikes also happened. Use the metrics outlined above to take advantage of consumer interest, however it manifests. By focusing on the quality of traffic, you can spend your advertising dollars wisely and reap the benefits of Amazon PPC.