Comment: Why Amazon is setting a bad example for British retailers


“Black Friday is good news for consumers, but bad news for British retailers. At a time when retailers are already under pressure to deliver more profit, Black Friday only puts even more pressure on them to bring forward sales – but at a much lower margin. This is reflected in the range of items that Amazon is offering as part of its Black Friday sales. There’s an eclectic mix of items on offer, shower heads to a violin complete with a zipped case to a cat scratching post. These are most likely items which are over-stocked, own-brand or have a high margin.


All of this translates into a rather strange customer experience. Amazon, who set the benchmark for product recommendations, is suddenly showing a range of items for which no past activity would indicate an interest. I have no cat, I have shown no interest in the violin and my shower head is working just fine and I already have a Kindle, so stop asking!


This is the challenge for retailers, offer a super relevant, personalised experience that delights customers and doesn’t eat into margins or focus on profit. Clearly the right thing to do is somewhere in the middle of the two – but finding that middle point in a world that changes so quickly is far easier said than done.”images