Amazon Commerce

Amazon Big Style Sale Keeps Consumers Guessing

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With the 618 shopping festival wrapped and successful in China, attention now turns to Amazon and its series of shopping events, including this week’s The Big Style Sale.

But in addition to great deals on apparel and handbags, what you will find online is a lot of questions about not The Big Style Sale week, but about Amazon Prime Day.

As of Monday, Prime Day had been officially postponed due to the pandemic, but not rescheduled. CEO Jeff Bezos has hinted at September for Prime Day, which makes sense because it occurs around back-to-school shopping and in plenty of time to clear goods for the holiday buying season. The Big Style Sale was created as something of an event filler and something of a way to juice consumer spending. It was also unclear as to whether the style event would be an annual occasion.

“I can’t speculate on that,” said an Amazon spokesperson, “but we’re always innovating and looking to create new experiences on behalf of customers.”

“It makes sense to delay the start of Prime Day deals for several reasons,” said TechRadar. “First and foremost, consumer[s] are facing an economic downtown and won't be in the mood for a lavish buying spree in July (when the usual Amazon Prime Day date happens). Yet, if things start to go back to normal, there will be pent up demand to buy again soon after that. Cue: September. Likewise, many manufacturers might not be ready right now, but they'll soon need something like Prime Day 2020 to start making money again. Many goods are sitting in warehouses while essential goods are prioritized. No one wants to wait until Black Friday 2020 to see in bulk again.”

It’s hard to tell at day one how the style event is performing. Google Trends shows no spike in search terms; in fact, Amazon is close to its lowest point of the year in terms of search activity. Amazon Prime or “big style event” as a search term doesn’t fare much better. Nor did the company make it to the top 10 hashtags for the day on Twitter.

As quoted in Vogue Business, some analysts doubted that the Amazon customer experience would match well with the online fashion experience. Amazon’s original purpose was to have a vast selection, rather than a curated assortment, eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman told the trade.

“He is skeptical that courting interesting brands will be enough to get customers to see Amazon as the right channel for this type of product,” Vogue Business reported.

“They have optimized conversion perfectly,” he told the publication. “Buying is easy, but they don’t do a particularly good job of discovery, by virtue of the fact they have everything. If you are a luxury brand, those aren't the dimensions that people are buying on.”

More clues to the company’s purpose behind the style event come from a new book about the company called “Bezonomics,” by Brian Dumaine. According to a review by The Wall Street Journal, the shopping events are all about getting and keeping customers in the Amazon ecosystem.

“To illustrate this strategy, Mr. Dumaine offers Amazon Prime, which provides users free shipping, video and other goodies in return for an annual or monthly membership fee, and Alexa, a voice assistant powered by artificial intelligence,” the review states. “These services not only generate revenue but also bind customers more closely to the company. Amazon, the author says, is using Whole Foods, the grocery chain it acquired in 2017, for much the same purpose, and its rumored interest in managing health care would offer one more way of enveloping customers in the Amazon ecosystem.”

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