Although it has yet to announce its sales figures, Amazon has already declared that its most recent holiday shopping weekend is its biggest ever. This much success is unexpected because of inflation. So why did Americans choose to hit Buy Now instead of holding back?
The five-day sales event that started on Thanksgiving Day and ended on Cyber Monday managed to rake in more than $1 billion in sales for small businesses on Amazon. It was an overall success despite the company’s weak holiday sales forecast resulting in stock drops earlier this year.
According to Adobe Analytics, Black Friday sales saw an increase of 2.3% while Cyber Monday sales rose by 5.8%. This is despite the fact that The Conference Board, a non-profit research organization, reported that its confidence index fell from 102.2 in October to 100.2 in November.
Pre-pandemic, the index has been more or less consistent at 120+.
The holiday weekend sales also exceeded the National Retail Federation’s forecast. The NRF estimated a turnout of 166.3 million in 2022, but around 196.7 million shoppers turned out during the five-day event. This number is even higher than last year’s 179 million.
Better Than Prime Day
For the first time ever, Amazon announced a Prime-Day-like event this year, which turned out to be less than impressive. However, Amazon did make it up during the holiday weekend, affirming our earlier findings that customers are willing to spend more during Black Friday / Cyber Monday compared to Prime Day.
And it seems like buyers are still not done with their holiday shopping. According to a survey conducted by the NRF, on average, customers are only about halfway done, which means online business owners can expect more people to check out their sites and listings in the coming weeks.
What Does This Tell Sellers?
Nobody expected such a turnout, not even Amazon. Based on these results, a couple of things are noteworthy:
Online shopping is still going strong. According to Mastercard, online sales grew faster than in-store sales this year. During Black Friday, in-store sales increased 10.5% YoY while e-commerce grew 12.5% YoY.
Customers are always looking for a good deal. The biggest question here is why, despite record-high inflation, are people buying more compared to last year. This may be because when given the opportunity, customers will be willing to use their credit cards and “buy now, pay later” options if the deal is good enough.
Cyber Monday sales continue to beat Black Friday. This has been the case since 2014. The reason for this isn’t clear, but Insider writes that more giftable items have better deals during Cyber Monday while Black Friday is more for those items you’ll likely buy only once a year or less like TVs and laptops.
Overall, the holiday sales event went well for Amazon and its third-party sellers. However, sellers still can’t celebrate too early because Amazon did extend its returns window until January 31, 2023, for most items that were purchased from October 11 to December 25.