Amazon: ‘2017 Holiday Season Biggest Ever’; Overall Holiday Sales Up 4.9%

Holiday online shopping

SEATTLE – Amazon reports the 2017 holiday season was its “biggest” to date, saying customers shopped on its site at “record levels,” and boasting that more than 4 million people became Prime members or started a free trial. 

The e-commerce giant says customers shopping worldwide on the Amazon App increased nearly 70 percent this holiday season, and that customers purchased more than twice as many Amazon Fire TV Sticks compared to last year’s holiday season. 

Fire TV continues to be the No. 1 streaming media player family in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan, across all retailers.

In general, Amazon’s high-tech devices proved to be top sellers with its Echo Dot outselling any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon. (Incidentally, Amazon is expanding in the connected home devices space, acquiring Blink, a start-up specializing in wireless video home security cameras and monitoring systems.) 

Amazon isn’t celebrating alone. Mastercard SpendingPulse reports that online shopping in general saw gains of 18.1 percent compared to 2016, boosted by a late season rally. What’s more, overall holiday sales increased 4.9 percent in 2017, setting a new record for dollars spent. It was largest year-over-year increase since 2011. 

In-store traffic also saw a big rise on Super Saturday (Dec. 23), increasing 20 percent year-over-year, according to data from Shoppertrak. Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17, also performed exceptionally well, posting a 2.8 percent increase in traffic, the company reported.

“The drastic increase in shopper visits supports our data-backed assertion that Super Saturday’s impact increases based on its proximity to Christmas Day,” Shoppertrak stated. “Last year, with it being more than a week away from Christmas Day, the day had less urgency. This year, Super Saturday was only two days away from Christmas Day, and it served as the last full shopping day prior to Christmas, motivating shoppers to get out and hit the stores.” 

Category by category, Mastercard reports that electronics and appliances increased 7.5 percent, the strongest growth in the past 10 years. The home furniture and furnishings category grew 5.1 percent, as did home improvement.

Specialty apparel and department stores, which both traditionally see the bulk of sales happen in-store, saw moderate gains.