We just emerged from two of the biggest shopping days of the year, if not the biggest: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While many eyes are on the products that sold the best, we had to ask: which companies did the best at a retailer like Best Buy ($NYSE:BBY)?
Ranking within the top-1,000 best-selling products sold at Bestbuy.com — or among the 1.3% of all products sold — is a major sign of success for a company. But during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, it's also important to look at how much these companies discounted their products.
On BestBuy.com, the average discount for products jumped up to 21.44% on November 25 from 18.33% just four days prior, while the number of products discounted increased by 14.69%.
For November 25, the average discount among the top-1,000 products was 27%, a few percentage points above the average.
Given these baselines, we can look closely at the companies that saw a boom at Best Buy during the weekend and how much it cost for them to gain ground on their competitors.
Apple vs. Amazon: dissecting the Silicon Valley rivalry
As Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN) butt heads for digital-assistant and streaming marketshare, their respective products flew off the virtual shelves at BestBuy.com during the holiday weekend.
Amazon had a successful Black Friday at Best Buy; in just one week, the number of products it had as top-1,000 best-sellers more than doubled.
It also set a recent record for a best-selling product ranking. On November 25, Amazon's Fire Stick TV ranked 11th out of all products at Best Buy, which was the highest rank the company had for any of its products. The graph below shows the top rank for any Amazon product since October 1st:
Meanwhile, Apple saw a slight decrease in the number of its best-selling products, and the highest rank for all of its best-selling product — a headphone dongle, of course — dropped off during the weekend.
But of course, that's only part of the story between these two rivals. While Amazon saw a boom during the Black Friday weekend, it also heavily discounted its products, slashing prices down nearly three-fold from its normal levels.
Apple offered up more sober discounts during the same time period. The top Apple products peaked above a 10% average discount once, well below the Best Buy average of 26%.
Amazon won the weekend by discounting its products effectively, such as with its Fire Stick that was put up as 37.5% off on the website. Apple didn't stray too far away from its average prices, which consumers saw and moved elsewhere to bigger and better deals. That, in turn, saw Apple's number of best-sellers drop significantly over the weekend, but it's yet to be determined how much it really hurt the tech giant.
Sony's PS4 deal helped it stay as king of the consoles
During the holiday weekend, Sony ($NYSE:SNE) offered a PlayStation 4 console and a copy of the new Spider-Man game for $199, a 33% discount from the usual bundle price of $299.
Needless to say, that deal was too good for some to pass up. The bundle quickly became the highest-ranked best-seller during Black Friday and almost topped all Sony products ranked over this year by ranking in 9th.
It also was one of the best rankings a Sony product received since we started tracking Best Buy sales-rank in 2015.
Given that Sony's best ranking product in the past two months was just for the Spider-Man game, which retails for only $59.99, putting a product that's over three times as expensive right below it during the busiest shopping seasons of the year is an impressive feat.
The 4K Streaming War Redux: Roku boosts itself through discounts
When we last covered 4K device sales at Best Buy, data showed how Apple TV is starting to win over sales against its main competitor Amazon.
Over the past week, Roku ($NASDAQ:ROKU), another competitor in the 4K streaming space, decided to hit the nuclear discount button.
It took its media player bundle with JBL headphones and a voice remote, slashed the price of it by as much as 50%, and immediately jumped Amazon's 4K Fire Stick TV and Apple's 4K Apple TV Device for that weekend.
Oddly enough, Roku sales did not peak when the bundle was priced down 50%. Rather, that peak happened when it was a little more expensive at only a 40% discount. Still, it was bigger than any discount its competitors offered for that weekend between the three devices.
But, of course, in order to win the battle, Roku had to dip its prices close to Amazon's level. Meanwhile, Apple still made its customers pay at a premium if it wanted its 4K device, and it ultimately paid the price (at least for that weekend).
As the sales cool down, we'll see how Roku continues to fair against the two tech giants in the 4K TV space.