Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and with it come a slew of advertisements as companies in the retail space attempt to dominate share of voice (SOV).  Marketing campaigns increase SOV in the earned media space, which in turn drives share of market. Every year the biggest brands spend massive amounts on marketing with the aim of protecting their own market share and hopefully stealing some from competitors. This year was no different, with Black Friday commercials seemingly on TV every other minute and online ads constantly popping up across the web. This added up to over 353,000 mentions of Black Friday in the week prior to the major shopping day over all forms of media, which accounted for 23.5 billion impressions.

Amazon’s domination in share of voice reflected the overall shift to online shopping, and mobile in particular. Sales surpassed $3 billion for the first time ever, with mobile sales making up over a third of that total. The majority of the top shared sites aggregated deals from a host of different online and brick and mortar retailers, but when these were filtered out, Amazon associated sites made up the top 7. The variety of url country codes also reflects Black Friday’s growing popularity in Europe. Walmart has already started planning for a future ruled by online retail; it recently bought in an effort to help the giant retailer compete with Amazon.


black-friday-top-sites-by-shares-othersHere we can see the overall increase in traffic as the week progressed and Amazon’s domination throughout the entire period. The company reported that they had more sales on Thanksgiving this year than they had on Cyber Monday last year, a holiday geared towards online shopping. Evidently, their advantage in share of voice has reflected well in terms of sales.


Coverage of Black Friday was spread across all forms of media, with Twitter making up 85% of all mentions. When Twitter is filtered out, an interesting trend emerges. Every type of media increases in mentions throughout the week in the build-up to Black Friday, except for one: broadcast. This medium peaks earlier in the week, averaging around 2,500 mentions between Tuesday and Thursday, before falling off to only 807 mentions on Friday. This could be due to the fact that marketing campaigns used TV spots to encourage shoppers to go to brick and mortar stores, while digital sources were used to advertise online deals to the large number individuals who opted to stay home on Black Friday.


Amazon proved the age old adage that share of voice correlates with share of market for the dominant players. The online retail giants success also highlighted the shift in consumer preferences to online shopping, highlighted by Cyber Monday 2016 being the largest day in the history of US e-commerce. The competitors will be looking to catch up with Amazon next year and the first step in doing so will be cutting into their share of voice.