With Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 now behind us, it’s safe to say that this shaping up to be a holiday shopping season like no other.

As the numbers roll in, some interesting marketing trends have quickly emerged from the millions of ads running on Taboola’s network.

Here’s a quick summary of marketing lessons from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 by sector.

Retail Rules the Net

Despite various pandemic-related restrictions around the world, retailers are still seeing success with digital marketing advertising.

However, although retail shopping outlet stores saw an 84% spike in digital ad activity over the 45-day period leading up to Cyber Monday.

Online retailers were the big winners with an astounding 4,519% increase over the previous 45 days.

According to the data, most of this traffic occurred on the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend.

As the readership trends suggest, online shopping is smoking hot this season, which means that retail brands should focus intently on their digital marketing campaigns.

The Ultimate Holiday Marketing Playbook (Broken Down by 11 Industries)

CPG Paper Craze and Cozy Factor

In the Consumer Packaged Goods sector, the most recent data suggests that readers are looking for paper products (up 212%) and socks (up 78%).

This makes sense as more people stay home, using more toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels.

Consumer goods companies should highlight their paper products, as well as those with a “cozy” factor, including warm or winter-like items such as socks and slippers.

Fashion With an Eye on Comfort

When it comes to fashion brands this holiday season, the Black Friday Cyber Monday numbers show readers want comfort, with sales up across pajamas (79%), sneakers (141%), and leggings (158%).

So fashion brands should consider highlighting the most comfortable pieces in their collections right now.

Beauty Routines that Include Skin & Haircare

Yes, people still buy beauty products when they’re spending time at home, although makeup might not be top of mind.

According to the numbers, products to combat acne were up 18%, and anti-aging products were up 29%, while skincare product interest rose by 66% in the days leading up to Cyber Monday.

However, shampoo saw an even greater increase in readership interest—up 148% across our ad network.

This suggests that beauty brands should capitalize on skincare and haircare products throughout the remainder of the holiday season.

Consumer Technology Gift-Giving

In the world of consumer technology, laptop sales have been staying steady through the weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday with just a relatively slight increase of 13%.

However, watches saw a spike of 91%, which could indicate gift-buying behavior.

This could point to an opportunity for consumer tech marketing to focus on items suitable gift-giving rather than work or education-related items.

Sugar Rush in the Pantry

While the food holiday marketing trends of 2020 show an increased reader interest in energy drinks (up 48% in the past 45 days), the real winner here is the simple sugar cookie, with an incredible 1400% increase in ad activity.

As with the other sectors, this suggests that in 2020, consumers need simple comfort.

Food retailers should highlight their products that reflect simple, basic, home comfort meals, dishes, and drinks.

Decorating and Cooking this Holiday Season

Winter in the northern hemisphere typically drives consumers to spend more on season items such as ornaments (up 711%), and other items they’d give as gifts, such as cookware (up 209%).

However, the period leading up to 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday also included a curious increase in mattress sales (up 711%).

This could point to an opportunity for home goods marketers to showcase their sleep and relaxation-related items.

Bedding sets, bedroom furniture, and bedroom decor and art could be what your customers are looking for at the end of 2020.

Lifting and Stretching for Wellness

Free weights and home exercise equipment and gear are still on the minds of readers, as illustrated by a 42% increase in clicks on kettlebell ads during the 45-day period ending November 30.

Yet yoga has seen a big 255% increase in clicks. This could be due to winter weather forcing more outdoor exercise enthusiasts indoors in the northern hemisphere.

As 2020 winds down, and stay-at-home orders ramp up, more people are looking to stay healthy and fit from the comfort of home.

Now’s the time for lifestyle and wellness educators to share their products and services for at-home use.


Another interesting online holiday marketing trend is the growing interest in skill-based education, up 204% over the 45 day period prior to Cyber Monday.

The spike of interest during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale period suggests that consumers are ready and willing to shop for “deals” on educational items and services to increase their skills.

This marketing trend could point to the opportunity for marketers in the education sector to focus on the practical and applicable skills of a formal program rather than the credential it represents.

It could also point to the potential of offering “sales” or “deals” on educational programs in the future.

With more people shopping online than ever before, today’s savvy marketer will find valuable patterns, tips and consumer behavioral cues within the trends emerging from the 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

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