Black Friday deadlines, pop up stores, own brand ads and the 4k Firestick

Black Friday deadlines looming


Today is the last day vendors can submit their deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon predicts that this will be the biggest Black Friday ever, with many vendors expected to experience a week's worth of sales in one day. Black Friday is one of three Amazon events through the year, the other being Prime Day and Bank Holiday weekend. Amazon's motivation for holding these events goes beyond just selling stuff, it brings in new customers to the platform and more members to Amazon Prime. Vendors that have participated in Amazon events have seen a rise in their average weekly sales volume post the event. Multiply this increase across the three events and you can see how vital it is to take part and plan your promotions carefully.

Whilst the opportunity to submit deals for Black Friday finishes today, you still have time to make sure that you have enough stock. The dramatic increase in sales over Black Friday and Cyber week will drain stock levels, which may not recover in time for the holiday season, so you need to make sure that you stock pile in advance. The FBA delivery deadline is 5th November

Pop up store powered by Amazon - from Good Housekeeping Magazine


This week, Amazon partnered with Good Housekeeping magazine in the US to develop a popup store at the Mall of America in Minnesota. The pop-up store, Dubbed GH Lab, is a showroom filled with a beautiful array of products displayed in vignettes throughout the store. There is a faux door with a Ring Doorbell, a car seat display, a dining table with place settings, a big TV with an Xbox, a kitchen worktop with appliances and ware, a section for kids of all ages filled with toys, books and games. 

Within GH lab, shopping is completely divorced from buying. There is not a single terminal in sight. Customers who walk into the store are greeted by a table that instructs them how to shop. It takes just four easy steps. Customers simply download and open the Amazon app on their mobile, tap the camera icon, toggle to the Smile icon (Amazon's answer to the QR Code) and then scan the SmileCode next to any product they want to buy. On the Amazon app, they decide how they want Amazon to fulfill the product.

The Amazon platform is an easy to use retail operating system. Amazon can license the technology and anyone can put together a 'powered by Amazon' shop similar to how Amazon powers web commerce. Physical stores can start to act like Amazon affiliate links on websites. Amazon carries the product, the shop owner purchases some inventory for display and starts trading. This is far easier than managing all the stock and logistics of a traditional store. The shop owner takes an affiliate fee on every purchase - pretty much the same way magazines, like Good Housekeeping and others, generate revenue from Amazon purchases in their articles today.

This new model is great for our future retail experience. Retailers can now dedicate their floor plans to capturing the imagination of shoppers rather than storage of on-hand stock.

Amazon advertising own brands on competitor pages


Anyone spending time on Amazon at the moment will have noticed how they have stepped up advertisements of their private brands. They have become more ubiquitous and more intrusive. They are also regularly experimenting with new tactics to entice customers.

This week, some eagle-eyed shoppers noticed that on various products in beauty, health and household and baby items, there were links to "Similar item from Our Brands" showing up at the bottom of their listing. Clicking on the link, which is not an advertisement, takes you to the product page for Amazon's own private-label offering.

For example, the link under the product listing for Huggies nappies takes you to a page for Mama Bear, an Amazon-owned nappies brand. The link below a Dove body wash listing directs you to a product page for P.O.V., a personal care brand owned by Amazon.

Amazon sees considerable growth potential in their own brand catalogue, as it still accounts for a very small % of sales in a category, far less than the own label penetration of the big supermarkets.

Amazon Firestick 4k


Today, Amazon announced the latest addition to its streaming media Fire TV lineup, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. 

Amazon is calling the device “the most powerful streaming media stick available and the first to support Dolby Vision and HDR10+.” It’s the newest update to its best-selling Fire TV stick and, according to the company, 80 percent more powerful.

The Fire TV Stick 4K delivers access to a catalogue filled with thousands of 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ content, thanks to its new quad-core, 1.7GHz processor, which will bring consumers a faster streaming experience, quicker load times, and better picture quality.

Along with the new features, the Fire TV Stick 4K continues to provide consumers access to an array of channels, apps, Alexa skills, live TV options, music streaming services, and more.

In addition to the Fire TV Stick 4k, Amazon has announced an all-new Alexa Voice Remote. This upgrade includes a variety of new features, such as dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons. The new remote provides full control over your TV and other home entertainment equipment and comes along with the ability to use voice commands to find and control content. It’s compatible with all the latest generation Fire TV hardware.