Honey Talks #4 Roundup – Epic E-Commerce

Honey Talks #4 Roundup – Epic E-Commerce

China is not a nation that copies, it’s a nation that innovatives. We, at Honey, know that and have spent the past few months helping to educate others in the social creative scene about the epicness coming from the East in our #HoneyTalks event series. So far we’ve seen 400 people come through our doors to listen the best about social, creative and China.

This month it was Epic E-Commerce – showing an insight into the vast and astonishing numbers that are brought about by the world’s biggest e-commerce platforms. We had speakers from Amazon’s big data and insight team, from Alibaba Cloud’s insight team and from Pi-Datametrics.



November is the most important month for e-commerce.

On Monday 25 November brands will slash their prices online in the Western retail holiday – Cyber Monday. On 11 November brands slashed their prices online in the Eastern retail holiday – Singles’ Day. Today, these holidays are crossing borders and becoming prominent in both territories, so we couldn’t resist getting the two e-commerce giants in the same room to talk about it.

Singles’ Day is seen as the World’s Biggest Shopping Festival. Allegedly brought about when a few single people at University wanted to create an Anti-Valentine’s Day. And what do you do when you’re single and bit down? You shop.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday allegedly came about as a time to wind down after Thanksgiving and do some Christmas Shopping for loved ones.

Others believe that all three days were just created as a marketing ploy for brands just like any other consumer-centric holiday like Valentine’s Day.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday collectively brought in $16.74 billion in the US in 2017. This was dwarfed by Singles’ Day which brought in $30.8 billion in 24 hours alone in 2018.


First up we had Li Ma, an original founding partner of The Honey Partnership but now a Big Data Strategist at Amazon.

Li kicked off with some learnings from Amazon Prime Day earlier this year and ended with some great advice for brands:

Start Early

  • In 2016, Amazon launched its Black Friday page eight days before the day.
  • Gaining new customers during Black Friday is a great strategy to generate leads ahead of Christmas.


  • Marking up a discounted deal appears to be a winning strategy.
  • “For most of our Prime Day clients, we had a combination of strategies in place, but specifically for clients that were running any type of discount within their catalogue, we developed a “Custom Deals Tab” within their Brand Store that allowed us to direct traffic through a Headline Search Ad to all the active deals.” – Evan Walsh, Senior Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy.

Sponsor Products Ads

  • Amazon Sponsored Products adverts should be an integral part of your strategy for selling on Amazon.
  • 133% increase in sales attributed to programmatic display advertising compared to the average Friday.
  • “I’ve seen the biggest success advertising Prime Day deals with previously converting keywords. I have upped these bids anywhere from 40-70%, but the caveat is only upping well-converting keywords.” – Stuart Dooley, Marketplace Channel Analyst, CPC Strategy.


Sophie Moule, marketing director at Pi-Datametrics kicked off with some seriously juicy data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year.

  • 39% of spending happened on mobile.
  • Of those brands that took part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 92% saw an increase in traffic to their website and a further 71% saw a significant increase in sales.
  • Half of Britain take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday as consumers.



Valuable Keywords when Marketing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Sophie ran us through the most searched for keywords by consumers on Black Friday. Interestingly enough, Pi-Datametrics’ research has found that ‘Black Friday Deals’ was the most valuable term to optimise around. In other words, you should be injecting this phrase into most or all of the communications you put out around the day.

The top ten most searched for terms were all generic – apart from ‘PC World’ –  the highest selling non-e-commerce platform retailer for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Learning: people are not necessarily searching for a particular product – they are just looking for an awesome deal. So optimise content with generic language.

Mass Media is Still a Thing

Mass media publications like UK Nationals – The Sun, The Mirror and The Telegraph – are not well considered when it comes to influencing people any more, because of their click-bait style headlines. It’s believed that there is a shift towards people seeking neutral information and going to trade publications that often give a better balanced overview of a story. However, when it comes to trades vs. mass media, Sophie outlined an important fact – that people are still more influenced by the mass media than the trades.


In this graph you can see a list of affiliates and new sites who influence purchase decisions on Black Friday. The Sun, The Mirror and The Telegraph are reportedly winning this race.

Learning: Partner with or reach out for earned media space to the big publishers. The Independent has been seen to be making waves in this area last year so could be  your best bet for ROI.


Plan, Peak, Influence, Repeat

Pi-Datametrics proposes a foolproof plan for brands willing to tackle Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  1. Plan
    • Plan your strategy around the top 10 most valuable keywords during times of low interest.
  2. Peak
    • Peak in times of high search demand, by building relationships with affiliates publications or developing your own reactive content.
  3. Influence
    • Influence early to take advantage of uplift in consumer research and engagement. This can take the form of cookie pools, promotions, discounts and email marketing.
  4. Repeat
    • Repeat success by reviewing your strategy and optimising a year-round landing page to drive traffic and collect data ready for the onslaught.



Last but most certainly not least was Chris Potts, Retail Expert from Alibaba Cloud.

This year marks Singles’ Day’s 10th Anniversary.

Chris kicked us off with some epic stats about Singles’ Day and if these don’t give you goosebumps then you really are a statue.

  • In 2017 $25.3 billion was spent.
  • 140,000 brands participated.
  • 225 countries & territories participated.
  • 324,000 transactions per second.
  • 90% sold on mobile.
  • 812 millions orders were generated in 24 hours.

Singles’ Day takes place on the 11 November. It’s been defined as a festival because it brings about the feelings much like at a music festival – happiness and fun.

Anything goes on Singles’ Day. Brands compete with each other to get the fastest delivery time, the fastest happened 11 minutes from purchase to landing on someone’s doorstep. Last year, Chris mentioned he even saw a speedboat and an aeroplane on sale.

Chris went on to talk about how Alibaba is innovating through experience-led commerce activity. By harnessing the offline experience and translating that on to online, Alibaba has seen epic growth and engagement from Singles’ Day.

Our next blog will go into this is in great detail, as it’s really the crux of how retail should be. So look out for that blog if you want to learn more.

Join us for the final #HoneyTalks of the year where we look at the fastest growing social platform in the world: TikTok.

You can sign up here: https://goo.gl/YHHEiH

See you on 5 December at 6.15pm at WeWork Provost & East 145 City Road!

Harriet Butterfield