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What Amazon Is Doing Differently for Black Friday 2018
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
To prepare for the significant influx of online traffic that comes with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon has announced that for the first time, it will offer free shipping on all U.S. holiday orders. Although this promotion is geared toward non-Prime members who are typically required to hit a $25 minimum order value to get free shipping, Prime shoppers will also benefit this holiday — Amazon stated that it is making over three million items Prime-eligible in time for holiday delivery.
While the free shipping play could represent a move to vie against Target and Best Buy’s free holiday shipping models that were announced in October, it may simultaneously work to their advantage to lock in more Prime users going into the new year. Walmart is maintaining its $35 minimum order value for free shipping for holiday orders.
In another move mimicking traditional retailers, the e-commerce giant has released its first-ever printed holiday shopping catalog. Titled “A Holiday of Play,” the catalog is being shipped to customers in early November, so they have it well in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Week. It includes Amazon’s top gift picks for babies, children, and teenagers and signifies yet another gesture the company is making to drive more consumers to their platform during the holiday season.
In the first week of November, Amazon UK announced that Black Friday 2018 will be its biggest yet, inclusive of ten days of deals beginning on November 16. To go along with the recent expansion of its brick-and-mortar presence — think Amazon Go and 4-Star — the company has announced the return of its “Home of Black Friday” pop-up experience in London. According to Amazon, the physical pop-up will include workshops, prizes, and VIP experiences for attendees.
In addition to gradually announcing deals like this in specific locations, Amazon quietly started releasing pre-Black Friday deals and promotions online on November 1. Alongside thousands of products across the technology, apparel, kitchen & home goods, and health & personal care categories, Amazon is playing a live video feed that showcases demonstrations and price-cuts of various featured items.
According to a survey of over 1,500 U.S. shoppers, consumer respondents claimed that Amazon is the top retailer for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, beating out Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Additionally, holiday shoppers are predicted to spend an average of $57 more on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday and 68% of Black Friday shoppers will be buying online — great indicators for Amazon sellers and brands across a variety of product categories.
Last year, Black Friday drove over $5 billion in online sales by the end of the day and this year the shopping holiday is slated to surpass that number. Through the implementation of their pre-Black Friday deals, a focus on the suite of Amazon Alexa devices and other tech-centric items such as computers and accessories, and increased personalization within various stages of the customer experience, it is evident that Amazon is experimenting with new things this Black Friday in order to make big waves online in advance of the holiday.
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