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Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Key Trends and Insights from Europe

Cyber 5 took on a new look this year in Europe with Amazon kicking off its Black Friday Deals a week before Black Friday. The extended 11-day deal period followed the trend set by Amazon to increase the number of deal days, such as its addition of a second Prime Day this year. Brands took advantage of the extended sales period and spent more on advertising than in previous years —in both the lead up and lead out of Cyber 5. Despite this increased spend, Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) was down from previous years as brands were hit by higher ad costs. Below we cover the insights and trends from the events to help you better prepare for next year’s tent pole event.  

Key Takeaways 

  • Advertising spend for Sponsored Products increased 30% year-over-year for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sponsored Brands spend declined by 1% on Black Friday but increased 22% compared to Cyber Monday 2022.  
  • European Advertisers still favour Sponsored Products, spending nearly five times more over Sponsored Brands.  
  • Advertising competitiveness and costs rose with CPCs across Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products up 18% on average over Cyber 5 compared to 2022.  
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for both ad formats were down 9% on average over Cyber 5 from last year for Sponsored Brands and 3% for Sponsored Products.  

Advertising Spend 

Advertisers in Europe kicked off the Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending far earlier this year to align to Amazon’s updated format of the shopping event. Spend spiked on first day of the sales event and remained inflated in the lead up to Black Friday compared to 2022.  

Spend for Sponsored Products increased by 30% year-over-year for Black Friday as advertisers looked to maximize conversion opportunities.  

Advertisers in Europe did not increase Sponsored Brands spend this year, with spend dropping by 1%. This stands out when compared to the US where brands on average increased Sponsored Brands budgets by 60% year-over-year, highlighting the lag in adoption of new product offerings like Sponsored Video ads and Product Collections. Brands once again prioritized Black Friday over Cyber Monday, spending 52% more for the Friday sales day. 

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Cost Per Click 

Advertising competitiveness (Cost –Per Click) was up in the lead up to Black Friday. CPC saw a spike on the first day of the sales event for both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands and remained relatively consistent until peaking on Black Friday. As more advertisers looked to cash in on the 11-day sales event, CPCs were significantly higher than in 2022.  

CPC on Black Friday was up 16% year-over-year and up 18% for Cyber Monday for Sponsored Products.  

CPC for Sponsored Brands increased 25% year-over-year for Black Friday and 26% for Cyber Monday.  

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Return on Ad Spend and Conversion Rates 

Return on Ad Spend took a hit in 2023 across the 11-day deal period. Sponsored Products were down 8% for Black Friday and 5% for Cyber Monday. Sponsored Brands fell even further down 22% for Black Friday and 11% for Cyber Monday.  

Conversion Rates were down on Black Friday for Sponsored Products but saw a spike on Cyber Monday as consumers held out for the best possible deals. For Sponsored Brands, conversion rates were down slightly by 2.3% compared to 2022 on Black Friday and saw a marginal rise of 1.2% for Cyber Monday.   

With the rising ad costs and more advertisers competing for ad placements, the fall in ROAS is not surprising. As more advertisers compete for ad placements, brands will need to become savvy in their advertising strategy by taking advantage of a variety of ad placements, using budget tools like dayparting to maximize spend during high converting hours and utilizing DSP to retarget customers after key sales events.  

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Final Thoughts 

As Amazon continues to increase its number of deal days and the cost of advertising rises, brands will need to think carefully about how they split their advertising budgets over the extended period.  

Advertisers will need to prioritize spend throughout the lead up and lead out of the event to maximize brand awareness and take advantage of better conversion rates outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

Be sure to check out our full 2023 Holiday Hub with insights into US performance and tips to help you maximize sales opportunities heading into 2024.  

Dylan Wingrove

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