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10/04/2021

Amazon kicks off Black Friday – in early October

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon’s 2021 holiday promotion includes gifting by text.

Black Friday is arriving more than a month early for one retail giant.

Starting Monday, Oct. 4, Amazon is offering what it calls “Black Friday-worthy” deals for the holiday season, with a new gifting by email/text feature for Prime members. The e-tail titan is unveiling a wide variety of features, solutions, and curated assortments aimed at holiday shoppers. Customers can start shopping for holiday deals as of Oct. 4 at amazon.com/epicdeals, on the Amazon mobile shopping app, or by asking an Alexa voice assistant device, “Alexa, what are my deals?”

As part of its holiday promotion, Amazon is rolling out a new holiday shopping option for Prime members using the Amazon mobile shopping app in the U.S. Prime members can send recipients a gift without knowing their delivery address by selecting the product on the Amazon app, selecting “add gift receipt for easy returns” during checkout, and then typing 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. 

Also new for the 2021 holiday season, all customers can access the Amazon Holiday Gift List to create and share one list of gift ideas for everyone in their household, organized by recipient. Customers can add nearly any product on Amazon to their list from the product page, and obtain extended 90-day returns on gifts purchased off their list at amazon.com/registries/holiday.

In addition, on select days throughout October and November, brands such as Apple, Hasbro, Sony, Shark, L’Oreal Paris, Bose, KitchenAid, and others will offer limited-time offers with deeper deals on their selection of most popular products.

Major Amazon rival Target is also launching its holiday promotional activities in October this year. The second edition of Target’s “Deal Days” sale will run Sunday, Oct. 10 to Tuesday, Oct. 12. The retailer is also launching its annual holiday price match guarantee, effective from Oct. 10 through Dec. 24. Walmart has not yet announced its holiday sales plans.

As part of its holiday sale event, Amazon is also launching a new promotion called Holiday Beauty Haul. As initially reported in September, Holiday Beauty Haul runs Oct. 4-25 and offers deep discounts on a wide selection of products from Amazon’s indie and premium online beauty stores.

Amazon also offers curated gift guides across different product categories, and its new Holiday Prep Shop is a one-stop location for products related to seasonal preparation, readiness, and entertaining. Customers can also watch livestreams on Amazon Live from influencers and experts who will share tips on gifting and seasonal entertaining, along with their favorite picks from each guide. Other seasonal offerings on the Amazon site include:

  • Stocking stuffers – Customers can shop an assortment of products available under $10, under $25 and under $50.
  • Customers’ most-loved gifts – This assortment of over 100 products includes currently trending items, as well as curated finds under $10, under $25 and under $50, and curated items for recipient categories such as beauty enthusiast, kids, and host. 
  • A holiday toy list with over 1,500 popular toys, including many that are brand-new for the holiday season and available exclusively at Amazon. Customers can use the toy list to shop by age, character, brand, and category.
  • Curated one-stop online destinations for product categories including fashion, home, electronics, sport and outdoors, and beauty.
  • Dedicated gift guides for products sold by small businesses and start-ups, as well as handmade goods.

“We’re excited to help customers get great holiday deals even earlier this year,” said Dave Clark, CEO, worldwide consumer, Amazon. “Customers can confidently shop early knowing they are receiving incredible deals starting today, letting them get a head start on their holiday to-do lists so they can truly enjoy the holiday season. And I want to thank our incredible team around the world for everything they do each day to support each other and our customers—I couldn’t be prouder to work with you all.”