By Chris Elliott, Insights Manager at Edge by Ascential
The growing adoption of ecommerce due to COVID-19 led to Black Friday and Cyber Monday breaking online sales records this year. According to Adobe, ecommerce sales on Black Friday rose 21.6% year on year and by 15.1% on Cyber Monday.
Amazon gained significantly from the boost in ecommerce spending and as it started its Black Friday deals a week before the days themselves, it will have been the first port of call for many shoppers.
Edge by Ascential has analyzed the popular search terms over “Cyber 5” – the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday – and found that unsurprisingly shopper search behavior was focused on Consumer Electronics. The latest generation of gaming consoles topped the harts with the PS5 and Nintendo Switch leading as some of the most searched products by shoppers, with the Xbox Series X trailing behind.
For manufacturers, understanding not only what the popular search terms in their categories are, but also what consumers are returning prominently for, will help them to thrive during this period. Returning in the top 10 is important as most shoppers don’t scroll past the first 10 search results for any given term; the impact of jumping from 20th to 10th in search is an incredible 21% jump in traffic.
Samsung and TCL are examples of brands that executed this strategy well. In the Television category, the most popular search term is “tv”, which was in the top 20 most searched terms over Cyber 5. Samsung had the greatest share of the top ten search results on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, while TCL also performed well on these days but peaked at just the right time with the greatest share of results on the most important day for ecommerce, Cyber Monday.
Acer was a strong performer within the Laptop category with at least three products returning in the top 10 on every day of Cyber 5, with HP matching this share on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, Microsoft was arguably the best performer. Although it only appeared in the top ten on three days, it controlled the top position on each of those days thanks to investment in the paid positions. Being the most visible brand for this key search term gave Microsoft the best chance to maximize potential sales.
Colgate launched its new “hum by Colgate” range of electric toothbrushes earlier this year and to support this product line it invested in the top sponsored search positions on Amazon for “Electric Toothbrush”, occupying all three over every day of Cyber 5. This meant it was more visible than Oral-B, the dominant brand in the category which, while it may have been bested on Amazon, led the way on Target and Walmart.
For the term “Headphones”, Sony was the best performer over Cyber 5 with the greatest share of the top ten on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, brands will have had to shift their focus quickly to guard themselves against the new AirPods Max, which Apple announced after Cyber Monday it would be released in mid-December just in time for the holiday shopping season.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday broke all records, the results were below analyst expectations. With Prime Day only six weeks before Black Friday, the holiday shopping season was extended in 2020. Much of this spending is to come after Black Friday and brands cannot afford to rest on their laurels after Cyber 5 as the slice of ecommerce revenue to pursue is greater than it’s ever been.
See also: 5 CE Retail Trends For 2021