PPC Data You Need to Know for December Holiday Mania

We’re knee-deep in the waters of Christmas, so there’s no better time than now to cover how to navigate the December holiday mania as an Amazon PPC advertiser.

Believe it or not, an average day in December is actually bigger than either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. That’s right, you heard correctly.

December Holiday Mania quote

For all the hype those two days get, the worst days of December are almost as good, and the best days have some insane conversion stats attached to them.

You might be tempted just to increase all your budgets and all your bids and call it a day. And we wouldn’t blame you; however, there might be an even better way. We’ve analyzed our 2018 December PPC data from our Ad Badger users and found some useful patterns to capitalize on throughout the month.

Today, we’re breaking down that December data week-by-week and providing you a playbook of practical PPC strategies to use. Here’s what you can look forward to learning:

  1. An average yet strong Week 1
  2. Pull out all the stops for December 10 -21 holiday mania
  3. The trailing, final week of December

An Average Yet Strong Week 1

Maybe people are still in a turkey hangover, or they’re procrastinating their holiday shopping, but December starts at a slow and steady pace.

You're telling me Thanksgiving isn't the end of the year? GIF courtesy of Giphy

The first week of December isn’t going to turn any heads compared to the coming weeks, but it’s strong nonetheless. The average conversion rate was 8.36%, which isn’t the greatest. Still, there was also a much higher volume of sales during this period.

All around, we recommend not overspending in the first week of December because the next 2 weeks are where you want to go all in. If anything, this first week can be a good time to prime your account for the changes you’ll need to make in the next period.

Pull Out All the Stops for December 10-21 Holiday Mania

While week 1 starts off cold, the next two weeks are on blazing hot. From the period of roughly the 10th to the 21st, sales go gangbusters, and conversion rates consistently average above 10%.

This stretch of 2 weeks is literally the most activity across Amazon throughout the year, and it’s not an opportunity you want to miss.

December Holiday Mania period
No snow this December, just hot PPC opportunity.

We recommend you create a separate campaign just for these two weeks and go big with your Amazon advertising. Shoot for larger spend, bigger budgets, and pour as many resources as you can into it.

While your cost-per-click (CPC) may rise, it’ll be offset by the significantly higher conversion rates and much lower ACOS. Investing in these two weeks is probably one of the easiest and most reliable ways to increase your account’s performance.

The 2 Most Important Days

If you’re unable to amp up your campaigns for this whole two week period, then you can focus all your effort on the 2 most important days— December 17th and 18th.

These two days are exactly one week before Christmas, with the average impressions per user jumping to over 60,000. For reference, the average impressions per user on Black Friday was only 57,000. 

Furthermore, conversion rates reach their peak on these two days, along with extremely low ACOS. If there’s a time to go ham, this is it.

GIF courtesy of Giphy.

The Trailing, Final Week of December

After the supernova of activity that was the prior two weeks, the final week of December is more reminiscent of the first. Many of the days in this period, December 22, 23, 24, 25, are worse than your average day in December.

In fact, on Christmas Day has the worst ACOS of the month with an average of 47%, which is significantly worse than the 38% average on an average December day.

A behind the scenes look at Low Conversion Christmas eating up your budget. GIF courtesy of Giphy.

From a strategy perspective, when December 21st rolls around, you want to dramatically scale back your campaigns because it’s no longer worth it to be bidding that aggressively. To make all those bid changes quickly, we definitely recommend using bulk file operations.

From here, you can wait out this lull until everything stabilizes itself around January.

Key Takeaways

So what have we learned here today? Most people are procrastinators on their holiday shopping. And because of this, we need to modify our ads to accommodate for all the procrastinators out there.

All jokes aside, here’s our quick and dirty advice we’d give for managing your Amazon PPC account in December. Take week 1 slow, pour everything you have into weeks 2 and 3, and then chill out again for week 4. 

This strategy will prevent you from overspending on the slow weeks and fully capitalizing on the high activity period. Now that sounds like a win-win Christmas gift.

Badger out.

Discover Us on our PPC Den Podcast

If you prefer learning via audio, we cover this same info in the podcast episode below. You can also find us on your favorite streaming platforms like Apple, Google, Spotify, and more!

Watch Mike & Stephen on YouTube

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