Black Friday deals in early October? “Amazon kicked off the 2021 holiday season by unveiling Black Friday-worthy deals and giving customers options to shop and save starting now,” a spokesperson told EcommerceBytes today.
Technically Black Friday falls on November 26 this year, which is 2 months away. Is October 4th the new Black Friday – or will the first Monday in October get its own nickname?
In addition to holiday deals, Amazon also released its biggest selection of gift guides and is providing customers new ways to shop this holiday, the spokesperson said. And for the first time ever, Prime members in the US can use the Amazon mobile shopping app to send gifts with without needing to know the recipient’s address.
Monday’s press release describes the “No Address, No Problem” feature as follows:
“No Address, No Problem – Email or Text Gifts: Prime members using the Amazon mobile shopping app in the U.S. can send recipients a gift without knowing their delivery address—a new feature just in time for the holiday season. Simply select the product to gift, select “add gift receipt for easy returns” during check out, then type in a known email address or mobile number of the recipient. That individual can either accept the purchase or exchange for an Amazon gift card, without letting the sender know they did.”
More information about the mobile-shopping feature is available in an accompanying blog post.
In the announcement, Amazon highlighted small businesses by noting the availability of an “Amazon Small Business Gift Guide” and an “Amazon Launchpad Gift Guide.”
Amazon also called the availability of handmade goods in the press release: “Find one-of-a-kind gifts, handcrafted by artisans and other makers all over the world, that are perfect for everyone this holiday season. Discover personalized gifts, home goods, holiday décor, jewelry, and more. In addition, customers can shop a selection of handmade items from local artisans, picked by the ultimate hostess and author of That Cheese Plate, Marissa Mullen. This limited-time storefront provides all the necessities to entertain all year round.”
Amazon hasn’t forgotten all the holidays that precede Christmas – it launched a Holiday Prep Shop that “expertly curates top products across various categories to help customers prepare for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and other seasonal celebrations.”
It will be interesting to see how other retailers and marketplaces respond to today’s Amazon holiday-shopping kickoff.