Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

During this week’s post-Black Friday review chat, host Julie F Bacchini sought experts’ views on Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions, How were the results of the promotions? For what types of products or services they did the promotions for and more.

Q1: Did you run any promotions for Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday this year? If so, for what types of products or services?

I do lead gen so nothing special for BFCM. @Pete_Bowen

As I mentioned, I am not an e-comm PPCer, so none for me. @NeptuneMoon

yep! a few ecomm – one kitchenware and one in d2c healthcare products. @MicheleJaeger1

Nonprofit focus right now – so no BFCM – but I’m in the middle of Giving Tuesday! @Galliguez

I feel for you @Galliguez– I love the concept of Giving Tuesday but all the ones I was part of back in the day were tough slogs. @NeptuneMoon

Good example: Outdoor chair finessed its 3PL situation to take in more margin, so passing some of those savings to customers via a discount on BFCM still meant they pulled in more profit. They also had a bundle & save deal, which further preserved their margins. Poor example: 25% off select products for a supplement company, trying to chase a competitor offering 30% off sitewide. It ends up being a race to the bottom. @teabeeshell

66% of our ecom/DTC clients did something for BFCM. Some started last week Monday and some started the week before last.Overall everyone seems happy right now with early results. Have to do a postmortem to look at things from 100 feet. @duanebrown

Q2: How were the results of your promotions or sales this year? How did they compare to last year’s BFCM?

Overall, we spent more, brought in more customers (mostly new, ~85%), and earned more revenue, so it was a success. I still feel strongly that blanketed discounts are lazy and pander to this shopping culture of only buying when businesses cut prices. @teabeeshell

Which platforms did you advertise on @teabeeshell? @NeptuneMoon

Google Ads personally, and partner advertisers tackled Meta. @teabeeshell

Honestly, this year was tough. CPCs were higher for both of my industries, and that paired with the significant discounts resulted in lower ROAS, even with a significantly higher CVR. However, one of my clients is a subscription-based company, so depending on churn could turn out profitable. We did get more new customers, but not sure it was worth it. Also, several competitors started their BFCM pricing in like the 1st/2nd week of Nov, so it’s possible we lost some market share then (we didn’t launch until a week before BFCM, and we brought even that up from the initial plan). I’m not totally sure who wins in BFCM. @MicheleJaeger1

wait I do know who wins….google @MicheleJaeger1

Well, surely the ad platforms won. @NeptuneMoon

There was a post in here asking if others saw broader/looser matching happening in G Ads during this period too.  @NeptuneMoon

Tbh, I didn’t. but the cpcs were like, WAY higher for some of my tROAS campaigns. especially shopping. @MicheleJaeger1

@MicheleJaeger1 the churn vs. 60d LTV conversation is make-or-break IMO. That can dramatically turn the tides one way or another. @teabeeshell

@teabeeshell – I bet. This is really what I’m hoping for. Having a hard time accessing that data, but we will get there. @MicheleJaeger1

I stuck with mostly tCPA for most campaigns. I still see tROAS as too short-sighted (algorithmically) for most businesses’ acquisition efforts. Again, this keeps LTV in mind, not just the immediate equation of dollars in, dollars out. (I get that Google is pushing hard for tROAS.) @teabeeshell

That’s so interesting @teabeeshell – theoretically I completely agree with you, but have had a hard time getting the tCPA campaigns to perform as strongly as the tROAS. Might be something specific to my client, not sure. @MicheleJaeger1

@teabeeshell– what analytics platforms do you put the most weight on? @MicheleJaeger1

And, is tROAS even “accurate” during a time like BFCM? You are actively trying to buy more customers by offering discounts? @NeptuneMoon

@MicheleJaeger1, for now, I’m trying to make GA4 work. It’s powerful if you lean into its capabilities, albeit, with a learning curve. I find that GAds counts about 10-15% more conversions, but between GA4 and Shopify/other, I can calculate % new and back into an efficiency read on the week. @teabeeshell

This is where machine learning hits a wall. At least where it is right now. The circumstances of BFCM are not at all like any other time. How are the machines handling and calculating this? We can’t see that. Not really. @NeptuneMoon

Yeah @teabeeshell – I’ve been relying on comparing gads w/ shopify. @MicheleJaeger1

For the brands who were going from win to win and strength to strength. They nailed it out of the park. For other brands who were maybe down 5% – 20% revenue this year. They did well and did better then last year but it was not easy to get that win. @duanebrown

@NeptuneMoon it puts the impetus on brand/company leaders (owners) to really understand their business math. If you typically enjoy a 65% margin, and you simply cut into that for BFCM, you cut off you nose to spite your face. If you preserve margin (bundles, min AOV thresholds, customer-paid shipping on low-value orders, etc.) you can rest easier discounting. And retention becomes vital in either scenario, esp. with purchase behaviour being so volatile this time of year. @teabeeshell

It amazes me how many DTC businesses, particularly in the zero interest rate era, did none of that type of thinking @teabeeshell For example, if the vast majority of your sales happen when you do a semi-annual big discount, then your product is improperly priced and/or being marketed to the wrong audience. There is a lot of legacy from those times getting shredded right now. @NeptuneMoon

Q3: Did you notice any trends this year as a PPCer? 

Big ones for me were:

  • “Black Friday” = November 1st through the day after Thanksgiving (or Sunday)
  • “Cyber Monday” = increasingly detached from online-only sales (many “celebrate” in-store)
  • Consumers are now fully trained to sit and wait, so BF and CM become higher sales “peaks” when in reality they are merely more concentrated. This is important to consider for brand/data analysts.
  • The race to the bottom remains a real thing. Brands that blanket discount will get left holding the bag come the new year, recounting Q4 sales/revenue. @teabeeshell

Platform-side, I really don’t get caught up in the “higher CPCs” or “higher CPMs” conversations. Both metrics have been proven as not closely correlated with business outcomes, so it’s a bit of a moot point. Laser-focused acquisition math + tCPA (or Meta bid caps) solve for this and don’t prevent scaling. @teabeeshell

@teabeeshell There was something I was thinking about buying. I got emails for weeks offering differing % off. The CM one was 45% – or so it seemed. It was really “up to 45%” with their main product sitting at 35%. I put it in my cart and waited for a better discount. It never came and I did not purchase. Perfect example of being trained on discount acquisition and improvement. I may still end up buying it for a gift. @NeptuneMoon

For me, the big one was that BFCM started very early! @MicheleJaeger1

Need to dig into the data more but feels like brands doing bigger discounts this year. @duanebrown

@duanebrown inflated prices due to “inflation” paved the way for bigger discounts. @teabeeshell

Q4: Did you notice any trends this year as a consumer?

As with everything, the BF “season” started before Halloween. I think Amazon doing their Prime Days in mid-October has hastened this trend. Daily emails from so many companies just desensitizes me to offers. @NeptuneMoon

Multiple emails each day from brands is becoming the norm. I understand the strategy behind it, but as a consumer, it creates noise and analysis paralysis. Totally agree @NeptuneMoon. I don’t know what the answer will be, but I expect the next frontier will be texts. I got plenty of those, and thankfully most were filtered as spam, or I deleted. @teabeeshell

I just checked the brand I mentioned in the Q3 answer. 35% off CM sale still going today. @NeptuneMoon

That is another trend – “surprise” our sale is extended. @NeptuneMoon

Cyber Tuesday/Week. @teabeeshell

I saw a number of posts and videos of people at various stores that typically, historically would have had big BF crowds and the stores were empty. And another one where the woman was pulling out the BF sale placards to reveal what was behind it and the regular old sale prices were exactly the same as the BF “deals”. @NeptuneMoon

Apple was even offering discounts and a $200 Apple gift card for purchases of a certain size. That made me take notice that they must be concerned about consumer spending this year. @NeptuneMoon

Gift cards on a future purchase is definitely an emerging tactic. It defers discounts, increases AOV, and mandates a repeat purchase (or not) @teabeeshell

The stats on gift card redemption in general are incredible. So many never get used! @NeptuneMoon

PPCChat Participants

Related Links

Stop wasted ad spend with Karooya

Stop the wasted ad spend. Get more conversions from the same ad budget.

Our customers save over $16 Million per year on Google and Amazon Ads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.