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Targeting Black Friday – How did Target profit during Amazon’s Prime Big Deals Day?

By November 20, 2023No Comments
Targeting Black Friday
Targeting Black Friday

Target surprised many by being one of the top performers that competed against Amazon when it launched its Prime Big Deals Days Event on October 10 and 11, 2023. With Black Friday around the corner, Engage3 has taken a deep dive into what Target’s deals were during this period to glean what it might do for Black Friday 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • Target had over 11,500 deals on 5 October, 43.6% of which were its Private Label products 
  • Clothing was promoted the most, 26.7% of deals, followed by the Home category (20.5%) and Toys (17.0%
  • Target offered a simplistic deal structure with over 75% of deals either a “Save 20%” or “Save 30%” 

On 10 October, Amazon launched its 48-hour Prime Big Deals Event sparking the start of the holiday shopping season. Retailers set up rival events to capitalize and Target was one of the top performers*. 

Target launched its competing Circle Week sales on 1st October (running to 7th October) and as a result saw an 11% increase in transactions from the week prior. It carried this momentum, even when the Amazon event launched with transactions up 7% compared to 2 weeks prior.  

Clothing and Home made up almost half of Target’s Circle Week Deals 

Target offered more than 11,500 Circle Week Deals on 5 October with the Clothing category making up 26.7% of these. The Home category followed with 20.5% of deals while Toys and Grocery made up 17.0% and 16.8% respectively. Collectively these 4 categories accounted for 81.0% of all deals. 

Assortment of Target Circle Week Deals

Target’s Private Label brands like Threshold, Hide & EEK! and A New Day made up 43.8% of all its Circle Week Deals. The Home and Pet categories had the most Private Label representation as Target’s products accounted for 85.7% and 85.2% respectively. Branded items dominated deals in Baby (95.2%), Health & Beauty (85.7%) and Electronics (84.9%). 

Proportion of Target Circle Week Deals by Brand

Save 20% was the most frequent deal 

“Save 20%” and “Save 30%” were the most common Circle Week deals that Target promoted accounting for 38.1% and 37.4% respectively. “Save 20%” was 100% of Pet deals, 98.1% of Grocery and 74.5% of deals in the Home category. 

“Save 30%” was almost the all the deals in the Clothing category and 80.4% of Electronics deals. Within Health & Beauty, 98.3% of deals were “$5 Target GiftCard with $25 beauty & health purchase”. While most Toy deals were “Save $25, when you spend $100 or more”. 

Proportion of Target Circle Week Deals by Deal Type

Bath, Bedding & Halloween Items were the most promoted Home categories

“Save 20%” on Bath and Bedding were the most popular promoted sub-categories in the Home category followed by 30% off Halloween Décor. All these categories were predominantly Private Label, 93.2% of deals, but brands did make up 30.9% of “Save 20% on Candles”. 

Chesapeake Bay was the most represented brand in “Save 20% on Candles” as its Home Scents range was 6.3% of all deals and its standard range 5.2%. Its standard range also had the second-lowest average deal price, $13.28, behind Private Label, $12.80. Average prices were higher for the brands with fewer listed deals. This was in part due to larger products (e.g., WoodWick) or the brands being more premium like Freres Branchiaux and Satya + Sage. 

Shoppers would have to buy and average of 6 Toys to “Save $25”

With the holidays not far away, the Toy category took prominent place amongst Target’s Circle Week deals. 58% of the Toy deals Target offered were “Save $25, when spending $100 or more”. Target’s own brands again took center stage with 90 deals, constituting 7.7% of the total Toy deals. Barbie, Fisher-Price, and B.toys emerged as the next closest contenders with the most deals. B.toys also had the 3rd highest average deal price, of the top brands, at $19.32, ahead of Hot Wheels and Paw Patrol.   

Overall, the average deal price for this deal type was $18.26, this means a shopper would have to buy an average of 6 products to get the $25 saving. 

Simplicity won the week for Target

Our analysis of the deals that Target offered to compete with Amazon Prime Big Deal Days showed a simplistic approach drove its success. Almost half of its deals, 43.6%, were on its own products and it had largely offered basic deal structures like “Save 20%” or “$5 Target GiftCard with $25 purchase”. This approach clearly offered advantages in efficiency of implementation but, as we’ve seen, also generated good results.  

Part of its success was launching its deals 9 days before Amazon’s event, and it has used this strategy again ahead of Black Friday. Target launched its Black Friday sales on 29 October running through the Thanksgiving weekend. This is 19 days (about 2 and a half weeks) before Amazon’s Black Friday sales start, presumably with the hope of replicating similar momentum to what we have seen above.  

Engage3 will closely be following developments over the Cyber5 weekend. Click here to find out about how Target succeeded competing against Amazon and how Engage3 helps retailers and brands improve their pricing performance and compete more profitably through data science & analytics.   

*Source Grips Intelligence