November has only just begun, but that doesn't mean that retailers are getting ready for one the biggest shopping days of the year. In fact, Christmas is coming early for Amazon Prime members.
Amazon announced on Tuesday the launch of its Black Friday Deal Store, allowing early bird shoppers to get their hands on items like HD TVs and this year's most popular toys that are on sale.
Amazon Deals Store: 'Tens Of Thousands Of Deals'
Open from now until Dec. 22 the Amazon Deals Store will feature "tens of thousands of deals," with new items on sale being added "every five minutes."
While the biggest ticket items are likely to be offered on sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, deals already available include home appliances, kitchen goods, Kindles, and smart TVs.
Amazon will offer up to 20 deals each day in categories that include electronics, jewelry, clothing, toys and more.
Making online shopping even easier for Prime members, this year Amazon is allowing customers to use ask Alexa on their Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire TV or Fire tablet what the daily deals are. Those with these devices will be offered exclusive deals this holiday season.
Along with free, two-day shipping, Prime members will also get 20 percent off when they preorder or purchase newly released video games.
"This holiday season, we're offering more deals than ever before and — for the first time ever — giving Prime members an opportunity to use Alexa voice shopping for purchasing their holiday gifts hands-free," Doug Herrington, senior vice president of North American Retail at Amazon said in a statement. "They can make purchases simply by asking Alexa-enabled devices, like the new Echo Dot, while relaxing at home with family and friends."
Amazon App's Package X-Ray Feature
Amazon has also updated its app to allow users to search for an item using their phone's camera when they see an item they are interested in while browsing in a physical store.
Starting on Nov. 15, Amazon app users can also use the new "Package X-Ray" feature, that consists of the user scanning the barcode on a delivered package to see the items that are in the box without having to open it and ruin the surprise.
It seems like every year, stores are kicking off their Black Friday sales even earlier, so much so that many are even skipping out on turkey to go wait in lines. Physical stores like Macy's will be open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving (one hour earlier than last year), whereas Kohls will open an hour later.
On the contrary this year, stores like T.J. Max, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus, IKEA, Costco, DSW and Nordstrom are among those who will be closed for Thanksgiving.
But why sacrifice time with the family when consumers can just do their shopping online?
Photo: William Warby | Flickr