Amazon’s New Take on Black Friday: Turkey 5

This year Amazon added to the holiday shopping lexicon with “Turkey 5”, the five-day span between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, and the Turkey 5 did not disappoint. As in years past, Amazon delivered a flurry of deals, giveaways, coupons, and new tech app features that allow shoppers even more innovative ways to find and view products. Here’s a quick recap of what I experienced on Amazon throughout the Turkey 5.

Traditional Deals:  We’ve come to expect these from Amazon. There were over 30 Deals of the Day, and hundreds if not thousands of Lightening Deals. The tech deals seemed a bit sweeter this year simply due to the growing catalog of Amazon’s proprietary products. There were $20+ savings on the Echo, Fire, and Kindle product lines in addition to enticing deals on non-proprietary smart home tech, computers, and video/tech. These notable discounts on proprietary Amazon devices are a well-measured move for Amazon since these devices are conduits by which consumers will find themselves purchasing additional Amazon products and media content in the future.

Amazon Giveaways:  The giveaways were featured prominently on the main page of the app and website. Some Giveaways were real-time, like an Echo Dot, while other giveaways were time-specific, including a Bluetooth speaker, LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon, and Nikon Camera. The giveaway concept is much more interesting when considered from the lens of the product vendor. Amazon’s marketing page dedicated to giveaways lays out several benefits of offering a product through a giveaway including increased product awareness and polling/surveying that might be required by the consumer to enter a giveaway. Enticing the vendor to provide the bait is yet another clever tactic by Amazon to draw in consumers.

The Treasure Truck:  This concept was introduced by Amazon globally in 2016 and is a hard-to-miss smile-inducing combination of a book mobile and a carnival truck. The truck is rolling into 25 U.S. Cities this holiday season, with a Cyber Monday deal on Finglerlings toys. Amazon is using the trucks to provide limited quantity of high quality items and a significantly discounted price through an entertaining and brand-building experience. This tactic demonstrates Amazon’s increasing interest in creating a physical presence in local communities while tapping into an increasing trend of retail scavenger hunting and treasure finding. While the effectiveness remains to be seen, the truck is an interesting one to watch. Amazon describes the truck with the following:

  • Step 1:  They hand pick one must-have, fresh, unique thing at a time.

  • Step 2:  They send the subscriber a text revealing that day’s offer.

  • Step 3: You pick it up at the actual truck

Try Out New Features: Amazon’s approach to feature awareness this year was brilliant. How often retailers invest in new features and functionality only to have them go unnoticed. The premise was simple – try out a new app feature and be entered to receive a giveaway. Try all five features and get an automatic $5 credit toward a purchase. This is a win-win for Amazon and its shoppers because a less than 10-minute time investment can provide a guaranteed payoff that will increase the likelihood of a larger purchase and familiarize the shopper with additional ways to make spending even easier.

  • Camera search for a chance to win a Nikon Camera. Use your iPhone’s camera to identify products from real-world objects. When recognized, Amazon automatically displays that product in the standard product list view.

  • Alexa search for a chance to win a 65” Samsung TV. By speaking a request to Alexa the consumer is taken to products corresponding to the request.

  • Watch a Deal for a chance to win a LEGO Star Wars set. Enable setting to receive deal notifications.

  • List Tray for a chance to win a 12” MacBook. Tap and hold to drag the image to the shopping List Tray at the bottom of the App window.

  • Shipment Alert for a chance to win a PlayStation. Enable settings to receive shipping update notifications.

Augmented Reality Assistant: This year Amazon released a built-in A/R feature that allows shoppers to navigate hundreds of pre-set products across categories of top picks, home décor, kitchen, electronics, toys and games. The products have been converted to objects that can be viewed and manipulated on surfaces or in rooms by using the iPhone camera. While A/R has been around for several years now, and aside from a few specialty retailers, it has yet to find real stickiness in broad-based consumer shopping at scale. Recent iOS advancements and a widely used app platform has primed Amazon to be the first with true stickiness, and we expect this to motivate other retailers to give A/R a second look.

Overall, Amazon did not disappoint with the Turkey 5. The investment in the mobile app sends a strong and welcoming signal that their shoppers convenience and experience remain paramount investments for the reigning champion of online retail.