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Is Cyber Monday still a stand-alone sales event?

By Chris Elliott

The Cyber Weekend 2016 was set to be record-breaking, with 15 million shoppers expected to head online looking for a bargain on Cyber Monday alone (PA Wire). Over the extended Black Friday period that ran from Monday 21 November to Monday 28 November, UK shoppers spent £6.45 billion, which was below the forecast £6.77 billion (IMRG).

In fact, shoppers actually converted browsing to purchasing at a higher rate in the four days preceding Black Friday than on the day itself, with strong sales growth of between 23.4 percent and 33.7 percent on last year (IMRG).

With the extension of the sales event across many stores online, the focus on Cyber Monday as a standalone sales day was inconsistent across retailers. Some opted to advertise Cyber Monday as a standalone event, while others continued existing sales.

On Black Friday this year Currys PC World reported a 13 percent increase in both sales (year-on-year) by 3pm and in hourly traffic to its websites. Currys PC World looked to continue its strong performance by advertising it “Biggest Cyber Monday Ever”.

currys cyber monday sales banner
Currys website 28 November 2016


Last year John Lewis was one of a few retailers that did not have a Cyber Monday banner. However, this year it featured the same banner it had on Black Friday promoting its “Black Friday Event”.

john lewis black friday event sales banner
John Lewis website 28 November 2016


Cyber Monday 2016 – Retailer analysis

Brand View has analysed the promotional activity of Ao.com, Argos, Currys, John Lewis and Very on Cyber Monday in three prominently promoted categories – Laptops, Small Kitchen Appliances and Televisions.

Televisions are traditionally associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions and this year all of the retailers promoted a greater percentage of the Television category than the Laptops or Small Kitchen Appliances categories.

Very promoted the greatest percentage of the Laptops, Small Kitchen Appliances and Televisions categories – John Lewis had the second most in all three of the categories. This was most noticeable in the Laptops category where Very promoted 65.2 percent of its range – 25.9 percent more than John Lewis which promoted the second greatest percentage of its laptop range. Ao.com, which has a range comprised mostly of large kitchen appliances, had the smallest percentage of range on promotion in the categories analysed.

Looking at the average depth of cut of Cyber Monday promotions, Currys had the greatest average depth of cut in the Laptops and Small Kitchen Appliances categories. Currys also had the second greatest average depth of cut in the Television category at 22.7 percent, just behind Very with 23.2 percent.

Cyber Monday 2016 – Brand analysis

Lenovo had a significant number of promotions in the Laptops category in all of the retailers analysed, but most noticeably on the Ao.com website. However, Ao.com had a very small number of laptop promotions compared to the other retailers, so this figure does not draw fair comparison.

Argos and Currys favoured promotions on HP laptops, while Acer and HP were equally the most promoted brands on the Very website. Across the five retailers analysed Lenovo had the greatest average depth of cut ahead of HP.

John Lewis had its greatest number of promotions on Apple laptops, particularly on the Apple MacBook Pro. The only other retailers which promoted Apple laptops were Argos and Very – when reviewing the average depth of cut across all three retailers we see Apple had the lowest.

Within the Small Kitchen Appliances category, Food Processors, Mixers and Blenders was the most promoted sub-category.

Kenwood dominated promotions in this sub-category – it was the most promoted brand on the Ao.com, Argos and Very websites and the joint most promoted brand with Ninja on the Currys website. Once again, John Lewis bucked the trend as almost 50 percent of its promotions were on KitchenAid products. Ninja had the greatest average depth of cut across the retailers analysed at 36.3 percent, just ahead of Swan with 34.7 percent.

Samsung dominated television promotions with the greatest percentage of promotions on the Ao.com, Currys, John Lewis and Very websites –  it was also the second most promoted brand, behind LG on the Argos site.

Of the brands promoted in all retailers, LG had the greatest average depth of cut (23.3 percent). However, the Luxor brand, promoted only in Very, had the greatest average depth of cut with 26.1 percent.

Cyber Monday 2016 compared to Black Friday 2016

The majority of UK retailers ran extended Black Friday sales events which started before Black Friday and ran through the weekend before ending after Cyber Monday.

Brand View has analysed the difference between the promotions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the Laptops, Small Kitchen Appliances and Televisions categories.

The number of promotions between the two days did not change significantly in the three categories across the retailers analysed. The biggest increase in promotions observed was by Very which expanded the percentage of its laptop range on promotion by 5.4 percent. The biggest decrease was in the Televisions category where John Lewis reduced the percentage of its range on promotion by 4.3 percent.

When reviewing the overlap of products promoted between Black Friday and Cyber Monday we see that at least 90 percent of the products on promotion on Cyber Monday across the three categories and five retailers were also on promotion on Black Friday, with the exception of Ao.com in the Laptops category.

While the retailers kept the majority of the same products on promotion, some of the promotions changed. This was most noticeable in the Television category.

Some 95.7 percent of the televisions that Ao.com promoted on Cyber Monday were also promoted on Black Friday. However, of these only 55.7 percent were on the same promotion as Black Friday. Some 87.1 percent of Ao.com’s television promotions that changed had a greater depth of cut on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.

Cyber Monday 2016 compared to Cyber Monday 2015

Looking at the difference in the percentage of range on promotion between Cyber Monday 2016 and 2015 it is clear that John Lewis has increased its focus on Cyber Monday compared to last year. It had significantly increased the number of promotions it ran in the Small Kitchen Appliances and Televisions categories.

Very also noticeably increased its promotional activity this year across all three categories analysed. Ao.com did not list laptops on Cyber Monday 2015, but this year it reduced the number of promotions it ran in both the Small Kitchen Appliances and Televisions categories.

Looking at the brands promoted last year we see that Lenovo and HP again dominated the Laptops category. While Toshiba had a significant proportion of promotions in all retailers in 2015, this year the brand had no promotions in Argos, Currys and John Lewis.

In the Food Processors, Mixers and Blenders sub-category Kenwood again dominated promotions, particularly in Very where 50 percent of the promotions in the sub-category were Kenwood products. However, the brand had no products promoted on the Ao.com website. Ninja had a noticeably higher proportion of promotions in 2016 compared to 2015 and John Lewis’s focus on KitchenAid promotions in 2016 differed from its focus on Magimix promotions in 2015.

Similarly to the Laptops category, Toshiba had a greater number of promotions on Cyber Monday 2015 compared to 2016. Samsung only increased its domination of promotions in 2016 by increasing its proportion of television promotions in Ao.com, Argos, Currys and John Lewis compared to 2015.

Sony’s share of promotions in Currys fell from 20.8 percent to 12.9 percent between Cyber Monday 2015 and 2016. However, Very increased its percentage of Sony promotions from 21.4 percent to 31.8 percent. More noticeably John Lewis had no Sony television promotions in 2015 compared to this year where it accounted for 23.5 percent of all television promotions.

The extension of the sales events has led to Black Friday being extended from the four day weekend to a week-long sales event concluding on Cyber Monday. This has resulted in Cyber Monday being less of a standalone sales-day and just another day in a week-long stint of promotions.

However, this did not mean that Cyber Monday did not have standout deals. As highlighted, some retailers increased the discount on promoted items on Cyber Monday, which meant that shoppers could have saved more by delaying a purchase on Black Friday in the hope that the product was further reduced on Cyber Monday.

This year, we saw a changing focus by some retailers, with John Lewis participating in Cyber Monday this year, although they did not in 2015. Other retailers elected to reduce the number of promotions on Cyber Monday compared to last year. This will have contributed to the strong growth in sales figures, but may explain the fact that sales did not quite reach the forecast high.

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