Clients and partners have asked about our Amazon EU Christmas sales results, and how we fared selling on the five localised marketplaces over the 2019 peak. While we can't share exact numbers, there are clear trends that are worthy of further explanation.
It's Pattern's first year of selling on Amazon within Europe over the peak trading period, and with nine brands live across a variety of categories, November and December were a busy couple of months.
Below we highlight five trends that we saw acting as the authorised Amazon seller for those brands at the most competitive and promotions-heavy time of the year.
Amazon EU Christmas shoppers left it late to buy
Our biggest revenue week was December 15th to December 21, as shoppers made last-minute gift purchases. As all of our products are fulfilled by Amazon and Prime eligible, we were able to satisfy demand late into the peak trading season.
Our best performing brand had its biggest sales that week on Sunday December 15th, but our second best performing brand was later on Wednesday December 18th. The brand that peaked on the 18th has products that work particularly well as presents, and so we feel we definitely benefited from last-minute gift buyers.
Black Friday was bigger than Cyber Monday
Hitwise says that Amazon UK's sales peaked on Black Friday, however, our sales on Amazon continued to ramp throughout December up until the week prior to Christmas.
Our Amazon EU Christmas sales pattern followed the overall Amazon trend; Black Friday saw higher sales than Cyber Monday, and overall the week that Black Friday fell in was stronger than the following week containing Cyber Monday.
We had seen sales ramping up week-on-week in the run up to Black Friday, with the exception of the week immediately prior to Black Friday. This is no surprise, as many competitors both on and off Amazon began Black Friday promotions very early, and shoppers were also holding off making purchases until Amazon's offical Black Friday promotions were revealed.
In fact, in the week prior to Black Friday week, some of our brands saw increased traffic despite the sales dip, further emphasising that shoppers were researching products but waiting to purchase to see if Black Friday promotions would launch.
Black Friday was a success without discounting
We did not discount our prices for Black Friday, and were prepared to win the Buy Box less in order to stick to our long-term strategy of being a full-price Amazon seller.
In actual fact, we found that our Buy Box visibility stayed consistent over the Black Friday period, partly because of factors beyond price that go towards winning the Buy Box such as being Prime-eligible and product availability etc.
Post-Christmas sales have been steady
Since the week that Christmas Day fell in, our sales revenue has fallen back to the level that we were experiencing in October.
Given that we have not undertaken any post-Christmas clearance or other promotional activity, this dip in demand was expected. We expect revenues to begin to rise from the end of January onwards.
Monthly pay cycles drive sales spikes on Amazon EU In the later part of 2019 - once we were selling a variety of products on Amazon's EU sites - we began to notice the montly variation in sales that is common on many ecommerce sites.
Unlike in the USA, where many employees are paid weekly or biweekly, the majority of salaries are paid monthly in Europe. This can have a distorting effect on sales, as consumers delay purchases in the third week of the month until they have been paid the following week.
This trend was obviously disturbed by peak trading during December, but we will be watching to see whether it reoccurs in the final two weeks of January.
If you need support with developing or refining your Amazon strategy - or are interested in Pattern becoming the authorised Amazon seller for your products - then please contact us here.