So we all thought that Black Friday was the biggest event in the retail Calendar? Well, it's not, by a long way. 'Singles' Day', Alibaba's equivalent of Black Friday racked up $30.8bn in sales and set a record for the platform with a 27% rise over last year. That's more than double the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. The 24-hour event took place on 11th November with 180,000+ brands participating. 'Singles' Day' is a signal of an unstoppable China, at the current rate of growth China could be a bigger customer globally that the US.
Black Friday pop-up store
The Amazon 'Home of Black Friday' pop up is back and bigger than last year. Located at 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, the four-day multi-room experience will be open from Thursday 22nd November until Sunday 25th November. This year there will be prize giveaways, workshops, VIP experiences and product sampling. Customers can also experience the new Augmented Reality view functionality and the latest range of Amazon devices. Workshops range from cocktail masterclasses hosted at the Amazon Beers, Wines and Spirits pop-up bar, jewelry and candle making sessions from Amazon Handmade Artisans, beauty treatments from Foreo, hair styling from Nicky Clarke, cooking demonstrations, Prime Video screenings and more.
The brands taking part include Whole Foods Market, HP, Samsung, Lego, Xbox, Le Creuset, Yankee Candle, Sennheiser, Philips Hue, Hotel Chocolate, Logitech, T2, Nicky Clarke, OnePlus, Microsoft, Playstation, Canon, Puressentiel, Nescafe and many more. All deals on display will be shoppable through the Amazon App using bespoke Smile Codes and a Prime Now collection point. Entry is open to everyone and free of charge. Activities will be open to everyone on a first come first served basis.
The Tambo team is particularly excited about this event as Lily's Kitchen, a client of Tambo, will be available to buy at the pop-up store!
Audio enhanced product listings
Eagle-eyed shoppers spotted that Amazon has added audio to their new Alexa microwave listing. Underneath the hero image is a link to 'see what Alexa can do'. By clicking on the link, the shopper is presented with a menu of options which they click to hear commands that you can say to the Alexa microwave e.g. 'Alexa, microwave one potato'. It's not clear yet, whether this functionality will be exclusive to Amazon Alexa devices or whether it will be rolled out as a listing feature. Audio would certainly enhance listings, especially on mobile where its harder to read all the copy about a product.
Another new Amazon advertising targeting feature
With the rise of ad revenue flowing into Amazon they have continued to improve the platform and are continuing to add new features. Amazon is now opening up the ability to target specific product categories, allowing you to refine your targeting by choosing specific review counts, specific brands, or specific price points. The new targeting capability will be extremely useful in highly competitive markets like fashion or beauty space where you have large variants in price points. You will now be able to distinguish between the type of shopper you want to target based on what brands they buy and how much they spend.
Tide's new e-commerce friendly products
Tide has announced a new alternative to the classic bottle of laundry detergent. It basically looks and works just like a box of wine. This new innovation is a glimpse into a future of how Amazon is dictating what the products we buy look like.
The new box of Tide is specifically designed to be e-commerce ready and be good for the environment. This streamlined, easy-to-ship box makes it easy for Amazon to sell detergent out of their giant warehouses. A spokesperson from P&G said: “The Tide eco-box is designed to keep the convenience of online shopping for the consumer, but reduce the overall impact of that convenience on our environment.” The Tide box can be shipped without a secondary box or bubble wrap, it is lighter than plastic bottles, contains less water than regular Tide, and takes up less space on delivery trucks.
P&G may publically position this as an innovation that helps the environment, but the overriding benefit is the cost savings delivered through streamlined logistics, providing more profit for Amazon and Tide. It's unlikely that these cost savings will be passed onto the customer and the product will be more difficult to use. A win for P&G and Amazon at the expense of the customer. The challenge for brands is to deliver Amazon exclusive packaging that enhances the customer experience.