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Cyber 5 2023: How did consumers search & brands spend?

November 29, 2023
Becky Carruthers
Written By
Becky Carruthers

“I swear it starts earlier every year,” - me, to my colleagues a few weeks ago. No, I wasn’t talking about Christmas, I was talking about Black Friday. Black Friday used to be known for the frantic in-store riot followed by a relatively muted “Cyber Monday.” We’ve since seen behaviors shift online, and it became more about “Cyber weekend,” which eventually stretched to “Cyber week” as retailers tried to get shoppers' attention ahead of their competitors.

Now, it seems we’ve settled into “Cyber Month,” with deals popping up before Halloween decorations have even come down. Take Target, for example – this was the retailer’s home page on Oct. 30:

Screenshot 2023-11-29 at 09.12.42

This year, we looked at whether consumers & brands followed the retailer’s lead or whether they held out for the main event.

When did consumers start searching for Black Friday deals?

We’ve looked at Amazon search trend data from mid-October through Cyber 5 weekend to understand when consumers started looking in earnest for the 5 most-searched-for consumer electronics terms during Black Friday 2022.

Cyber 5 blog charts-1-1

Deals started at the beginning of November & consumers increased their searches in line with this, but we still saw the biggest ramp-up in the week including Black Friday.   

When did brands increase their retail media budget ahead of Black Friday?

We also analyzed Amazon search placement data for the same period & same search terms to understand when the number of sponsored products started to increase (i.e., the bidding pool got more competitive).

Cyber 5 blog charts-2-1

A closer look at brand spending strategies (at least for these 5 terms) reveals they were aligned with retailers. A number of products were competing and saw a noticeable uptick from the beginning of November, but not at the same rate as consumer search. This insight underscores an opportunity for brands to increase their spend earlier to capture consumers in the early stages of their product research.

Cyber 5 blog charts-3-1


So what? 

Consumer search trends are vital to planning your search media strategy and can help you understand when it’s worth increasing your bids. But that’s only part of it. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your retail media investments using the power of digital shelf data.

Strategic Offensive Actions

Use alerts and saved reports to identify and capitalize on the most advantageous competitive trends across the digital shelf. Set up automatic notifications when your competitor products:

  • Have a price increase

  • Drop below a 4.0 star rating

  • Go out of stock (OOS)


Going OOS is a big one to watch – especially after big shopping events. We observed this in the electronics category in October, when OOS rates increased by 23% in the 2 weeks following Prime Day.

Cyber 5 blog charts-4-1

Strategic Defensive Actions

As well as looking out for ways to go on the offensive, you need to make sure your competitors can’t exploit your weaknesses using the same tactics. Don’t forget to defend your brand and set up alerts for your priority products that cover the above areas plus:

  • Have unauthorized content changes or if the content falls below best-in-class benchmarks

  • Fall off page 1

  • Receive new negative reviews (1-2 stars)


And while all of these alerts can be reviewed and actioned manually, time is of the essence during key shopping events. Take your Retail Media ROI to the next level by automating these tasks with Profitero’s Shelf Intelligent Media.

Screenshot 2023-11-29 at 09.25.52

For more information, check out more details here.

Want to see the list of this year’s top Amazon best seller breakthroughs? Read our Cyber 5 2022: Amazon category winners blog here.


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