With global sales in the billions, $281 billion to be exact (source: Salesforce), the Cyber 5 shopping period saw one of its strongest showings yet, despite record-high inflation.
However, as consumers tighten purse strings and brace for tougher economic times ahead, things looked a little different this year with shoppers switching from purchasing Playstations to paper towels...
Here are our observations from Cyber 5 2022:
1. Buy now, pay less & later...
The deals on offer seem almost identical to every other year. But look closely and you'll see retailers acknowledging the current economic headwinds with offers on products (and how to pay for them) to attract the price-conscious shopper.
We saw a subtle shift in messaging on Argos.co.uk from "Keep warm this winter"in 2021...
... to "Keep warm for less" in 2022:
John Lewis promoted their credit card with 4x as much space as last year to help shoppers spread the cost and benefit from vouchers.
This evolved from a simple offering in 2021...
... to a full-width ad in 2022:
Over in the U.S., Walmart also adapted its holiday bauble section from "Check off your list" in 2021...
... to "Get a head start & save" in 2022:
2. TikTok favorites scored big
The power of TikTok is undeniable. When we see seemingly random products shoot up in Amazon sales rank, the first thing we do is check for a TikTok product trend, and usually, we’re right.
One of the notable winners this year was water flossers which are popular with dentist influencers & ASMR fans.
We expect Cyber 5 top sellers to be things like TVs and toys, but as consumers struggle with inflation, household essentials become a priority.
Case in point: 5 out of the top 20 Amazon best sellers over the Cyber 5 weekend were household paper products — tissues and paper towels. In fact, Bounty Quick Size paper towels 40 pack was the #2 best seller on Amazon seeing a sales rank increase of 424,000%.
And while we thought the pandemic trend of upgrading the home office was a thing of the past, HP's half-priced printer with 9 months of free ink (!) proved us very wrong. This product shot up from the 32,545th best-selling product in Office Products to #1 — and sold out in the process.
The brand wasn't the only one caught off guard by demand — 50% of our top 10 overall category winners were unavailable by Monday morning (EST).
Lessons for brands
1. Think about your value propositionand avoid getting into a price war. There is only so much to be gained from being the cheapest during big shopping events like Cyber 5 or Prime Day. Use your product content or sponsored banners to inform consumers about why you're different from your competitors and display your value, like HP. It's no coincidence that one of the top category winners on Amazon was a printer that came with the bonus of free printer ink.
2. Avoid accelerating supply issues by checking your stock levels before you activate promotions, sponsored placement & ad banners. It’s critical that you maximize the opportunity presented by events like Cyber 5. Start by understanding how much inventory you have on key items, especially if you plan to promote these using big discounts. Remember, it’s not just discounted items that will catch consumers' eyes — there will be a halo effect caused by the increased traffic to online retailers and it's easier than ever for consumers to find related products either through the “similar items” sections on a product page or increasingly through paid banner ads. See how The Master Lock Company recouped $500k in sales by using data to optimize demand planning to prevent out-of-stocks →
3. Test & learn with social media — Amazon Live, influencers, affiliates, etc. There are many awareness-building and traffic-driving tactics brands can use, whether during Cyber 5 or any other big seasonal or promotional event. The key is testing out these different tactics, and then (importantly) having a data analytics solution in place to measure results so you can see what works.
Want to see the list of this year’s top Amazon movers and shakers? Read our Cyber 5 2022: Amazon category winners blog here.