Is Amazon going to start allowing Pro Merchants to do special sales?
I am an Amazon Merchant, one of those many people having a little fun over on Amazon and selling stuff. This morning as I was making a new catalog entry I noticed that Amazon had not only changed over their catalog page making system to a groovy new tabbed system that I like, I was surprised to see a “create sale” data entry. If Amazon is going to allow Pro Merchants to start creating sales, this is going to be interesting on many levels.
Amazon is a huge market place with a lot of books that are going for rock bottom prices, you can even see some kindle books going for zero dollars, and many books going for a penny. While pricing is up to the individual merchant, the interesting part is if Amazon starts allowing people to conduct sales, I would expect to see things like end of summer blowouts on expensive items, and end of year blowouts for left over December holiday toys and games. I also see this as a way to control the ever present pressure to slide prices down by targeting sales to specific inventory overloads or in the case of some buyers, simply too much stock that has to move.
This is definitely a play out of the EBay play book, being able to do sales across specific product lines is one of the strengths that EBay has for sellers. Amazon if they follow suit and this is not just some glitch in the system or something that a programmer slotted in (I did not test to see if this was functional) because they could remain to be seen if this is really something that merchants would use. But if Amazon is going to allow Pro Merchants, indeed any merchant to conduct sales on product that is slow moving or overstocked then this would be a winning strategy for merchants that use it specifically to target slow moving stock.
The downside, automated re-pricers will not care about sales, while the psychology of a sale will appeal to customers, the automated re-pricers will simply lower their prices as well. If Amazon puts up a quick image or banner saying this item is on sale like they do on EBay, psychology might win, few customers can pass up a “on sale 10% off” banner or image. There will be abuse of the feature, because many people think that lowest price will always win, and in many cases it does, but not always. Price, shipping, store reputation, and customer desire make up an interesting set of motivations that lead to the sale. Many people watch or have stuff on their wish list; they might be lead to the sale by seeing a sale price image or banner in their wish list.
This is a very interesting thing to put up on their data entry screens, and depending on what Amazon does with this the ability to conduct sales is a very good idea. I know from my experience at other larger sites that a sale can help product move that is moving a bit slower than one would like. If Amazon is doing this, then we might just have a new way of garnering customer attention and an increase in sales, but simply having a 10% off sale on inventory that is waiting too long to sell. Plus many bonus points for Amazon, this might just be the best new feature for the year.
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