Holiday Deals Start Early for Amazon


Mike O’Brien

To get a running start on dominating holiday shopping dollars, Amazon will be counting down to Thanksgiving and Black Friday next week with steep discounts on electronics and tech gadgets.

Black Friday may not be for another week, but Amazon’s holiday specials are starting today.

Amazon will spend the next six days counting down to Thanksgiving, the cheapest online shopping day of the season, according to¬†Adobe’s holiday predictions, with tech-related deals offered as frequently as every 10 minutes. The Seattle e-commerce juggernaut is saving its best deals for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, with three specials each day starting at midnight on Thursday.

Deals include heavily discounted TVs, video game consoles, laptops, smartphones, and media players, in addition to wearables, health-related gadgets, $1.99 e-books, and free apps. The daily Free App of the Day bundle will include more than $155 in paid apps and games.

This aggressive plan is a way to capture as much of the market share as possible, as early as possible, says Razvan Roman, chief executive (CEO) of Two Tap, a start-up based on an automated buy button that allows consumers to skip the visit to retailers’ websites.

“There’s only a limited set of consumers that has an unlimited budget to purchase stuff for the holidays,” Roman says. “The retailers that start earlier manage to capture a significant part of the budget consumers have, which leaves less for the retailers who only focus on Black Friday.”

While an increasing number of retailers are still grasping the concept of digital optimization, Amazon is already there. The fact that the company has digital in its DNA gave it a big head start, an advantage that’s exacerbated by its ubiquity.

“Amazon owns its entire marketing chain,” Roman says. “Amazon is everywhere. All links lead to Amazon and it’s an ecosystem that allows for a lot of shopping to happen.”

Starting the holiday season early is also a way to appeal to mobile shoppers, who will account for nearly one-third of the holiday revenue this year, Adobe predicted. According to Amazon, consumers ordered more than five toys per second through mobile devices between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year.

“Our customers are redefining Black Friday shopping,” says Steve Shure, vice president of worldwide marketing at Amazon. “They want to stay home with family, enjoy some turkey and football, and shop the hottest deals from their phone, tablet, or PC.”

Not only was desktop third-billed in Shure’s statement, but the online retailer is sticking with mobile social platforms to promote the early holiday shopping. Throughout the season, Amazon will be promoting merchandise on its shoppable Instagram feed, where it also told 94,000 followers about its new Snapchat earlier this week. The first snaps – gift ideas and recommendations, as well as exclusive deals – went out to consumers yesterday.