The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2019



Planning campaigns for the busiest shopping day of the year need not be overwhelming (we promise!) We put together everything you need to know as you prepare for Black Friday 2K19.


Here are the stats that matter from Black Friday Shopping Season 2018:

Black Friday 2018

Black Friday 2018 (Thanksgiving Day plus Black Friday) raked in $9.9 billion in online sales – a 19.7% increase over 2017
(Adobe Analytics)

Black Friday 2018

$6.2 billion spent on Black Friday and $3.7 billion spent on Thanksgiving (a growth of 28% year over year)
(Adobe Analytics)

Black Friday 2018

14.8 million online transactions were processed on Black Friday 2018 and 13.7 million were processed on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2018

Average per-person spending was $313.29 during Thanksgiving weekend 2018 ($217 spent on gifts)

Buy Online - Pickup In-Store

The Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) model saw a 50% increase year-over-year during Thanksgiving weekend 2018
(Adobe Analytics)

Online Conversions

Retailers with physical stores drove 28% higher conversions online
(Adobe Analytics)


Site Visits

Mobile represented 51.4% of site visits (43.6% smartphones, 7.8% tablets) making it the first Cyber Monday where more than half of visits came from mobile.
(Adobe Analytics)

Mobile Revenue

Mobile accounted for 34% of revenue (26.3% smartphones, 7.7% tablets)
(Adobe Analytics)

Best Practices

What does it mean for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Shopping Strategy? We’re so glad you asked!

Scale: Don’t Restrict Inventory and Set Aside Your Biggest Budget

The most reach is critical. 

Black Friday weekend raked in $9.9 billion in online sales and counted 28.5 million online transactions. That means a massive amount of shoppers are already ready and willing to shop online. Now is the time to go big or go home. Set aside a large budget.

Run nationally-targeted campaigns utilizing all 3 ad formats (in-feed, recommendation widget, and in-ad) across all 3 devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile) to ensure we are able to find relevant users at any time on any device.

Get access to as many placements as possible. Bidtellect is partnered with more than 30 supply partners for the most expansive network in the ecosystem, which means access to 58 million distinctly targetable placements and 10 billion Native auctions daily.

Performance: Optimize and Measure Post-Click for Qualified Site Traffic

It’s not enough to reach far and wide – aim for more qualified site traffic with placement level optimization, dynamic creative optimization (DCO) and qualified engagement measurement.  Dive deeper into the success of your Native Advertising campaign by using Bidtellect’s Engagement Score, unique proprietary technology for a deeper understanding of consumer engagement, so you can measure and optimize towards post-click engagement metrics such as page views, bounce rate and time spent on site.

Creative Insights: Copy + Image Matters For Maximum Engagement

[b]+studio is Bidtellect’s award-winning in-house creative team and they are experts in creating copy and images that draw in consumers and lead them to your content. Based on Black Friday (and all year long) performance, here’s what you should know: 

  • Include a promotional code
  • Be sure there’s a holiday reference in the images or copy
  • Children, pets, and people in images perform best
  • If using images with products, one solo “feature” product performs better than a group of products
  • Photographs perform better than animated images
  • Content/Thought Leadership: offer tips for the best gifts or creative ideas.


This was a best-performing Black Friday 2018 image with an eCPA of $2.16.

This was a best-performing Black Friday 2018 image with an eCPA of $2.31.

Consider the Customer Journey: Target and Retarget 

Since a consideration cycle is generally required to make a purchase – especially with so many choices and sales during Black Friday weekend – supplement a prospecting strategy with retargeting to drive prospects back to the site to purchase. Make it even easier to buy online and pick up in store, too. The (BOPIS) model saw a 50% increase.

Account for Mobile

It should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t. Before setting up campaigns, check that the landing pages you will be directing traffic to are as mobile-friendly as possible, from easy scrolling to readability to ease of purchasing products. Mobile represented 51.4% of site visits and accounted for 34% of revenue. 

Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!

Will Native Advertising Win Big in Politics?

Will Native Advertising Win Big in Politics?

Political campaigns are placing more emphasis on digital advertising – some, like Elizabeth Warren, even announced bringing ad-buying house. What are the new rules of political advertising in the digital space? Is Native the answer? We investigate how politicians could thrive if they play the digital advertising game right.

Political Ads Will Run More Digital Ads This Year Than Ever

That’s right. The L.A. Times dove deep into the political campaign advertising landscape. According to Borrell Associates (a firm that tracks advertising data) via the L.A. Times, during the 2014 midterm elections, political campaigns and groups spent less than 1% of their ad budgets online. In 2018, the share was expected to be more than 22%. The main draw? Digital advertising is less expensive than traditional TV, radio, and postal advertising. Nowadays, businesses tend to opt for internet ads on a pay-per-click basis. All they might need is to get in touch with a ppc agency or a similar digital marketing firm that can understand client needs and tailor unique marketing campaigns for them. Additionally, it can also be tailored to relevant consumers. The reach of social media, in particular, is a huge advantage, which is why so many people buy Instagram followers as a way to expand their audience. Digital advertising can reach huge swathes of the population for a fraction of the price of traditional channels, so expect to see more of it in the future. Similarly, video production companies will have good scope for fetching clients as social media largely demands quality video content. There is a lot of research and skills needed to get the right content out and manage to convey the message in less amount of time. Therefore, hiring an expert in this field similar to Miami video production company or anywhere near you could bring you the results you need. By keeping these points in mind while starting political campaign, you will receive great results as long as you are applying the right digital strategy.

Read more: Political campaigns will run more digital ads this year than ever. Here’s how they’ll find you

The OG of Content Marketing, Thomas Paine, Was Onto Something

That’s right. Remember Thomas Paine’s 1775 Common Sense pamphlet that swept our fledgling nation and planted the seeds for a revolution? As Sean Callahan discusses in this Linkedin piece, it followed the core principles of content marketing. Its success was largely due to its simple, direct prose that the “everyday” person could understand, bringing politics from the elite to the masses. Thomas Paine established himself and his movement as “thought leaders” and won the trust of a massive amount of people, incited action, and effected change. Talk about engagement!
The political leaders of today who will succeed in winning votes via their digital advertising efforts will succeed if they establish themselves as experts, thought leaders, and directly address their readers. This especially applies to political activists like Karim Jivraj and others in similar positions, who want to make an impression that will have a lasting effect on communities who want to look for political candidates that will make a difference in politics and other sectors that have government influence.

Read more: More Than Words: The Power of Political Content Marketing

Native Ads Will Fare Better than Display

While Native Advertising might have a sticky history with politics – one particular Norwegian piece made headlines for misleading readers entirely with an entire candidate interview published under the guise of being journalism, when it was, in fact, a paid-for advertisement – the reality is Native still gains more trust and favorability with consumers than Display does. 71% of US internet users believe banner ads are more intrusive now than ever before (Millward Brown), while ⅔ of consumers find Native Ads interesting and informative (NAI).
Native Advertising should be viewed as a form of high-quality content marketing that offers relevant information to interested readers in a relevant context. Content consumers – voters – would still always rather be offered Native Ads to engage with rather than bombarded with obnoxious display/banner ads. Let’s not forget that only 0.05% of users click on banner ads (SmartInsights) at all, as rising distrust has led users to ignore them completely – a phenomenon now dubbed “Banner Blindness.”

Read more: Elizabeth Warren Brings Ad Buying In-House

Context is Everything

Native Ad engagement thrives when the ads are placed on contextually-relevant sites. So, yes, a political ad targeted to a viewer on a site where they are reading about new Fall boots to buy will seem creepy, but placed on a page of a news site discussing the upcoming election or last night’s debate will seem relevant. Relevant contextual placement, or contextual optimization, catches the consumer when they are already seeking more information, all but guaranteeing engagement. When consumers are already seeking new information, they will welcome more content to engage with.

Read more: Context: The Answer for Ad Placement

This all begs the question: how innovative is the advertising plan for political candidates, from the local to the national level? What kinds of content do voters trust and what are they less likely to read? Which formats and placements are the most appealing and which will bring the most engagement? Only time will tell.
Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!