SEATTLE – Amazon is reporting that Cyber Monday 2017 was its single biggest shopping day ever, surpassing its Prime Day event over the summer.
The company says orders on Cyber Monday via Amazon's app increased more than 50 percent worldwide from last year. It adds that during the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, customers ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses worldwide.
Amazon is on pace to comprise roughly half of all e-commerce holiday sales made in the United States this year, says GBH Insights. Overall e-commerce growth continues to rise roughly 20 percent year-over-year each holiday season.
Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH, told Chainstore Age that Amazon’s 85 million prime members are driving much of the company’s growth and that they are considered the “golden jewel” of the Amazon empire.
Prime members, a group that increases roughly 40 percent year-over-year, are also expected to spend between 20 percent and 25 percent more this holiday season than a year ago, GBH says.
The portable Alexa-enabled speaker, Echo Dot, was the top selling product on both Prime Day and Cyber Monday this year. It was not only the best-selling Amazon device, but also the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across Amazon globally this summer.
Luke Starbuck, vice president of marketing at customer care automation platform Linc, told Retail Dive that voice assistance has become a reality and that 87 percent of retailers expect to be using artificial intelligence (AI) for customer service and engagement within the next 24 months, while 41 percent are using it or experimenting with it already, according to Linc's research.
A major catalyst for the growing emphasis on voice assistants is recognition by brands of the importance of a customer-centric purchase and service journey, and of building stronger relationships that lead to future purchases, according to Starbuck.
"By giving customers more ways to order and track shipments [via voice, chatbots, etc.] shoppers will be more willing to buy again following a fluid and streamlined buying process," he said.