‘Tis the season for serious shopping, but what’s most likely to land in consumers’ carts? We used Social Standards Market Insights to analyze social data, revealing the brands, products, and retailers consumers associate most with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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What’s in Style in Apparel/Fashion
Around the holidays, consumers aren’t just decorating their homes, they’re also decking themselves out. When consumers are planning their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping strategy, jewelry is by far their most common target.
Jewelry is mentioned in nearly 14% of Black Friday and 15% of Cyber Monday conversations. Data Source: Social Standards Market Insights—Global Apparel/Fashion, Nov. 2018
Bags and outerwear are also popular, but fragrance is where Black Friday (5% conversation share) seriously outshines Cyber Monday (2%). One potential reason for the divergence is that consumers may prefer to purchase perfume and cologne in store rather than online because it enables them to experience the scent in person.
Which stores are consumers most excited about? We broke down the list of brands into mass and luxe apparel/fashion:
The most mentioned luxe fashion brand appears in only half the number of Black Friday and Cyber Monday conversations as these mass apparel brands. Data Source: Social Standards Market Insights—Global Apparel/Fashion, Nov. 2018
Our findings confirm something you’ve probably already guessed: Luxe fashion brands are less often associated with these “retail holidays” than their mass apparel counterparts. However, the fact that luxe brands are also more associated with Black Friday suggests that consumers prefer to shop in-store rather than online when buying high-end.
In contrast, Nike is mentioned in 5% of Black Friday and 4% of Cyber Monday conversations, followed by Adidas. While Black Friday dominates for the first four mass brands, surprisingly that’s not the case for the other players on the list. Forever 21, Gap, and H&M all come up in about 1% of Cyber Monday conversations, beating out even online brand ASOS with those mentions.
Festive Faves in Beauty
The holidays are the perfect occasion for a special look, so it makes sense that the big winner for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Beauty is cosmetics, with all 10 of the top products falling into this category:
While eyeshadow takes top billing in relation to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, false eyelashes are popular options for the latter. Data Source: Social Standards Market Insights—Global Beauty, Nov. 2018
Eyeshadow tops the wishlist for both Black Friday (6% conversation share) and Cyber Monday (9%), but palettes and false eyelashes aren’t far behind. In fact, all of these products fall into the cosmetics category, with skincare not even making the list.
Beauty brands are mentioned more often in relation to Black Friday and Cyber Monday than retailers. That makes sense, as all of the retailers listed here offer an array of brands and products, which could mean that consumers mention (and buy!) multiple brands from a single store. Alternatively, it could be that consumers are more excited about what they’re buying than where they’re buying.
Brands come up more often in Black Friday and Cyber Monday conversations about Beauty than retailers. Data Source: Social Standards Market Insights—Global Beauty, Nov. 2018
Most of the Beauty brands consumers associate with Black Friday and Cyber Monday are prestige (Anastasia Beverly Hills, Huda Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Too Faced) and niche (Kylie Cosmetics, Morphe, Younique), suggesting that consumers want to indulge but opt to purchase these brands at a discount rather than paying full price.
Among retailers, Sephora owns both Cyber Monday (4% conversation share) and Black Friday (3%). Competitor Ulta takes second place, but commands less than half the conversation share.
Perhaps even more interesting, Google and Amazon come in third and fourth, well ahead of department, big box, and discount stores. That suggests consumers are using Google and Amazon for pre-purchase research, if not buying Beauty items directly through the tech giants. While we can’t predict whether 2019 will follow the same pattern, we wouldn’t be surprised to see their conversation share grow this year.
What's Popular in Personal Care
If your go-to holiday gifts include bubble bath or a gift card for a mani/pedi, you’re in good company:
While hair color takes top billing on Black Friday with 15% conversation share, bath products (18%) are the standout on Cyber Monday. Data Source: Social Standards Market Insights – Global Personal Care, Nov. 2018
Bath products like bubbles, bath oil, and bath salts are mentioned in 18% of Personal Care conversations about Cyber Monday, indicating that they’re a major draw for consumers. In contrast, Black Friday is a mixed bag, with hair color and combined mani/pedi conversations both coming in with around 16% share.
For the most part, though, consumers aren’t thinking about particular brands or retailers when talking about these products.
While Young Living comes up in 16% of Personal Care conversations about Cyber Monday—which makes sense given its e-commerce roots—in general, brands and retailers aren't often mentioned in relation to these massive shopping days. Data Source: Social Standards Market Insights – Global Personal Care, Nov. 2018
Before we get to the insights, a warning: keep an eye on the axes above! For other side-by-side graphs, we took pains to use the same scale to make quick visual comparisons easy, but in this case, that’s not so easy.
What the data tells us is that online brands Young Living (known for their essential oils) and Monat Global (hair and skincare) come up with some regularity in regard to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On the whole, though, Personal Care brands are seriously underrepresented in Cyber Monday conversations, with only Young Living, Monat Global, and DoTerra capturing much conversation share, likely in part because of the bevy of brand ambassadors that post about their wares.
That underrepresentation is even more pronounced among retailers. Leader Bath & Body Works appears in just 1% of Black Friday and 0.8% of Cyber Monday conversations, and the numbers go down from there.
Bear in mind, the results here don’t just reflect a lower volume of Black Friday and Cyber Monday conversations around Personal Care topics (though that’s also the case). Because our data is benchmarked by market vertical, conversation share is automatically scaled against total conversations for each industry so the results here represent an opportunity for Personal Care brands and retailers to take control of these oh-so-important consumer holidays.
Top Consumer Motivations
We’ve got one last gift for you in this analysis of conversations about Black Friday and Cyber Monday: a look at the top consumer motivations around cost and quality. We limited the list to these seven topics because we were curious whether bargain-hunting is what gets consumers out to the stores or if the excuse to snap up swanky swag is what really prompts them to fill their carts.
The answer is that consumers talk about luxury most often (regardless of market vertical), but discounts are a fairly close second when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday conversations.
That suggests consumers are excited about the opportunity to treat themselves—and the people on their nice lists—but they’re looking for ways to save while doing it, which is no surprise since consumers spend upward of $1,000 each during the holiday season.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are massive opportunities. For Beauty and Apparel/Fashion companies, understanding which products most excite consumers and which brands and retailers own these days enables them to leverage existing relationships in consumers’ minds.
In cases like Personal Care where brand and retail associations haven't yet solidified, enterprising companies can work to establish themselves as “the face” of these retail holidays before competitors realize they’re up for grabs.
Curious about our other consumer insights? Check out our Resources page for our latest reports and webinars!
The Social Standards Market Insights platform captures millions of social posts, categorizes them by market vertical, then analyzes them to create market-specific benchmarks, and quantifies the relationships between topics.
These findings are based on conversation share, meaning:
The result reflects the products, brands, and retailers that are talked about most often in relation to Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
We chose to analyze November 2018 for this post because we found that the bulk of last year's conversations about Black Friday and Cyber Monday occurred during that month, even though Cyber Monday chatter extended well into December.