Cyber 5 Favors the Bold: US Online Retailers Extend Range of Cyber Monday Deals Beyond Tech Brands

Monitoring online promotions from US retailers during Black Friday, we saw a number of products that had been promoted at the Black Friday price either earlier in the week or during Prime Day 2019.  Let’s take a look at how the landscape has changed today, particularly as retailers extend the range of items on promotion beyond the usual Technology products.

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Monitoring online promotions from US retailers during Black Friday, we saw a number of products that had been promoted at the Black Friday price either earlier in the week or during Prime Day 2019.  Let’s take a look at how the landscape has changed today, particularly as retailers extend the range of items on promotion beyond the usual Technology products.

How Do the Cyber Monday Deals Compare to Black Friday?

A look at Amazon’s Cyber Monday deals shows more of the same: it maintains Black Friday’s prices on its own devices and continues to prominently promote the Echo Dot and Echo Show 5 again.

However Amazon has shaken up its branded deals. As an online sales event, technology deals typically feature prominently on Cyber Monday. Interestingly, Amazon has chosen to promote quite a lot of Toy products alongside deals on Chromebooks, Laptops and Tablets.

Are Consumer Electronics Deals the Only Deals in the Spotlight?

Toy category sales are clearly a focus for Amazon in the US this year as many of these prominent deals are at their lowest ever price. Rivals Target and Walmart also advertized deals on Toys but not nearly as visibly. Amazon might have chosen this strategy because the Cyber 5 shopping event falls later than usual in the calendar, leaving fewer shopping days between now and the holidays. This year, and more so than in previous years, Amazon appears to be targeting shoppers who are focused on securing holiday gifts.  
 

Screenshot of Amazon deals for the U.S. including toys and consumer electronics

Amazon website (9am EDT) - 2 December 2019

Who Will Win the War on Earbuds?

Prior to Black Friday, we predicted that Apple AirPods would be a battleground between Amazon’s rivals. Firstly, Apple has become increasingly focused on iPads and MacBooks during Black Friday and Prime Day events. Secondly, Amazon has recently launched a challenger product, the Echo Buds. 

As expected, Apple AirPods are promoted on Best Buy and Walmart, and Target goes as far as promoting them in the headline banner.

Headline banner from Target website promoting Cyber Monday deals including a Keurig, Apple AirPods and a Nintendo Switch

Target website (9am EDT) - 2 December 2019

Target and Walmart may not have been prepared for the success of the Apple AirPods deal as the Apple AirPods Pro and Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case were out of stock on both retailers’ sites. Best Buy was set to win the day on AirPods, not only by having the lowest price for AirPods with Wired Charging Case but by simply having the other two products in stock.

The Amazon Echo Buds were not a deal on Amazon but, at $129.99, Amazon undercut the AirPods by at least $10.

How Did the Range of Promotions Change?

We’ve seen Amazon shift focus a little more towards Toys this Cyber Monday, and its rivals have broadened their focus too. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Kitchen Appliance categories such as Food Processors and Hot Drinks Makers saw a growth in the number of promotions, whereas Headphones and Earphones as well as Televisions have remained fairly consistent.

Target was behind the largest increase in Small Kitchen Appliances deals: in the Hot Drinks Makers category it increased the number of promotions by 25% from Black Friday. Most of these introductions were on Sunday, and more than half of these were De’Longhi Nespresso machines. Walmart also increased its volume of deals, although to a lesser degree.  The greatest growth on Walmart was in the Food Processors, Mixers and Blenders category, largely due to the introduction of deals on KitchenAid products.

The total number of deals of Headphones/Earphones and Televisions may not have changed a lot but we can see there have been some significant and notable moves. Less than 80% of Walmart’s Headphones and Earphones promotions were maintained from Black Friday as the retailer introduced a number of Beats By Dre and Bose promotions. It did the same in the Television category in which half of the new deals were on VIZIO products.

Did Shoppers Get a Better Deal by Holding Out Until Cyber Monday?

Shoppers who purchased on Black Friday may have been frustrated as all three retailers had a noticeable proportion of products that were cheaper on Cyber Monday. The biggest change is in Best Buy’s Televisions, where 7.4% of its promotions are better today. 

A smaller number of shoppers will be content with their Black Friday purchases as some promotions have since risen in price. 

These moves from retailers, together with an increasing focus outside of Technology products, will keep deal-seekers in the dark about when to get the lowest price, not only on Technology items but across a wide range of gifts. The unpredictable nature of these pricing tactics across the extended sales event can lead to frustration among shoppers that retailers might seek to allay by introducing tactics which improve trust.

Cyber 5 Front Runners

While category leadership pre-Cyber 5 doesn’t guarantee leadership during and post Cyber 5, it is certainly the most favorable position to drive going into the holiday season, especially in light of the increasing number of challenger brands from D2C, digitally native, specialty channel, private label and exclusive brands all surging and chipping away at the market leaders’ share. 
 

Source: Edge by Ascential Market Share & Jumpshot: L12 Category Rankings w/c 10/20

We are tracking online performance of top brands in 18 different categories across the US and UK, including Board and Card Games above, across their respective top category retailers so to spotlight the Cyber 5 Front Runners in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  We will then have real time coverage during Cyber 5 and will recap the Cyber 5 Finalists afterwards!

Cyber 5 Front Runners: Featured Categories
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Cyber 5 Front Runners: Featured Categories

Check out the Cyber 5 Front Runners in your favorite categories and download the category snapshots and our Digital Commerce 2020 planning guide to help you further jumpstart your brand’s performance in the year.

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Check back weekly for more insights, analysis and updates throughout the holiday season now upon us!

Chris Elliott
Article by:
Chris Elliott
Senior Insight Analyst, Edge by Ascential
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