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“Turkey 5” 2019 Sales Trends and Results

Below is a comprehensive recap of the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday with regard to sales and consumer engagement. By IT December 4, 2019
“Turkey 5” 2019 Sales Trends and Results

Although nearly 190 million U.S. consumers shopped during the “Turkey 5” – a term Amazon coined in 2017 to refer to the five-day period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday — consumers this year undoubtedly began their holiday shopping earlier in the year rather than waiting for specific shopping days such as Black Friday, which has been the case historically. Below are several key indicators of this shift in consumer buying behavior:

  • A survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) revealed that 39% of consumers planned to start buying holiday products prior to November and a follow-up survey confirmed that 56% had started as of the first week of November.
  • Amazon announced its “Countdown to Black Friday” deals on Nov. 1, inclusive of rotating discounts each weekend, such as fashion brands during the first weekend in November, toys from Nov. 8-10, and festive holiday home prep from Nov. 15-17.
  • Across Feedvisor’s client base, the seven days prior to Thanksgiving Day 2019 experienced a 13% year-over-year increase in sales.
  • Retailers and brands on Amazon put their advertising campaigns in place earlier. Across Feedvisor’s client base, ad spend and ad sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2019 were significantly higher than on Cyber Monday 2019 — Black Friday ad spend and ad sales were higher than Cyber Monday by 152% and 182%, respectively, and Thanksgiving Day ad spend and ad sales were higher than that of Cyber Monday by 65% and 67%, respectively. This can be explained due to the residual “halo effect” associated with Amazon ad placements and illustrates that advertisers prepared their campaigns to be in place by the kickoff of the “Turkey 5,” if not prior to that. 
  • Spending the day before Thanksgiving generated nearly $3 billion, a 22% increase from 2018.

While consumers are gradually beginning to purchase holiday gifts earlier in the year, the sales performance across the “Turkey 5” continues to shatter records. Amazon experienced its strongest Black Friday in the company’s history and Cyber Monday once again became Amazon’s single most successful shopping day since the company’s genesis. Moreover, sales across Feedvisor’s client base were 86% higher during this year’s “Turkey 5” compared to the average sales from the previous month.

Another interesting observation from Marketplace Pulse revealed that the majority of the deals during the “Turkey 5” focused on established brands and holiday shopping — inclusive of curated gift guides for key product categories, home decor suggestions, and grocery necessities for holiday meals — whereas Prime Day 2019 prioritized new product launches and exclusive products, such as Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories makeup brand.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Performance

While retailers no longer exclusively offer sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the spending period has started before these days and extended to the days that follow, the two days both grew exponentially over 2018.

Prior to Cyber Monday 2019 taking place, Black Friday 2019 became the second-largest online sales day ever at $7.4 billion, outpaced only by last year’s Cyber Monday which posted $7.9 billion in sales. Purchases made on a smartphone on Black Friday totaled nearly $3 billion in sales, the most ever in the history of the shopping event. As mobile adoption for online purchases continues, we will likely see this number increase next year.

Although Thanksgiving Day sales surpassed $4 billion for the first time ever, consumers spent more than twice as much on Black Friday versus Thanksgiving Day this year. Black Friday 2019 sales also improved 17% versus the same day in 2018, per Feedvisor client data. These two critical days that kick off the “Cyber 5” period revealed a 25% and 27% year-over-year increase in profits, respectively. 

Best-selling products on Amazon on Black Friday in the U.S. included the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Instant Pot Duo80, 23andMe Health and Ancestry Service, and the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum.

Interestingly, the sellers on Amazon’s marketplace sold more products during Cyber Monday than any other 24-hour period in the company’s history. Similar to Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2019, year-over-year profits soared across Feedvisor’s client base on Cyber Monday 2019, with a 25% increase in profits. 

Across our client base, we observed an 18% increase in Cyber Monday sales this year versus Cyber Monday 2018, which aligns with the overarching holiday trend. A record $9.4 billion was spent online by the end of the cyber holiday, establishing it as the largest online shopping day ever in the U.S., with a 19.7% increase versus last year. According to Adobe Analytics, consumers bought more and higher ticket items during Cyber Monday — virtual shopping carts were 6% larger at checkout on Cyber Monday than they were last year.

Looking Ahead

A staggering “hundreds of millions” of products were sold on Amazon between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Notably, across Feedvisor’s client base the “Turkey 5” saw a 23% increase in profits versus the same five-day period in 2018. 

Now that the “Turkey 5” is complete, and there are six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year, consumers will continue hunting for deals and discounts prior to the Christmas holiday. As a brand or retailer on Amazon, you should aim to continue the momentum you generated during the “Turkey 5” to engage last-minute shoppers and carry momentum into Q1. 

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