Search Engine Advertising: Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not just a single day. They are considered as the biggest shopping days of the year. According to statista, the online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday were $ 3,39 billion in 2015 – just in the US. But which role does Search Engine Advertising play when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday? 


  • What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday? 
  • Differences in Search Engine Advertising
  • More offline or online deals? 
  • On which day are more online sales? 
  • Which product categories work better? 
  • Specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Tips and Tricks for Search Engine Advertising


Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both just a single day in the year? It has grown much bigger. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the United States and is the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the US.

Many shops and trading chains already open their doors in the early morning hours – usually at five o’clock – and offer specials, discounts, and promotional gifts. That is why many people wait in long queues at the shops to get bargains (so-called doorbusters).

The Cyber Monday is the response from online shops to the traditional Black Friday. The term “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. He has become increasingly popular in recent years. Since 2010, Cyber Monday is getting more important in Europe, especially by Amazon.


Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: The SEA Battle

As you see, both days are crucial for the annual (online) sales and that’s why Search Engine Advertising (SEA) is vital. But what are the differences on Black Friday and Cyber Monday when it comes to SEA?



Offline or online deals?

Black Friday started as offline-only and has now offline and online deals. Online deals are crucial for Black Friday and big retailers already promote this day intensely weeks before. Amazon, for example, promotes Black Friday with “A Countdown to Black Friday Sales Week”.

Black Friday 2016 is almost here, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving for Black Friday deals, so we kicked off the savings a little early. We are counting down to the big day with even more deals all day, every day. You’ll find Amazon’s fantastic early Black Friday sales right here. – Amazon

In contrast, the deals on Cyber Monday are online-only. On Cyber Monday, the deals are often offered by smaller retailers that might not compete with big retailers.


On which day are more online sales?

What do you think: on which day are the retailers getting more online sales? My first thought was, that the online sales on Black Friday would be much more than on Cyber Monday. A survey of statista shows, that there had been $ 1,65 billion online sales on Black Friday and – surprisingly – $ 2,28 billion online sales on Cyber Monday in the US. 

For me, there’s no doubt that Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year. The online sales for Cyber Monday were almost 21% higher than from the year before and mobile shopping played a huge role for this. About 53% more money was spent by online shoppers on mobile devices than in 2014. 

Product Categories

Which product categories work better on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Those are the Top-Product Categories in general: 

  • Winter Clothing: Women’s Parka, Women’s Coat, Women’s Pullover, Men’s Parka, Men’s Coat, Caps, Men’s Sweater
  • Kitchen Equipment: Raclette, Fondue, Coffee Machine, Steam Cooker, Cuisinart, Chocolate Fondue Set, Blender
  • Christmas Decoration: Christmas Lights, Christmas Stars, Christmas Trees, Baubles, other Christmas Decoration
  • Gadgets: iPhone, Digital SLR Cameras, Tablet PC, Hifi Headphones, Bluetooth Speakers, Portable Speakers, iPod
  • Toys: Duplo, Dolls, Children’s Kitchen, Puzzle, Lego
  • Jewelry: Jewelry Boxes, Necklaces, Earrings, Rings, Bracelets, Watches

These product categories work best on Black Friday:

  • Headphones
  • Toys
  • Tools

These product categories work best on Cyber Monday:

  • Android Phones
  • Data Storage
  • Laptops
  • Travel
  • Clothing
  • Beauty


Specials on Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

The specials depend on the retailers. Black Friday offers serious savings on items like computers and other electronics. It has nearly 85% more data storage deals than Cyber Monday. Furthermore, Black Friday has more deals for small appliances, cutlery, kitchen gadgets and it’s also a good time to see big savings on home goods.

In contrast, Cyber Monday has more deals for fashion retail and shoes. In the last two years, there was an average of 45% more fashion deals and 50% more shoe deals on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday. In general, you will have more retailer-wide discounts on Cyber Monday, than product-specific ones like you have on Black Friday.

Here are two tips for specials on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  1. Imagine that you, as a retailer, stocked up on a product for Black Friday and it wasn’t sold as well as expected – you might re-sell this product on Cyber Monday for a deeper discount.
  2. As a retailer, you should select different, explicit specials for both days – and then push them. 


… the winner is?

In my opinion, both days have their advantages and disadvantages, and so it’s hard to say which one wins the battle. For me, both days are winners, but when it comes to SEA, Cyber Monday has more potential.


Tips and Tricks for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Here are some quick tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

Are you prepared?

In general, you should not underestimate the traffic on your online shop on those two days. Are you and your online shop prepared? Are all your product in stock and available?


Use dynamic remarketing

I would definitely recommend using dynamic remarketing. With dynamic remarketing, you can essentially show specific ads to visitors that have already visited your website. Being able to reach your target market as deeply down the funnel as possible, can ensure that each of your ads is as relevant as possible.


Always make sure that your product feed is complete and clean

Double-check if you have any typos in your feed and keep your data accurate. Make sure that all your information, from pricing to shipping costs, is also accurately reflected on your website.


Optimize your product feed titles and descriptions

The product title and product description fields provide an excellent opportunity to outshine your competitors. Be specific and distinguishing when you name the product. Include its brand, color and model number (if it has one), at a minimum.

When it comes to your product descriptions, copying and pasting the product description from your website into the feed will not be enough. Write relevant and grammatically correct content that will convince shoppers to click on your ad and eventually purchase from your website. The better your product descriptions, the higher your products will rank within Google Shopping.

For more information, read our blog post about Dos and Dont’s In Your Product Feed Descriptions

Use custom labels

Here’s a tip from my colleague Christopher. He said, that you should use custom labels for both days to know which product will be in the sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Have you already thought about your bids?

A Bid Management Tool, such as Whoop! is, can be a vital tool for you – not just on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It predicts the sales potential for all products with the help of a Predictive Bidding algorithm that is specially designed for Google Shopping and enables the prediction of future revenue and ROAS potential of every single product. If you remember our blog post about the Iceland jerseys and the huge conversion boost, you know that a peak can happen at any time, for any product. 

Have fun on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and get some good deals! 🙂