Purple strategically focuses its holiday ad budget before and after the Cyber 5 to save money when cost for clicks is at its highest.

Mattresses may not be the most giftable product, but that doesn’t stop sales from surging for the high-ticket home furnishings product during the holiday season.

In fact, the five-day period around Thanksgiving, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is online mattress retailer Purple’s biggest sales week of the year, the retailer says. What’s more, Purple had its strongest quarter of 2018 in Q4, pulling in $78.5 million in sales in the fourth quarter, a 24.5% jump compared with the previous year. Purple is No. 191 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 500.

Currently, Purple is in the throes of mapping its holiday season marketing plan in terms of content, promotions and cadence, says Dan Bischoff, the retailer’s senior director of acquisitions. For example, Purple is currently running tests to determine whether a shopper is most likely to convert with a cash-off deal or percentage-off discount, or if it is bundled with another product, he says.

It is also working on ads that showcase how it is different from other direct-to-consumer mattress brands. While many DNVB mattress brands use a memory foam-type material, Purple manufactures its own materials and works to position itself as a more premium brand, Bischoff says.


To do this, Purple has to work to ensure that consumers understand its product and why it’s unique before they see a coupon code. Purple’s strategy entails targeting shoppers with multiple pieces of content, such as an explanatory video.

When Purple plans its strategy of when to show shoppers its ads, it factors in the higher costs of digital marketing in the fourth quarter compared with other times throughout the year, as well as higher costs on the big sales days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Bischoff says. Purple points to data from digital marketing vendor AdStage Inc., which reports that the median cost per click for Facebook Audience Network ads is 18% higher in Q4 compared with Q3, 53% higher in Q4 compared with Q3 and 162% higher in Q4 compared with Q1.

Because Purple needs a few months to market its product before closing the sale, Purple may spend more on advertising in Q3—when it needs to target shoppers with video content—than in Q4— when it is too competitive and unlikely to close the shopper in a two-week period.

“It’s also important to recognize that the number of clicks and impressions per day is finite,” Bischoff says. “Regardless of how much you spend, only a finite number of people are going to click your ad.”

Purple sees brands spend the majority of their budget on only a couple of days, and then don’t spend as much on the days surrounding the holiday shopping season to save. “We take that trend into consideration when planning our advertising spend over the holidays,” Bischoff says.

Plus, after Christmas, when shoppers may have received money as a gift, Purple may resume trying to close the shopper with a deal. January is sometimes referred to as “the 13th month” for sales for mattresses because of this post-holiday bump in sales, Bischoff says.

To read more about how Purple and other retailers are preparing for the 2019 holiday season, check out Internet Retailer Magazine’s August cover story:  Many routes to a happy holiday season.