Amazon Third-Party Sellers Had Record-Breaking Holiday Season

More than 130,000 third-party sellers had over $100,000 in sales

Though Amazon was quiet on the company’s overall holiday sales details, last week, the ecommerce giant revealed that their third-party sellers broke Amazon records. The company helped support their holidays by spending over $100 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses reach more customers during prime Day with their Spend $10, Get $10 promotion. Amazon also helped by sharing a small business gift guide and asking shoppers to support small businesses, including Black-owned, women-owned, family-owned and military family-owned businesses.

Holiday highlights

Amazon shared the following highlights from the holiday season:

  • More than 130,000 third-party sellers had more than $100,000 in sales.
  • Third-party sellers in the U.S. sold an average of 11,500 products per minute between Black Friday and Christmas.
  • Top categories for holiday sales were office products, cameras and wine-related products.
  • For the seventh straight year, Oprah’s Favorite Things included some of the celebrity’s favorite gifts, focusing on small businesses owned by women and people of color.

In an Amazon blog post, Kim Allardyce, CEO of Fire Cider, a wellness company that sells handcrafted apple cider vinegar tonics, shared her gratitude for Amazon’s support.

“Selling on Amazon has been a great experience and has helped our holiday sales exponentially. We are expecting to do over $1 million in Amazon sales for the year and that is due in large part to the orders we saw Black Friday through Cyber Monday after being featured in this year’s Small Business Gift Guide,” Allardyce said.

Image courtesy of Fire Cider on Amazon

Amazon Launchpad

During the 2021 holiday season, Amazon launched its first Launchpad Deal of the Day (DOTD) featuring small business kitchen brands. According to Amazon, customers and businesses both benefited from the DOTD. Zo Walia, head of digital marketing for MEATER, a smart meat thermometer company, was very pleased with their relationship with Amazon.

“Amazon’s Deal of the Day exceeded all of our expectations. We didn’t just sell more units than projected, we saw a 1,100% increase in number of units sold compared to the same period last year. During DOTD, MEATER also trended as a best seller in the kitchen category, which exposed us to thousands of new customers who we may have not reached otherwise. Amazon consistently makes an effort to promote us and increase visibility,” said Walia.

Amazon Homemade

Another winning strategy for third-party sellers was Amazon Handmade. Growing by double digits compared to 2020 sales, Amazon Handmade exceeded $100,000 in sales. Top categories for the holiday season included jewelry, drinkware, holiday décor and personalized products.  Among the artists and entrepreneurs who sell or promote their wares through Amazon Handmade was actress and creator Mindy Kaling who launched a curated collection of work featuring six artistic entrepreneurs, including some items Kaling helped design.

“Amazon’s partnership with third-party sellers continues to be a win-win for small businesses and customers, and it’s one of the greatest partnership stories in retail. Together, we make a great team,” said Amazon.

Though Amazon Handmade is growing, $100,000 in sales seems low. Is this Amazon’s answer to Etsy?

Insider Take

As we said in our December 7 article about Amazon’s record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Amazon has been surprisingly quiet about its sales figures for the holiday season. In the past, Amazon would quote specific numbers. For example, in 2020, the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend yielded $4.8 billion in sales, but Amazon didn’t share that data this year. This third-party seller blog is similar and, like the news release where Amazon boasted the record-breaking holiday sales weekend, Amazon is mum on the details. In fact, it is almost self-serving because Amazon is patting itself on the back and continuing to post links to Amazon stores, gift guides, etc. to keep the trend going.

While promoting yourself is not a bad thing in the retail thing, we are curious as to why Amazon isn’t sharing more data. Is this a new way of reporting because they have a new CEO, Andy Jassy, or were Amazon’s sales down in 2021 compared to 2020? If so, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. 2020 was a blip in so many ways with some companies (e.g., SVODs and meal kits) seeing huge increases which are now leveling off, while others (e.g., travel and luxury brands) saw big decreases during 2020.