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2021 Cyber Weekend Learnings

2021 Cyber Weekend Learnings

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a week behind us and we’ve all had a little time to take a breather, it’s time to dive into what we learned from Cyber Weekend in 2021.

Of course, this is a year unlike any other, due to the events in 2020 and the eCommerce boom that coincided with it. The question on everyone’s mind is how 2021 compared, what we can learn from this year, and what to look forward to in the rest of the holiday season!

2020 Was an Anomaly

The question on everyone’s mind was whether or not 2020 would be a standalone year of record-breaking online sales, or whether the momentum would continue into 2021.

According to our data, 2020 was indeed an outlier — “Compared to 2020, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday combined sales were down by 9% on average,” says Tayler Carpenter, Director of Advertising at Blue Wheel.

We believe that this slight downturn is due to a few factors:

  • Shoppers taking advantage of in-person Cyber Weekend deals
  • eCommerce boom of 2020 tapering off
  • Fatigue from deals

2021 Outpaced 2019

For many brands and agencies, the true test of gauging the success of BFCM in 2021 is comparing this year’s numbers to 2019, rather than 2020. Since 2020 was an anomaly, comparing to 2019 gives a more accurate picture of growth and success.

Our data suggests that 2021 saw an increase in sales overall compared to 2019. Carpenter notes, “Compared to 2019, 2020 sales for those same 3 days were up 48%. But 2021 compared to 2019 saw a 26% increase in sales for those dates.”

Cyber Monday had the Largest Growth

Of the big three sales days — Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday — Cyber Monday had the largest growth from 2019, up 34%.

This isn’t totally surprising based on the data we’ve presented so far. Because of in-person deals and online-exclusive deals on Cyber Monday, it’s not surprising that sales on Cyber Monday would have the greatest increase out of all three days.

However, Black Friday also saw strong online numbers — higher than Cyber Monday for many of our clients. Black Friday was still the strongest online shopping day out of the three, with Cyber Monday close behind.

CPCs Were Up Across the Board

On Google, Cyber 5 (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) CPCs were up 8% in 2021 compared to 2019. On Facebook, they were up 42%.

Increased competition most likely led to this, as more brands began relying on their eCommerce business and accompanying advertising efforts to drive sales. The Facebook attribution update in October 2021 as well as the iOs14 update could have contributed, as fewer people are allowing apps to track them — making it more expensive to advertise to fewer people.

Want help navigating Cyber Weekend in 2022? Reach out to the advertising team at Blue Wheel

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