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Alexandre Darrigo, communication manager at Bizon and Amazon Expert

Alexandre Darrigo

18/12/2019

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You're wrong to talk about Amazon "Black Friday"

And that's why. Or how Amazon has reshaped its Black Friday to make it last over time.

Black Friday, Black Friday Week on Amazon, Cyber Monday, Prime Days… the “promo” days are multiplying. On television we hear of record sales and unmatched figures. Often, they talk about Black Friday and sometimes venture to mention Cyber Monday. However, it is clear that we can no longer simply talk about Black Friday, and even less on Amazon! Thanksgiving and the American holidays have become key dates around which all promotions and end-of-year purchases are aligned. The term is widely used across the ocean and in English-speaking countries: say hello to "Cyber 5". Cyber what? Bizon explains it to you.

From Black Friday Amazon to Cyber 5

No need to introduce Black Friday. The day of promotions and bargain basement offers has made itself famous since its popularisation in France in 2014 by distributors. Since then, it has become a must. So much so that almost one out of two French people are waiting to buy according to an OpinionWay survey in November 2019. At Bizon, we have indeed recorded a strong increase in our customer numbers over the period.

To make a long story short: Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is less well known in France, as Thanksgiving is intimately linked to the United States. Around him bloom Black Friday, his little brother Cyber Monday and all the price reductions that surround them. Officially, Cyber Monday is the "online shopping" version of Black Friday. According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday has recorded a record turnover of 9 billion dollars this year, even ahead of Black Friday itself.

But if Friday and Monday are the best known, they are not alone! Although in France, Cyber Monday has been timidly mentioned for a few years (worn by actors like Amazon), promotions are actually spread over the few days before and after Black Friday. Hence the use of a new term that is taking hold in the American marketing language: Bizon presents the "Cyber 5"!

What Cyber 5 is

The term refers to the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. They all mark an increase in sales. More than that, it's the fact that they preempt year-end purchases that interests us. According to ComScore figures, the share of purchases between November and December has increased every year since 2016. Christmas would then be online as early as November! At Bizon, we see it with one of our customers selling Harry Potter Advent calendars on Amazon, whose sales explode from November onwards.

In 2018, Amazon's market share in French e-commerce was 50% according to Foxintelligence. With this statistic, we quickly understand that November is crucial for Amazon.

On the other hand, the American NRF (National Retail Federation) even predicts an increase in end of year sales of around 4% in the United States for 2019. More end-of-year sales, concentrated at the end of November in a market that Amazon dominates... that's why we can no longer simply talk about Black Friday. Especially not on Amazon.

Almost $25 billion over five days, including 30% on Cyber Monday / Source: Adobe Analytics

The impact of this change on Amazon, its Black Friday and the Marketplaces

The part that concerns us as Amazon experts: how does the Cyber Five, which concentrates a growing share of year-end purchases, organize itself on the platform and marketplaces?

  • First point: on Amazon, promotions are piloted over almost two weeks. Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark a peak as one might expect. As the days before Black Friday go by, the number of promotions increases until they reach a peak on the two biggest days. However, unlike the Prime Days, these price drops are spread out over time.

  • Marketplace Pulse allows us with this data to better observe this phenomenon: price reductions are visible even beyond Black Friday Week. After Cyber Monday, the number of products on sale does indeed decrease, but would remain rather stable until Christmas according to the research firm. There is no "break-even point".

The evolution of promotions day by day during Cyber 5 / Source : Marketplace Pulse
  • On the replenishment side, Amazon is equipping itself with new solutions in view of the sales records expected each year with the "Cyber 5". 2019 sees the birth of a service called "Amazon Storage and Replenishment". Tested in Ontario, California, the service allows, among other things, for reactive replenishment. The idea is to prevent vendors from ending up with warehouses full of unsold items. Amazon allows them to manage their inventory as close as possible to delivery operations, "on the go", when necessary.

Result Cyber Monday and Black Friday Amazon are new record days this year. Business Insider even calls Amazon "out of competition", thanks in particular to the strategy of being 20 days ahead of the key words "Black Friday". You may understand a little better why now. On its official communication, Amazon argues that its Black Friday resulted in the sale of a number of toys never seen before. It is repeated: Christmas is coming in November!

In a nutshell...

Never mention Black Friday Amazon again and only talk about the Friday after Thanksgiving. You'll miss a lot of the point. If you want to shine in society, talk about the Cyber Five! Promotions, if they soar on key Black Friday and Cyber Monday dates, are now scattered around them. The "Cyber Five" is a term that is still not very common in our country, but it is a better way of describing this distribution.

In the end, it should be remembered that Amazon prepares its end of the year in November, effectively through Black Friday, which is "'just" a kick-off for Christmas shopping being done online earlier and earlier. And you won't learn anything by telling you that Amazon is far ahead of the rest of the e-commerce world, as if Jeff Bezos had gone so far as to move Christmas. That's why this is an opportunity not to be missed! We can help you seize it.

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