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It’s that time of year again, when we all get over excited about Black Friday. Amazon’s brainchild is celebrating its 10th Birthday, reaffirming its place as a stalwart in the retail calendar.

Over that decade of existence, however, the frenzies seen in its early years have lessened each successive year. Not only are consumers far savvier when it comes to deciphering a good deal, they expect far more than sales and promotional activity.

Emphasis is now on delivering experiences that are relevant, personalised, meaningful and appropriate. Amazon, the world’s most consumer-centric business, knows this and has accordingly changed Black Friday to bring it back home.

Amazon – The Home of Black Friday

Amazon’s latest “experiential” pop-up opens its doors from 28 November-1 December at Waterloo, London. The showcase offers food sampling and demos, beauty grooming experiences and much more.

The emphasis is very much on demonstrating the latest and greatest innovation from Amazon – and not just around Alexa. Augmented Reality (AR), Image Search, interactive fashion experiences and connected smart home tech was all on display. In addition to Amazon device demonstrations, entertainment also took centre stage, with Prime Video and Amazon Original TV series screenings taking place.

Enabling SME brands to reach the masses

With Amazon eager to be the enabler of innovation, a democratizer of route-to-consumer, content, marketing and brand building, it was no surprise to see 3P sellers out in force. It is not all about the digital-native brands though, with Amazon showcasing its own brands in key categories of beauty – skincare range Belei – and spirits with Tovess gin.

What was very evident this year was the promotional push for Amazon Fresh and Amazon’s ability to delivery everything for the Christmas table – as well as under the Christmas Tree or stocking-stuffers. Again, local suppliers were on hand, with an emphasis on leveraging existing partnerships with Booths and Morrisons.

Amazon is reclaiming what others have piggybacked on.

In the end, though, this is a promotional event, and Black Friday is all about showcasing hundreds of deals, with even better offers for Prime Members, and demonstrating the benefits of the wider ecosystem in Amazon Music and Prime Video.

Festivities are happening across Europe, with Amazon Xmas San Babila opening in Milan on 27 November and #Amazonencaja in Madrid on 28 November, all offering deals, experiences and entertainment.

Providing deals on well-known brands is the basic premise. The real focus is on showcasing the wider Amazon ecosystem, the plethora of artisan brands and its capability to be considered as a credible place to buy your weekly groceries.

All this is, of course, conveyed in a very experiential fashion, adopting a consumer-centric rather than channel-centric mentality. Black Friday has certainly evolved over the last decade, with many retailers jumping on the bandwagon. However, with renewed focus and rigour from Amazon, it has returned to its rightful home.

To download of PDF of images from the event, click here.

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