For those looking for Black Friday news on Nov. 1, you are in luck.
As record rainfall continues to soak pumpkins throughout Seattle, Amazon has turned the seasonal calendar, proclaiming that the holiday (shopping) season is upon us as it announced today the beginning of Black Friday sales. Amazon said deals will last until Dec. 22, meaning Black Friday is now a 52-day shopping spectacular.
This move stretches the big holiday shopping season, which usually kicks into gear on the day after Thanksgiving and continues with Cyber Monday and on to Christmas, all while fall traditions like the World Series and the annoyance of raking leaves every day continue. Creating — or in this case extending — shopping holidays is nothing new for Amazon, as its summer shopping holiday Prime Day has helped juice sales in a traditionally slow period.
On the flip side, Amazon’s extended Black Friday may cut down on the number of people who have to leave the Thanksgiving table to go to one of many stores that open that night with special deals. Instead, all these orders can be made from the comfort of home. In fact, some customers don’t even need to use their computers or phones. Those with Amazon Prime can tell Amazon’s digital brain Alexa exactly what they want to buy, and she will take care of the rest.
On the first day of Black Friday season, Amazon has already put out some pretty solid deals, including discounted TVs, clothing, art supplies and kitchen appliances. In addition to Black Friday deals, Amazon today launched a series of gift guides for electronics, home products and several other categories.
Holiday shoppers will notice a couple of new features in Amazon’s mobile app this season. Using the camera button in Amazon’s mobile app, users can point to any item and according to the press release, see a list of similar items. Before, customers had to scan barcodes, and even then only a limited number of items worked with that feature. Starting two weeks from today, iPhone users will have the ability to scan packages as they come in, so the recipient doesn’t have to open the box and spoil the surprise.