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Amazon Cites Record-Breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday

But doesn’t share revenue totals as in years’ past

Amazon boasted record-breaking sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday in a November 30, 2021 news release. But unlike past years, the ecommerce retailer did not provide sales numbers. Instead, Amazon focused on how much lower their prices were compared to their competitors. According to a study by Profitero, Amazon’s prices were an average of 14% lower compared to major retailers in all categories. Amazon beat 11 of 12 retailers, with the exception of pet retailer Chewy who matched Amazon’s prices.

“Supply issues and rising manufacturing costs will make the 2021 holiday season the most expensive of all time,” said Sarah Hofstetter, president of Profitero, in a November 11 news release. “We have found that online prices are up nearly 6% since last October and for some categories, like fashion and home furniture, they are up by almost 9% and 11%, respectively. The good news is that you may be able to find the right price if you shop around and know where to look.”

By comparison, last year, Amazon said they exceeded $4.8 billion in global sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 60% increase over 2019 holiday sales, but Amazon did not share this year’s totals as they normally do.

“It was Amazon’s biggest kickoff to the holiday shopping season ever – home, toys and apparel were among the top-selling categories from Black Friday through Cyber Monday,” Amazon said.

Amazon officially kicked off its holiday season on October 4, trying to encourage customers to shop early to relieve some of the pressure from the already-clogged supply chain and logistics challenges that are ever present this year.

Top sellers

Some of this year’s top-selling items include:

  • Oculus Quest 2, Advanced All-in-One Virtual Reality Headset
  • Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
  • Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
  • iRobot Roomba 694
  • National Geographic Earth Science Kit
  • REVLON Volcanic Face Roller

“Amazon is proud to make customers’ holiday celebrations easier by offering a wide selection of incredible deals and low prices with convenient delivery and pick-up options. Amazon also looks forward to delivering smiles through the rest of the holiday season and beyond. The holiday season—and every day of the year at Amazon—is made possible by our employees, delivery drivers, in-store staff, and the nearly two-million small and medium-sized businesses among our independent selling partners who continue to deliver a great shopping experience for our customers around the world,” the company said.

So far this holiday season, Amazon has delivered billions of packages to customers worldwide and more than 10 million to alternative delivery locations like Amazon retail stores and Amazon Locker or Counter locations.

Image courtesy of Amazon

Holiday shopping trends

According to Adobe, in 2020, consumers spent $90 billion over the holiday shopping season. This year, $111 billion was forecast, but actual spending was closer to $109.8 billion. This is an increase of 11.9% over 2020. On Black Friday, Switch, Barbie and Oculus were the most purchased items. On Cyber Monday, Hot Wheels, Xbox|S and Airpods were the top items. From November 1 through December 31, Adobe predicts sales will grow to $207 billion.

Insider Take

This is a very interesting take on Amazon’s holiday sales report. Typically, they shout their sales numbers from the rooftopcs, but this year was vastly different. Amazon focused on their prices, not their sales. Also, last year, they boasted how they were supporting small- and medium-sized businesses. This year, the news release reads more like an advertisement, pointing out all of Amazon’s gift guides and directing readers to visit Amazon Deals online “to shop incredible discounts.” Is this new strategy because Amazon is under new leadership or because Amazon’s Black Friday through Cyber Monday sales were less than stellar, or perhaps a bit of both? Inquiring minds want to know!

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