Amazon had a record-breaking 2019 holiday season, the company said in a release today. Just by how much, we’re not sure — in typical fashion, Amazon offered up only general growth statistics over last year rather than hard numbers.
The company, in particular, highlighted sales of its own devices, which reached the “tens of millions,” with the most popular being the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, and the Echo Show 5. Amazon discounted the Echo Show 5 to $59 at the beginning of the season, a great price for a solid product.
Elsewhere, Amazon made big gains in services that offer more potential profits than its original business of selling goods directly to customers.
Third-party sellers are killing it — Independent sellers account for more than 50 percent of sales on Amazon’s website, and the company says that during the holidays they sold more than a billion items worldwide. This is an increasingly important part of Amazon’s business because, by outsourcing merchandise, the company avoids the cost of buying inventory itself and can instead take a cut of sales completed by these third-parties.
It also profits from additional services it sells to merchants, like warehouse storage and advertising in its search results. Amazon’s growing network of private vans delivered an astonishing 3.5 billion packages globally for sellers during the season.
Prime continues to grow — Amazon also called out Prime, saying more than 5 million new customers became members of the program during a one week period alone. That number includes free trials, and Amazon didn’t specify how many of these actually paid for their membership. It’s a good sign for the company, though, because Prime members on average spend $1,400 per year versus $600 for non-members.
Research has found that Prime members appreciate perks like fast and free shipping so much that they don’t price compare with other e-commerce sites, meaning they may not even be getting the best deal on some products — particularly ones from third-party sellers.
Since the release didn’t include hard revenue numbers we’ll have to wait for Amazon’s Q4 earnings to learn more, but nonetheless, it demonstrates that Amazon continues to be an unstoppable force in e-commerce while the competition takes a step back.