Amazon’s Home of Black Friday reviewed

The playful pop up brings online offers to the high street.

Seven years on from the UK’s first Black Friday, it’s now a firm fixture in Britain’s shopping calendar, with £1.23bn spent in a single day last year.*
Amazon introduced Black Friday to the UK in 2010, and this year is giving their annual sale a human touch. Tucked away in Soho Square, the brand is inviting customers to experience the products in person before purchasing, acknowledging that 62 per cent of customers prefer shopping in store to online, as it allows them to ‘see, touch, feel and try out items’**.

Amazon’s decision to host an offline retail experience is unsurprising, given the leader’s growth in physical retail experiences, including their recent Whole Foods purchase, the introduction of Amazon Books stores, and of course, the Treasure Truck in the States.
We headed down to Amazon’s Home of Black Friday to see if the pop-up lived up to the hype. A warm welcome of mince pies and tastings from featured purveyors set the tone for the event; a relaxed, holiday shopping experience that was a far cry from the sale bin squabbles that have become the Black Friday icon.
In contrast to the brand’s online experience, the playful pop up focuses on interactive experiences and customer engagement.  Visitors are encouraged to explore the building, trying out products across five themed rooms – the kitchen, the bedroom, the playroom, the games room and the workshop.

After listening to songs on Amazon Echo in the games room, or testing tablets in the living room, shoppers can scan the product’s barcode on the Amazon app to shop the deal for their chosen item.
The strength of the retail experience was undoubtedly the customer service. Friendly staff members set an upbeat holiday mood, eager to encourage visitors to enter prize giveaways and benefit from the free pampering services on offer, from Shellac manicures to hair touch ups from Toni and Guy stylists.
Overall the experience stood apart from other Black Friday initiatives in the UK, strengthening Amazon’s multi-channel relationship with customers. Click here to read more about brands using Black Friday to do something different.
Amazon’s Home of Black Friday was open in 13 Soho Square, November 20th-25th.
 
*IMRG, 2016
**Retail Dive, 2017
Images Courtesy of David Parry/PA Wire.

Other posts from the blog