Amazon’s Black Friday Game
eStoreMedia takes a closer look at Amazon’s November discount sales and retailer pricing strategies
The hottest sales period of the year for retailers is over – it is now time to gather what can be learned and prepare for an even better 2018. For almost half a century Black Friday has been the most celebrated day of sales. Amazon, however, changed the Black Friday game on November the 1st 2017, when it launched the Black Friday Deals Store. It then set off a series of discounts all the way up to the so-called “Turkey 5” (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) and straight through the whole Cyber Week. Amazon is attempting to create a seamless Black November shopping marathon.
Case Study: What a prolonged discount period means for brands.
eStoreCheck tracks several hundred thousand products daily across e-stores for brand owners and manufacturers. The decision was made, to pick two categories for a quick case study on price & promo strategies over November: Coffee Machines and Male Shaving & Epilators.
These are the top 5 things you should consider in 2018 for your product categories:
1. The game really starts long before Black Friday
Amazon’s Black Friday game is showing noticeable success in expanding the promo sales period, with around 20-30% more products being on promotion at the start of November, compared to October. This effectively initiated Black Friday sales, a full 3 weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.
2. Black Friday saw more products on discount, though the discount depth was most attractive during Cyber Week
Over Black Friday the range of products on promotion broadened and the depth of discounts subsequently started to increase. The highest discounts were around Cyber Week, with discounts exceeding the 80% mark. Discounts continued all the way through Cyber Week and lasted until the end of November.
3. The flipside of discount deals: some prices go up
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not only about discounts. It would seem that retailers attempted to partially offset their investment with up to 20% of the products having had their prices increased.
4. Observe the competition – general trend is one thing, single brands or products may surprise
Coffee Machines in general started to introduce discounts only during Cyber Week as e.g. Bunn was clearly intensifying the depth of promotions during Cyber Week, while they started November quite slow. In contrast, Mr. Coffee saw parts of its portfolio aggressively discounted across the whole month of November.
Male Shavers & Epilators were on average discounted before Black Friday, with discounts peaking on Black Friday followed by subsequent decreases. The trend was led by the biggest brands Braun and Philips as they started the most intensive battle on Black Friday. The other brands were already more aggressively discounted in the beginning of November.
5. When Cyber Week ends, the game still continues
The follow-up week after Cyber Week still saw intensive promotions, as both categories had ca. 40% of the products on discount – the highest discount having been only slightly lower in comparison to Cyber Week and even greater when compared to Black Friday.
Black Friday has effectively been transformed to Black November. Over such an extended period of time, sales strategies become more complex and challenging to successfully plan. Monitoring online price trends and using the right tools to do so will help brand owners and manufacturers manage their pricing strategies and distribution channels more effectively in order to remain part of the Black Friday Game or rather Black November Game.
We recommend you contact the eStoreCheck team and access the tools to help you better design your next Black November e-commerce strategy.