The 2017 holiday season was Amazon’s “biggest yet,” with “record levels” of consumer shopping, according to a press release from the e-commerce giant.
Though no specific overall figures were given, that strength isn’t surprising, given general consumer preference for shopping with the titan, and the firm’s ability to maintain the momentum it saw on a particularly strong Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Amazon performed particularly well in four key areas, setting the firm up for success moving into 2018:
- Small sellers: Amazon sold over one billion items from small businesses and entrepreneurs alone. As Amazon sees increasing competition for its merchants, these impressive numbers should help it fend off its rivals and continue to attract third-party sellers to its marketplace by promising similar results going forward.
- Prime: In just one week, over four million consumers started paid Prime subscriptions or free trials. For context, Amazon’s current estimated Prime base is 90 million in the US, making four million an impressive haul regardless of additional seasonal signups. Adding Prime subscribers is incredibly important for Amazon, because these users mark an engaged group who tend to spend more with the company, but a recent study suggested that Prime might be reaching saturation in the US. It’s unknown how many of the new subscribers are from the US, but the surge suggests that there’s still a large group to whom Prime can appeal, whether in the US or abroad. To take full advantage, though, Amazon will have to work to convert those on free trials to paid subscriptions to take full advantage.
- Alexa: Amazon sold “tens of millions” of Alexa-enabled devices, with the Echo Dot coming in as the best-selling product across the marketplace. Further backing up Amazon’s reported numbers is the fact that the Amazon Alexa app was the top app on the Google Play and iPhone App Store’s free app charts on Christmas Day, suggesting that many consumers received a device as a gift and were setting it up. All of these new users may drive further sales to Amazon as 30% of consumers who purchase an Echo Dot buy a second one, and half of Echo owners’ e-commerce spend goes to Amazon.
- Mobile commerce (m-commerce): Shopping on the Amazon app increased nearly 70% over the holiday season. Smartphone and tablet sales made up 32% of e-commerce sales overall in the US from November 1 through December 17, and so rising app usage indicates that Amazon was able to capitalize on this shift. It’s likely Amazon will work to sustain that, keeping customers shopping in-app beyond the holiday season to continue capturing rising m-commerce worldwide.
To receive stories like this one directly to your inbox every morning, sign up for the E-Commerce Briefing newsletter. Click here to learn more about how you can gain risk-free access today.