Welcome to the vagaries of retailing, Amazon. With the advent of the recent “Prime Day ” event that promised “Black Friday” type deals and excitement, many (if not most) shoppers were left with the equivalent of looking at bare shelves. Certainly there is an understanding among shoppers that really “hot deals” carry the “while supply lasts” caveat, however when the supply is so small that only a fraction of the audience can participate, the risk of alienating more shoppers than you endear, becomes very real.
Ironically, for e-retailers, one of their key advantages over bricks and mortar stores is their ability to access “endless aisles” or virtually unlimited inventory, minimizing the notion of out-of-stock. However, when Amazon and other e-tailers overtly promote specific deals and sales events, they better be prepared to sell some merchandise, or risk alienating the very audience they are attempting to attract. If an on-line shopper logs on one hour after the sale begins…. only to find the popular items and deals are gone and only remnant items are left, the e-tailer will have done more damage to their customer constituency than good.
Further and finally, social media provides an instantaneous shopper feedback forum. Yesterday’s post event tweets were dominated by such terms as “garage sale”, “flea market” and “crappy yard sale”. Angry shoppers tweet more than happy ones. E-retailers should know that the report card on their efforts will be immediate and cutting if their sale disappoints more than it delights.