A recent article published by Wired starts “Depending upon your outlook, Black Friday is either a time-honored US shopping holiday or the miserable nadir of American consumer culture,” neatly encapsulating one of the most talked about days of the year. Door busters vs REI’s #OptOutside, sleep in or be there for “the best deals of the year” at 5am, ignore (with distain!) the official start of the holiday shopping season or have your halls decked: its all in how you look at the day after Thanksgiving.
Who better to lead the consumer charge than Amazon. Of course!
Black Friday is the unquestioned retail consumer event each year. “Last year’s Black Friday holiday set a record, with consumers spending $2.4 billion online, a 24 percent increase from 2013. This year, according to estimates, that trend line is still going up: eMarketer projects a 5.7 percent gain in retail sales, with e-commerce continuing to grow in the double digits, as it’s done for several years.” And forget about Cyber Monday, when ecommerce is supposed to get its real traditional bump. Amazon is ready to clean house all week (and last week, and the week after too): Black Friday stores and deals started this past week, a full week ahead of time (Black November?) and will continue through to Cyber Monday. An additional 100k temporary workers will be manning the company’s almost 200 major facilities worldwide this holiday season, and Amazon is finally looking as though they have gotten the bottom line dialed after years of spending to learn how to actually profit during the holidays.
It would appear that Amazon has us, and our shopping plans, figured out for 2015. “’Customers can truly sit back and relax with their family and friends this holiday season knowing that they will be notified as soon as the products they’ve had their eye on are about to go on sale,” Steve Shure, Amazon’s vice president of consumer marketing, said in a statement.” Phew. So what could be the downfall of all of this? Well for starters, shipping companies and consumer concern over further issues when predictive technology isn’t predictive enough. However, as a consumer society we seem to pretty comfortable with that risk and Amazon wants to make sure we stay comfortable. Beyond huge investments in our comfort with and up-to-the-moment updates about logistics, Amazon is working hard to win holistic consumer sentiment: Prime Day sold 398 products per second, feature builds to apps have continued to surprise and delight, and pulling us away from getting off our couches and devices ever again.
2015 could finally be the year the company wins big not only on profit but by redefining Black Friday all together.
For more on this, see our Top Earning Merchants here.
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