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Real-time Black Friday analysis: will 2017 echo Amazon’s 2016 success?

By Chris Elliott

Sales during the Black Friday period, 20 Monday – 27 Monday 2017, are projected to reach £10.1 billion (up 3.8 percent from 2016), according to GlobalData. This comes against a backdrop of more cautious shoppers and rising prices.

GlobalData speculated that this inflation will mean some retailers would not be able to offer the same level of discounts as they did in 2016. The report suggests retailers would “need to be creative with how they advertise Black Friday promotions this year, for example promoting multi-buy offers or free gifts with purchases if they cannot afford to offer large discounts.”

 

Amazon headline deals

In previous years, Amazon had led its homepage with a carousel of headline deals featuring both Amazon and other manufacturers products. However, this year the homepage carousel displayed deals solely on Amazon products, as well as a link to its Black Friday deals page; featuring all offers.

 

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Amazon UK website 24 November 2017 (9am)

 

The first deal on the homepage carousel is for the Amazon Echo Dot (second generation), which was available for £34.99. This is the same price Amazon sold it for on Prime Day 2017 and £5 cheaper than Black Friday 2016.

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Black Friday 2016 (9am)

 

Since Prime Day last year, Amazon has split its Echo offering into the new smaller Echo and the Echo Plus. The second generation Echo is on a Black Friday deal for £69.99; this is £10 cheaper than the first generation Echo on Prime Day 2017 and £50 cheaper than it was on Black Friday 2016.

 

Deal or no deal?

Multiple listings of the same item can leave shoppers in the dark about a more attractive price or bundle for the same product. A shopper on the Black Friday Deals page at 9am would have seen only one offer on the Echo Plus. This was an Echo Plus with Philips Hue bulb for £109.99.

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Amazon UK website 24 November 2017 (9am)

 

However, if a shopper instead searched for the Amazon Echo Plus they will have found the Echo Plus alone was also £109.99. Shoppers searching in this manner are likely to be unaware they could have received a Philips Hue bulb for no additional cost.

 

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Amazon UK website 24 November 2017 (9am)

 

Amazon pricing in the wider-market

Argos are listing the Amazon Fire TV Stick for £24.95, 4p cheaper than Amazon. However, if a shopper wanted this delivered to their home, they would incur a £3.95 delivery charge which negated any saving. Very also sold it for £24.95, but again there was a £3.99 delivery charge.

Last year, we saw John Lewis employing a similar tactic on the first generation Echo. That said, it did not charge for delivery.

 

Headline deals – too good to be true?

Prior to Black Friday, consumer group Which? advised shoppers to look at the price of the deals instead of the saving.

Very promoted an LG 55 inch 4K OLED TV with an advertised price of £1,499.99 – down from £2,499.99. Looking at the pricing history, we see that this product has actually been at a lower price than £2,499.99 ever since 4 August 2017.

Very also promoted the LG 60 inch 4K LED TV as being reduced from £1,149.99, despite being listed for a lower price since July.

image 7image 8Very website 24 November 2017 (9am)

 

 

While the above deals may have been on for this price pre-Black Friday, they are the lowest price Very has ever listed them. That said, Very are promoting the Sonos PLAY:1 for £149.99, when last Black Friday it charged £139.99. Very was not the only retailer to do this. Brand View has found other examples of products being promoted as Black Friday deals that were, in fact, cheaper earlier on in the year.

Currys promoted a Samsung 32 inch TV on its homepage for £249. However, for the two weeks starting 30 December this product was £50 cheaper at £199.

Ao.com advertised a Sony Soundbar & Subwoofer for £219. However, for 11 weeks (from 25 August) it sold this product for a lower price. The product was not listed for two weeks from 28 July 2017.

 

 

It appears that Which? were right to warn shoppers over some Black Friday deals. It is imperative for a shopper to shop around in order to find the best deal possible. Although, as demonstrated above, they may have found a better deal on some items earlier in the year.

 

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