Marketplace Best Practices

Preparing for the “Cyber Five”: Marketplace Strategies for Holiday Sales

Sara Matasci
November 18, 2019
Preparing for the “Cyber Five”: Marketplace Strategies for Holiday Sales
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Black Friday has become much more than the in-store frenzy of the past. Bookended by Cyber Monday, it has transformed into the “Cyber Five,” a sale event that heralds the official start of the holiday shopping season across the United States and beyond.

Last year, the Cyber Five brought in $24.2 billion in online sales in the United States alone. Here’s what our Platform Pioneers across the globe are forecasting as the biggest trends for this holiday season – and how marketplace merchants are preparing for the Cyber Five.

Platform Pioneers prepare for the holidays

Platform Pioneer Maisonette is a leading online-only retailer of luxury children’s clothing, accessories, and home décor. With the help of a Mirakl-powered Marketplace platform, Maisonette offers the best children’s products from around the world from designer brands and off-the-beaten-path boutiques. This year, customers started shopping for holiday goods early:

We've seen an early surge in holiday decor purchases this year, with searches for holiday furnishings starting at the beginning of October, weeks before our Holiday shop went live. This is a key learning to have holiday assortments live early!” Brittany Kelly, Director of Merchandising & Planning, Maisonette

This echoes McKinsey research indicating that consumers are preparing for the holidays earlier. In fact, 16% of consumers start shopping as early as the beginning of October. Most consumers report that they conduct in-depth research to plan their shopping lists, too, with just 13% making spontaneous purchases.

Consumers also shared that their number-one concern is choosing the right gifts to buy for their loved ones, and with Maisonette’s holiday gift guide, they’ve provided 10 unique gifting things to offer shoppers the guidance they need.

Matching pajamas for the entire family are a major focus of our holiday assortment strategy. Who doesn't want that perfect family photo opening presents in festive matching jammies?! Brittany Kelly, Director of Merchandising & Planning, Maisonette

Cyber Five sales have traveled across the world, with Catch Group representing Australia in the kickoff to the holiday sale season. Catch is expecting strong sales on the heels of major growth during Black Friday:

The Black Friday sales event has grown exponentially over the last few years, fuelled by the growth of online marketplaces like Catch in Australia. We expect to see strong sales on the day in consumer electronics, fashion, toys and furniture as consumers turn to Catch to complete their Christmas shopping lists.

Customers will be looking for amazing deals on the biggest brands including Apple, Nintendo, Beats and Nike. Sellers who are able to offer the latest, hottest items at never-before-seen prices will see the most success on the day!

Christian McKelvie, Head of Marketplace, Catch Group

Catch Group’s marketplace is a key part of their assortment, and the retailer is working closely with the 1,200 sellers on its marketplace to offer the best sales to customers:

Black Friday is the biggest sales event on the Catch calendar, and our Marketplace sellers are eligible to submit their best deals and promotions to be included in our many Black Friday promotions running throughout the day. The Catch customer loves our event mix and sellers are encouraged to leverage this to see incredible sales over the promotional period. Christian McKelvie, Head of Marketplace, Catch Group

Marketplace merchants plan early, and collaborate with operators

Online marketplaces are able to deliver what customers want, when they want it, at the price that they want it – and operators wouldn’t be able to do it without their merchants. We spoke with two merchants that sell on Mirakl-powered Marketplaces to learn how they’re preparing to meet shoppers’ needs during the Cyber Five sales.

Pertemba is a UK-based Mirakl marketplace specialist, selling on 50+ marketplaces worldwide, including Afound (H&M Group) in Sweden, ePRICE in Italy, and Catch Group in Australia. The merchant is also in discussion with Mirakl marketplace operators in the U.S. and Latin America, and sells on Amazon worldwide.

Pertemba’s Black Friday strategy is to invest heavily in the Cyber Five, because customer shopping habits are changing, and sales are growing meaningfully year-over-year:

The sales from August to October are now being condensed into Black Friday. People want a deal so they are willing to wait as much as possible, plus, the logistics are improving so they are able to wait and get their goods in time... We are seeing a 30% increase in Black Friday sales on existing marketplaces year over year.

Ravi Karia, Commercial Director at Pertemba

U.S.-based AreaTrend sells on more than 35 marketplaces worldwide, including Mirakl-powered Marketplaces in the United States and Australia, as well as its own website. Their Cyber Five strategy is simple: well-stocked inventory, competitive prices, and advance planning.

We usually reserve our best prices for the Cyber Five. We make sure we have a full inventory of our best products and what we anticipate will work this year. We usually have our full stock, strategy, deals and pricing book 90 days prior to the event, but we start planning from Q1.

Zac Ramey, Director of Business Development, AreaTrend

Both merchants emphasized the importance of collaboration with marketplace operators to maximize success during Cyber Five sales – both for sellers and the brands that operate marketplaces.

Get the dialogue going to get the sellers thinking on what their strategy would be for your marketplace. It’s not just about the price for the seller but also about strategic value: we might be willing to make a loss on the products, in order to bring attention to our brands and gain a lot of customers for the long run.

Ravi Karia, Commercial Director at Pertemba

I would urge marketplace operators to discuss with the sellers, understand and plan with them in terms of categories and products. Even if they assume the sellers don’t have the stock, they might get a good surprise just by communicating. The key to success is really to be collaborative.

Zac Ramey, Director of Business Development, AreaTrend

Get the most out of the Cyber Five and beyond

Even if your Black Friday strategy is already set for the year, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’ll manage next year’s holidays – and how you’ll manage your inventory to ensure that you offer what your customers want.

Consumers are expecting more from the brands that they trust: they want guidance on what to buy, more options to choose from, and better prices. With Mirakl, brands are using the online marketplace model to deliver all of that while protecting their core DNA, so that they can capture more of their customers' spend. Tzipi Avioz, EVP Customer Success, Mirakl

Not sure where to start? Mirakl can help. Connect with a Mirakl marketplace expert today to start planning for the future of your eCommerce strategy.

Written by
Sara Matasci
Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing at Mirakl

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