Amazon's Treasure Truck Pivots for Pandemic

Patrycja Malinowska
Director, Member Content, P2PI
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Amazon has transformed its Treasure Truck strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the company is no longer sending its fleet of trucks to hawk products in the streets of major cities, it is once again injecting discovery and urgency into the e-commerce shopping experience.

As before the pandemic, registered consumers receive text notifications alerting them to the availability of limited-time deals on new, trending or exclusive products. But instead of inviting shoppers to a pop-up location for order pickup, Amazon is offering to ship purchases directly to shoppers’ homes. Delivery is free for Prime members and orders ship at the same speed as other orders placed through Amazon.

The offers resumed in August and so far have been focused on home goods popular with consumers that are spending more time in the house: the Instant Pot 11-in-1 Aura Pro slow cooker, Cuisinart automatic cold brew coffee maker and BioBidet toilet attachment. The deals had gone on hiatus in March, when Treasure Trucks were redirected to supporting Amazon’s COVID-19 response by delivering lunch kits and laptops to students, and care packages to fulfillment center employees. The fleet is now assisting with the distribution of masks in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle.

In-person events remain paused but to engage consumers have been reimagined in the virtual realm. This month, Amazon recruited actress Lucy Hale and celebrity dog trainer Brandon McMillan to host a “Pawsitive Impact” virtual event tying in to the observance of National Dog Day on Aug. 26. The hour-long livestream spanned tips for keeping pups entertained at home, training tricks, and a spotlight on dog-focused nonprofit organizations the Lucy Pet Foundation, the Argus Service Dog Foundation and Wags & Walks. Several celebrities and their adopted dogs also made appearances.

Leading up to the virtual event, Amazon solicited entries into a Top Dog contest awarding a grand-prize $5,000, second-prize $2,000 and third-prize $1,000. Consumers entered from Aug. 7-13 by submitting a video “celebrating all things dogs; especially during this extra time at home” via Twitter or Instagram. A panel of judges determined the winners, whose videos were included as part of the Pawsitive Impact livestream.

In addition to cash prizes, winners also received gift baskets from event sponsors Nestle-Purina, Petmate's ChuckIt! and Bayer's K9 Advantix II. The sponsors’ logos and products were depicted throughout the event and on a promotional webpage within that still hosts a replay of the livestream.