Amazon Black Friday won’t kill the day
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
2 November 2016
For some, Black Friday is still an experience
Normally, I appreciate most of what Amazon does. The brand has a well thought out and executed brand strategy, with most of its moves being a reflection of that strategy. Retailers may not like what Amazon does but they are trying to copy it, if not improve on it.
“At the end of the day, this promotion will do little to change human behavior.”
With 54 shopping days left until Christmas, Amazon has unilaterally declared the days from today until Black Friday as the Countdown to Black Friday. Further, Amazon has decided that it will continue its Black Friday sales until December 22, extending the made up retailing holiday over the course of two months.
But the real savings are not scheduled to start until after Veteran’s Day. The crazy bash-the-door-down markdowns won’t hit the virtual shelves until the week of Thanksgiving.
But don’t worry, retailers, the Amazon Black Friday era did not just kill the supposed holiday.
What Amazon Black Friday is intended to achieve
Amazon Black Friday is an attempt to prompt shopper to no longer wait for local brick and mortar or even online shop to have its own event. Amazon Black Friday is intended to make you purchase today what you would have bought immediately after Thanksgiving.
However, I am not all together sure that it will actually keep people out of stores. For some, Amazon purchases will just be spread out a bit more over the 54 shopping days left. They won’t necessarily be made today.
Personally, I think that most people who shop on Black Friday simply do it for the sport of it. It’s the experience of it. The game for Amazon should be to change a behavior and that behavior won’t change with a simple promotion. Retailers need Black Friday. So as long as they open up at 2am with $210 TVs, there will always be people willing to wait in a line that circles a city block for a chance to get one.
Why this is redundant
Amazon will have a degree of success with this promotion, but it alone will not kill Black Friday. Consumers have been shifting their purchasing from traditional brick and mortar to online anyway. But it will be difficult for Amazon to say exactly what percentage of sales increases were due to the promotion versus which ones that would have happened anyway.
The real numbers will show up when Amazon releases profit numbers for the quarter. Extending the season requires additional resources, remember, and cost money.
At the end of the day, this promotion will do little to change human behavior. That’s the highly sought-after effect from any promotion. People will still wait in line, knock down doors and trample over one and other to be the first one to get the latest Furby, gaming console or pet rock.
So I say bah humbug, Amazon, you just made an already insufferable shopping season longer.
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