Who Won Black Friday 2019?

In Featured, Hot off the Press, News by MediaVision

Who saw the biggest spike in brand demand around Black Friday?  We used Google search data to analyse more than 300 fashion, beauty, tech, supermarket, and department store brands to find out.

Brands pulled out all the stops to gain momentum in the lead up to Black Friday this year, but only some stayed firmly front-of-mind as shoppers searched for deals online.

As strong indicators of awareness and competitive relevance, brand searches can tell us a lot about the overall health of a brand, how well its marketing strategy is performing, and even the sector as a whole. When people search for a company by name, it’s generally due to pre-existing awareness and intention, and on big sale days like Black Friday, brand searches are an extremely valuable stream of traffic.

To identify who saw the biggest spike in brand demand around Black Friday, we categorised more than 300 brands into fashion, beauty, tech, supermarket and department stores, then used Google search data to compare performance year on year. The results reveal a tough market overall and a great performance from a few standouts.


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The Impact of Your Black Friday Campaign

A big decision that all brands have to make in the runup to Black Friday is when to launch their campaign. Is it better to launch early and beat out the competition? Or wait, see what competitors are offering, build suspense through marketing and then undercut the market? As it turns out, this decision is key as to whether brands experience a rise or fall in their brand demand.

We compared two brands that took different approaches to their Black Friday campaigns and the results they generated.

Online beauty retailer DECIEM ran a month-long blackout with stand-out deals across their website to encourage customers to shop slowly.

Online sportswear retailer Gymshark built up suspense and desire for their brand by pausing trading in the lead up to Black Friday. They implemented a strong marketing campaign using influencers and positioned their Black Friday sale to appear as a competition between consumers. They also refused access to their site, replacing their home page with a countdown clock to their Black Friday drop – which took place on Monday 25th.

As a result of the two different types of campaigns, DECIEM suffered a -34% decrease in brand demand, while Gymshark saw a massive 45% jump.

Overall, brands that did a one-day drop saw better results than those who ran longer campaigns. JD Sports saw a 22% increase in their brand demand and Ann Summers experienced a 23% increase, and both used suspense to build anticipation and outperform their competitors.

Results Overview

Huge Decline for Fashion Retailers

  • 116 fashion brands saw a drop in brand demand over the Black Friday period
  • Online sportswear retailers and jewellers experienced some of the largest increases in brand demand

Beauty Brands Evenly Split on Brand Demand

  • Newly-established beauty brands faired better compared to larger brands 
  • 43 out of 76 beauty brands experienced a drop in brand demand

Extreme Drop for Tech & Goods Retailers

  • Out of 23 brands analysed, only 6 saw an increase in brand demand
  • Retail giant Amazon only saw an increase of 2%

Budget Supermarkets Continue to Outperform the Rest

  • Budget supermarkets beat out other supermarkets
  • No blanket deals but offers across vast product offerings

Tough Year for Department Stores

  • Times are tough for department stores with well-known names such as John Lewis and Selfridges experiencing a decrease in demand
  • Only Liberty and Fortnum & Mason were subject to an uplift

About our Black Friday Report

We used Google AdWords and trend data to analyse average search volumes across brands over the Black Friday weekend at the end of November 2019, then compared this year on year. All Black Friday deals were sourced manually from brand homepages on Black Friday.

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