US Cyber Monday 2018 - A Target-ed approach

Retailers starting their Black Friday deals up to seven days before the day itself has done nothing to dampen the sales impact of Cyber Monday. Last year online sales online sales on Cyber Monday outstripped Black Friday by 32 percent ($6.6bn v $5.0bn - Adobe).


Retailers starting their Black Friday deals up to seven days before the day itself has done nothing to dampen the sales impact of Cyber Monday. Last year online sales online sales on Cyber Monday outstripped Black Friday by 32 percent ($6.6bn v $5.0bn - Adobe).

This year the gap is predicted to widen, with Cyber Monday seeing the greatest year-on-year sales growth of any day across the weekend. Adobe predicted that online sales will increase 17.8 percent on Cyber Monday to $7.8 billion while Black Friday sales will increase 17.2 percent to $5.9 billion.

The potential sales opportunity of Cyber Monday cannot be understated. Sales between 7 and 10pm are predicted to be larger than an average sales day at any other time of the year.

Whilst traditionally associated with deals on Electronics products, Target and Walmart included Toys in their headline banners. This is a continuation of the trend we found in our Black Friday Insight, where retailers were trying to position themselves as the successor to Toys ‘R’ Us.

Walmart website (8am EST) - 26 November 2018


On Black Friday we found that Amazon partnered with Mattel for its headline toy ‘Deal of the Day’. On Cyber Monday its first ‘Deal of the Day’ was on Hasbro toys, Mattel’s main rival, which led to over 150 deals on Hasbro brands such as Nerf, Playskool and Marvel toys.

Amazon website (8am EST) - 26 November 2018


Target cheaper than Amazon on Amazon Devices?

While toys were more prevalent than in previous years, Cyber Monday is predominantly focused on Consumer Electronics.

The 3rd Generation Amazon Echo Dot was more prominently promoted on Amazon than it was on Black Friday. It was on the second page of the ‘Deals on Amazon Devices’ and was the ninth deal when a shopper filtered by ‘Amazon Devices’ in the deals table.

Amazon kept the price at $24, however, a savvy and fortunate shopper could have got it for less.

Target ran a sitewide promotion offering shoppers an extra 15 percent off, even on top of existing deals. There were a number of restrictions on this promotion, however, it could be applied to the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation).

This means a shopper could have purchased the product for an effective price of $20.40, $3.60 cheaper than Amazon. However, either this deals popularity or Target having low stock, meant that it was out of stock in a large number of Zip Codes.

Target website (8am EST) - 26 November 2018


The promotions around Black Friday have been increasingly seen as a single 5 days sales event (Cyber 5) stretching from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. However, this year Amazon announced a full week of Cyber Monday deals, meaning that it will have run 17 days of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. Are the lines between Black Friday and Cyber Monday blurring?


Did the discount apply to popular products?

The 15 percent discount had a number of restrictions and was not applicable on some of the days most popular products. It did not apply to all Apple products, all Bose products, PS4 and Xbox One hardware and all Samsung televisions. Albeit, it did still apply to a huge range of popular products.

We took a closer look at some of the prominently promoted products that Target was also offering an additional 15 percent discount on during Cyber Monday and compared its prices to that of its rivals.

Target was unsurprisingly the cheapest retailer in almost all instances. Because it was price matching its rivals without the additional discount, in most instances it was around 15 percent cheaper.

There was only one product where it was not the cheapest retailer. It promoted the ‘Sony Wireless In-Ear Headphones for $33.99, after the sitewide discount, however, Amazon undercut Target by $5 at $28.99.

It is to be expected that Target would be cheaper on the products it’s promoting, but how will the sitewide discount help it compete with rivals promotions? We have selected a variety of clearly promoted products from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart and compared to the shelf price of Target, including discount.

Target was the sole cheapest retailer for four of the ten products, where it would not have been were it not for the discount. It was cheapest on: the Anova Precision Cooker, Garmin Fenix 5S Multi-Sport (Black), Nest Thermostat E (owned by Google) and the Sony Stamina Wireless Headphones (Black).

It was still undercut by Amazon on four products and Best Buy on two; both of which were its headline promotions.

It appears that Target has made a concerted effort to mount a serious challenge to Amazon and its rivals this Cyber Monday. Its, largely sitewide, discount helped it beat them on price on a number of high profile items.

The one obstacle it may have encountered was that the discount was only applied at checkout. This extra obstacle between the shopper and the price they pay could have led potential customers to order from a rival where the price was more transparent.


Get the edge on your competitors and be the first in the market to gain access to Edge’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday deep-dive reportRequest Report.

Robert Nowell
Article by:
Robert Nowell
Regional Marketing Director, Edge by Ascential
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