The Ultimate Recap of ‘Turkey 11’ 2023
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In the rapidly evolving world of ecommerce, the evolution of Black Friday + Cyber Monday into ‘Turkey 11’ (November 17, 2023 to November 27, 2023) initiative has made a significant impact on retail ecommerce sales.
Turkey 11 Overall Trends
During Turkey 11’s lead-in phase (the days before Thanksgiving in the US), brands experienced a moderate increase in sales of <%50. During the core shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that spiked into a revenue increase up to 2.9 times compared to average hourly sales in the preceding two weeks before Turkey 11. There are a few possible reasons for this trend:
- Increased Consumer Awareness: Enhanced marketing efforts may have raised awareness, leading to heightened consumer anticipation and participation during the T11 event.
- Expanded Product Range: A broader range of deals and products could have attracted a more diverse customer base with brands preparing new bundles, price points or launching new innovative SKUs to capture demand during this period.
- Strategic Timing: The timing of ‘Turkey 11’, positioned before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, might have capitalized on early shopper interest and purchasing power with consumers trying to take advantages of deals early to save money.
T5 in 2023 outperformed its previous year, with a 10% increase in ordered revenue. Interestingly, the BFCM period mirrored the impact of Prime Big Deal Days on sales, though Prime Day 2023 stood out as the year’s shopping juggernaut. It skyrocketed daily sales up to 4.8x compared to the two-week average leading into the event, firmly establishing its dominance in the retail calendar.
Increased Competitiveness and Ad Spend
This year’s T5 saw a surge in competitiveness, with a notable drop in gross margins ranging from 6.5% to 12.9%. This dip in profitability aligned with an upswing in advertising expenditures, growing by a staggering 13% to 57%. However, this increased spend didn’t translate into traffic, which actually decreased by 4-5% during the Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) period. The takeaway? Capturing demand is becoming increasingly challenging and expensive.
Ad Spend Strategies
Brands in 2023 shifted their ad spend focus, initially concentrating on Sponsored Display up until Thanksgiving. Post-Thanksgiving, the focus moved to Sponsored Brand and Product ads to boost conversions. The reliance on Sponsored Products over other ad types marked a shift towards performance-driven advertising tactics.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday versus Prime Big Deals Days 2023
A key observation is the difference in consumer behavior between ‘Turkey 11’ and Prime Big Deals Days. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, sales peaked during daytime (6 AM to 5 PM PST), with a significant decline in activity during early morning and late evening. This pattern suggests a strategic response to Amazon’s marketing efforts and possibly reflects consumer preferences for shopping during these hours.
- Targeted Marketing for Daytime Hours: Promotions and advertisements may have been scheduled to encourage daytime shopping.
- Consumer Availability: Shoppers might have been more available during these hours, possibly due to work schedules or other daily routines.
- Perception of Better Deals: Consumers could perceive daytime as offering better deals or product availability, influencing their shopping habits.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday versus Prime Day 2023
The impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday on sales was lower than Prime Day 2023, with revenues 28% to 60% less. It’s evident Prime Day has much stronger appeal and customer engagement. Here are a few potential reasons why:
- Event Branding and Hype: Prime Day may benefit from stronger branding and customer anticipation given its the only real sales period during the summer
- Deal Quality and Perception: The perceived value of deals on Prime Day might be higher, attracting more consumer spending.
- Pulled Forward Demand: Consumers may have already bought their “deal” items earlier in the year, eliminating the need to shop during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Customer Loyalty and Prime Membership Influence: The exclusive nature of Prime Day for Amazon Prime members could foster a sense of exclusivity and urgency.
- Market Saturation during Black Friday/Cyber Monday: The abundance of competing sales events across other retailers could dilute the impact of individual promotions.
These trends and their potential rationales highlight the dynamics of consumer behavior and market response in the e-commerce sector. Understanding these factors is crucial for strategic planning and maximizing sales effectiveness in future events.
Here is a snapshot of each category’s performance:
- In 2023, the Baby category experienced less revenue compared to 2022, with significant sales events like Prime Day being major contributors to annual revenues.
- Turkey 11 showed less effectiveness in driving revenue for the Baby category, with the majority of sales occurring on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- There was a general pullback in ad spending across the Baby category, potentially as a response to a tougher economic climate.
- The shift from Turkey 5 to T11 in 2023 led to a marginal increase in traffic, but overall traffic levels during Black Friday and Cyber Monday were lower than in 2022.
- Revenue losses due to out-of-stock situations spiked, underscoring the importance of having backup fulfillment methods.
- Brands in the Baby category focused their ad investments primarily on Sponsored Products, diverging from the industry trend of focusing on Display ads during the lead-in phase.
- T11 2023, an extension of the traditional T5 period, didn’t significantly boost ordered revenue in the Beauty category, with most sales happening on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- T11 2023 saw increased shopping activity compared to T11 2022, but overall traffic levels during Black Friday and Cyber Monday were lower than the previous year.
- The Beauty category experienced declines in gross margins during T11 but maintained profitability, indicating effective inventory planning and fulfillment strategies.
- Beauty brands increased ad spending in T11 2023, with a focus on Sponsored Displays to drive consideration and conversion.
- Despite higher ad spending, beauty brands saw improved Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) compared to 2022, suggesting efficient ad strategies.
Health and Personal Care Category
- Revenue in Health & Personal Care on Amazon increased during T5 2023 compared to T5 2022.
- The majority of sales occurred on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consistent with previous years.
- Despite higher revenues, there was a decrease in traffic on most days.
- Gross margins decreased due to consumers buying smaller discounted items, suggesting less attractive bundles were available.
- Revenue losses due to stockouts spiked, indicating the need for improved forecasting.
- Ad spending focused primarily on Sponsored Display campaigns during BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday).
- The category was less profitable in T5 2023 despite a higher ROAS, which offset the gross margin impact.
Home and Kitchen Category
- T11 2023 increased revenue for Home & Kitchen on Amazon, with most sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Traffic and glance views significantly rose compared to T5 2022, indicating higher consumer interest.
- Larger order sizes were noted leading into BFCM, but gross margins decreased, likely due to heavy discounts.
- Substantial revenue losses were observed due to stockouts, emphasizing the need for better stock planning.
- Ad spending in the category grew, with a gradual increase leading into BFCM and a focus on Sponsored Brands and Products.
- Despite the higher ROAS, T5 2023 was less profitable with decreased gross margins compared to 2022.