Black Friday 2021 UK: which brands are winning online?

Major challenges in the global supply chain have cast a long and worrying shadow over this year’s Black Friday. Retailers and global consumer brands, including AO World, toys chain The Entertainer and Moët Hennessy are just some of the companies who have publicly warned that they expect shortages in products in the run up to Christmas. 

Many retail operators have been urging shoppers to buy their Christmas presents much earlier than usual to prevent disappointment from delivery delays and potential out-of-stock issues. So, the reality is that for many people this Black Friday feels like it already started a month ago if not earlier. 

Despite all that, it would be a brave person to bet against this Black Friday (26 November 2021) and the days after culminating on Cyber Monday, being another record-breaking year for sales. Armed with lockdown savings and excited by the prospect of a “free” festive season, analysts believe shopper demand will be high and brands will be fighting it out to be the most visible online to lock in the seasonal pound. 

So, who is winning this battle? Being top of key search terms on a digital retail platform pays dividends as almost two-thirds of clicks (64%) occur on the top three products. 

At 8 am this Black Friday, 26 November 2021, Edge by Ascential analysed search results of the most popular search terms from Black Friday 2020 to see which brands are set to win the 2021 mega shopping event.


Consumer Electronics

Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon, Argos and Currys)

TV (Terms - “TV”, “Smart TV”, “4K TV”) - Sony

Sony was the best performer in the TV category across all search terms analyzed. It had 100% of the top 3 on Amazon and Currys for all three search terms. JVC also performed well with 4th and 5th positions on Amazon and Currys for “Smart TV” and 4th on Currys for “TV”.

Search results on Argos differed significantly. Sony had no presence in the top 10 for “TV”, while it did for “Smart TV” and “4K TV”, none of its products featured in the top 3. There was no clear best-performing brand on Argos as LG had 60% of the top 10 for “TV” but only one in the top 3, Samsung had the top two positions. Toshiba also held the top 2 results for “4K TV”


See our Cyber 5 content hub for key tips to optimising sales events like Black Friday and the long weekend of deals 


Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon)

“Laptop” - ASUS
“Wireless Headphones” - Beats by Dre
“Smart Watch” - Huawei 
“Bluetooth Speaker” - Ultimate Ears

Asus narrowly edged out Samsung as the best-performing brand for “Laptop”. While none of its products featured in the top 3, Asus had all but one of the remaining positions in the top 10.

Beats by Dre dominated the term “Wireless Headphones”, owning the entire top 3 search rankings, as did Ultimate Ears for “Bluetooth Speakers”.

Garmin had the top search position for “Smart Watch” but Huawei occupied all but one of the next 6 search results.

Household Appliances

Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon, Argos and John Lewis)

Kettles and Toasters - (Terms - “Kettle”, “Toaster”, “Kettle and toaster sets) - Russell Hobbs

Data suggests that Amazon customers are heavily using autocomplete options in most categories. Typing in Kettle on Amazon, the platform’s algorithm recommends “Kettle and Toaster sets” as the second option. Last year, it was the 31st most popular search term in the Home category. John Lewis, however, returned no results for Kettle and Toaster sets and Argos redirects to the search term “Toasters”.

Russell Hobbs was the most prominent brand across Kettles and Toasters as it had 40% and 50% of the Argos and Amazon top 10 respectively for “Kettle”. It also had 100% of the top 3 on Amazon for “Kettle” and “Kettle & Toaster sets”. Russell Hobbs performed less well for “Toaster” across the retailers. Morphy Richards products clinched the the entire top 3 on Amazon, and Russell Hobbs did not appear in the top 10 on John Lewis.

As anticipated, Argos pushed its own Cookworks brand. It held the top 2 positions for “Toaster” and second and third for “Kettle”.

Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon)

“Coffee Machine” - Nespresso
“Air Fryer” - Tefal
“Microwave” - Panasonic
“Vacuum Cleaner” - Shark

Nespresso clearly won on Amazon for the term “Coffee Machine” with 50% of the top 10 and the most prominent 3 products on the results page. Tefal had the same results for “Air Fryer” far ahead of Philips and Breville.

Toshiba had the greatest share of the top 10 for “Microwave”, however, it was Panasonic that had the top 3 sponsored results. Shark had the same for “Vacuum Cleaner” as well as fourth and fifth position, far ahead of Hoover, Vax and Bosch.

Health & Beauty

Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon, Boots and John Lewis)

Hair Styling Appliances - (Terms - “Hair Dryer”, “Hair Straighteners for Women”,”Hair Dryers & Accessories” - ghd

“Hair straighteners for women” and “Hair dryers & accessories” were more examples of Amazon’s autocomplete influence on shopper search behaviour as they were both popular terms last year. Once again, we can see these are not optimised on other retailer sites as Argos returned no results for “Hair Dryers & Accessories” and 50% of results on John Lewis for “Hair Straighteners for Women” were fragrances.

The best performing brand across Hair Styling Appliances was clearly ghd. It had a 60% and 70% share of the top 10 on Amazon for “Hair Dryer” and “Hair Straighteners for Women” respectively, and also 100% of the top 3 for these terms. Additionally, it also had a 40% share on John Lewis for both terms. 

Babyliss was it’s nearest rival. Popular hair care brand Babyliss performed best on Boots where it had a 40% and 60% share for Hair Dryer” and “Hair Straighteners for Women”.

Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon)

“Aftershave” - Joop!
“Perfume” - Miller Harris
“Nail Polish” - Rimmel
“Bath Sets” - Bayliss & Harding

Joop! Had 60% of the top 10 for “Aftershave”, including the entire top 3. Bayliss & Harding had a similar dominant performance for “Bath Sets” as it had all of the top 5 search results.

Miller Harris and Calvin Klein were the only brands that had more than one result in the top 10 for “Perfume”, however, Miller Harris led the way as it had the top 3 sponsored search positions. Rimmel had the same results for “Nail Polish” meaning it was more visible than Nails Inc and Bluesky.


Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon)

“Board Games” - Guess Who?, Connect 4 and Osmo
“Jigsaw Puzzles” - Hxmars
“Kids' Play Figures & Vehicles” - Vanplay
“Toys” - Osmo
“Bath Toys” - Yookidoo
“Early Development & Activity Toys” - Tiny Love

Hasbro sponsored the top two search results for “Board Games”, featuring its popular Guess Who? and Connect 4 brands. Drummond Park’s Logo board game also featured twice in the top 10. Hxmars had the top 3 results for “Jigsaw Puzzles” while renowned brand Ravensburger had three products in the top 10, however, they were in position 8, 9 and 10.

Vanplay held the top 3 for “Kids' Play Figures & Vehicles”, Yookidoo for “Bath Toys” and Tiny Love for “Early Development & Activity Toys”.

For “Toys”. Osmo had the first 7 results in the top 10, this is similar to the first day of Prime Day this year where it had 40% of the top 10, including all the top 3.  


Winners (Greatest average weighted share of search* on Amazon)

“Baby Monitors” - CuboAi
“Car Seats” - Britax
“Highchairs” - Mamas and Papas
“Playmats & Floor Gyms” - Lovevery
“Swings & Chair Bouncers” - Fisher-Price

“Baby Monitors'' and “Playmats & Floor Gyms'' were hotly contested by a number of brands. CuboAi sponsored the top 2 search positions for “Baby Monitor” putting it ahead of Owlet, Nooie and Hellobaby. Lovevery did the same thing for Playmats & Floor Gyms''.

The remaining search terms all had dominant performances by a single brand. Britax had 60% of the top 10 for “Car Seats” ahead of Maxi-Cosi and Graco. Mamas and Papas had the entire top 3, plus an additional 2 products in the top 10, for the term “Highchairs” and Fisher-Price similarly had the entire top 5 for “Swing & Chair Bouncers”.

That’s all for the headlines of who’s winning search this Black Friday. Tune back in on Cyber Monday to see how things have changed over the weekend.

*Weighted share of search is weighted so that products nearer the top of the search results are given a greater percentage share than results further down. The weighting is exponential for rankings from 1st to 10th

All data from Edge by Ascential Digital Shelf. Request a demo to see how you can track, manage and optimise your online performance on Amazon and across the websites you sell on.

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