The 2020 holiday season, much like the rest of the year, has looked a bit different. In a year that’s been difficult for so many. Customers around the world have had to find new ways to celebrate holiday traditions and bring joy to themselves and others, with convenience, savings, and safety top of mind. To give customers more time to save and more flexibility during an unusual time, Amazon kicked off the holiday season earlier than ever, just after Prime Day, with deep discounts and deals starting in October. And through Cyber Monday, 2020 has been the largest holiday shopping season so far in our company’s history thanks to customers around the world.
Amazon offered more deals than ever before, and more customers than ever have been shopping early, supporting small- and medium-sized businesses, and saving big on gifts and seasonal items for their loved ones. Some of the best sellers so far include the all-new Echo Dot, Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land,” and the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. Amazon customers also made Black Friday and Cyber Monday the best-ever for independent businesses selling on Amazon—nearly all of which are small and medium-sized businesses—with worldwide sales growing over 60% year-over-year.
“In a holiday season unlike any other, it’s clear that customers still want great deals on gifts for their loved ones or a little something extra for themselves, and we’re glad to help deliver smiles throughout the season,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO, Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “Thank you to our customers, employees, and selling partners around the world for making this our biggest holiday season to date, and for everything you’re doing to support our communities and each other now and throughout the year.”
Highlights from the holiday season through Cyber Monday:
Small- and medium-sized business success
Amazon has committed $100 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses reach more customers through the holidays.
- Independent businesses selling on Amazon—nearly all of which are small- and medium-sized businesses—surpassed $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, an increase of over 60% from last year.
- More than 71,000 small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide have surpassed $100,000 in sales this holiday season to date.
- American small- and medium-sized businesses have sold an average of 9,500 products per minute this holiday season to date.
- Independent businesses selling on Amazon worldwide have created an estimated 2.2 million jobs.
Best sellers and seasonal trends
In the U.S., beginning October 15 with Black Friday-worthy deals dropping daily during the Holiday Dash deals event and continuing through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, customers shopped and saved big.
- U.S. best sellers during the holiday season thus far include the all-new Echo Dot, Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land,” the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush, Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic, Amazon Smart Plug, and 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service: Personal Genetic DNA Test.
- Shopping for self-care, nesting at home, and cozy comfort are top trends in the U.S., with Beauty, Home, and Fashion among top categories shopped so far. In addition, customers also shopped Sports and Pets categories this holiday season.
- Toys are also a popular category to date, with top sellers to keep kids busy, building, and learning including LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book, LEGO Star Wars Mandalorian Battle Pack, Hot Wheels 20 Car Gift Pack, Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog, and L.O.L. Surprise! Present Surprise Doll.
- Top fashion trends for Amazon customers in the U.S. include high-pile fleece, bright and bold performance wear, and prints head-to-toe, including tie-dye and animal print.
- Most-coveted gifts from Luxury Stores include Oscar de la Renta jewelry, RéVive skincare, Car Shoe boots, and La Perla sleepwear, with more giftable items and new brand launches arriving throughout the holiday season.
- According to Amazon Charts, the most popular books Amazon customers purchased in the U.S. include a mix of memoirs, family favorites, and sweeping fantasies. Top picks include Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land,” Matthew McConaughey’s “Greenlights,” John Grisham’s “A Time for Mercy,” Jeff Kinney’s “The Deep End” (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 15), Lee Child’s “The Sentinel: A Jack Reacher Novel,” Brandon Sanderson’s “Rhythm of War” (The Stormlight Archive Book 4), and Dav Pilkey’s “Dog Man: Grime and Punishment.”
- Customers are also signing up for Amazon Pharmacy to access convenient home delivery and Prime members are using their new Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit to save on medications when paying without insurance, making their holidays a bit easier.
Additionally, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday specifically:
- Best sellers on Black Friday in the U.S. included the all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote, Exploding Kittens Card Game, Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean Electric Toothbrush, Rocketbook Panda Planner, and Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty Robot Vacuum.
- Best sellers on Cyber Monday in the U.S. included the all-new Echo Dot, Echo Show 5, Nintendo Switch Fortnite Wildcat Bundle, iRobot Roomba Vacuum, Connect 4 Strategy Board Game, and BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill.
- With more customers worldwide spending time at home, best-selling home products during Black Friday and Cyber Monday included iRobot Roomba Vacuum, BlissLights Sky Lite Laser Star Projector, Shark Pro Cordless Vacuum Mop, and Beckham Hotel Collection Luxury Plush Gel Pillow.
- Top beauty products worldwide during Black Friday and Cyber Monday included REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush, Oral-B 1000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush, HAUS LABORATORIES by Lady Gaga liquid eyeliner, and NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eye Shadow Palette.
Holidays with Amazon Devices and Alexa
- Some of the most popular products on Amazon globally this holiday shopping weekend were the all-new Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.
- This holiday shopping weekend, customers purchased more Ring, Blink, and eero devices on Amazon than during any previous holiday shopping weekend.
- Alexa helped millions of customers get their shopping started on Thanksgiving and Black Friday by making it easy to find deals, answer product questions, add items to their shopping lists, and make purchases.
- More than twice as many customers asked Alexa for recipes and cooking advice this Thanksgiving compared to last year, with some of the most popular recipes being Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole.
- Customers seem to be getting in the holiday spirit earlier than ever in 2020: global Alexa requests for holiday playlists and stations on Amazon Music have increased 90% compared to this time last year.
- Customers are connecting virtually more than ever: more people used Alexa to connect with their family and friends this Thanksgiving weekend than any previous Thanksgiving weekend.
Climate Pledge Friendly
- This holiday season, customers in the U.S. can now shop more than 50,000 products that are certified Climate Pledge Friendly across grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics—with more product and category certifications on the way. Certain brand products including Burt’s Bees Baby, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Hewlett-Packard, and Jack Wolfskin, among others, are now part of the Climate Pledge Friendly family. Just look for the Climate Pledge Friendly icon and learn more at amazon.com/ClimatePledgeFriendly.
Amazon’s operations and people
Hundreds of thousands of Amazon employees and partners are working together to deliver magical experiences for customers and communities across the U.S.—providing fast and convenient delivery options and ensuring customer purchases are shipped as sustainably as possible. Amazon has also implemented more than 150 new process improvements and safety measures over the last several months, with approximately $10 billion expected to be invested in 2020 to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers. Here are some of the ways our teams—from fulfillment centers, to transportation and delivery networks—are making holiday shopping and shipping easier for customers:
Earth-friendly delivery, pickup, and returns
Since October 15, we’ve added even more ways for customers to receive their holiday items, with options that are convenient for them—and better for the planet. Shopping online is inherently more carbon efficient than going to a physical store. Amazon scientists have found that shopping online consistently generates less carbon than driving to a store, since a single delivery van trip can take approximately 100 roundtrip car journeys off the road on average.
- Free One-Day and Same-Day Delivery. Prime members in the U.S. can shop a selection of over 10 million items eligible for Prime Free One-Day Delivery with no minimum purchase, and millions of items available for Same-Day Delivery in 47 major metropolitan areas. Learn more at amazon.com/primedelivery.
- Faster Same-Day Delivery. Amazon is now offering faster Same-Day Delivery in two more cities—Nashville, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.—in addition to Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando, and Dallas. Prime members can shop up to 3 million items across a dozen categories available for Same-Day and Overnight delivery.
- Alternative delivery options. New this holiday season, customers can enjoy the experience of shopping for great gifts and holiday deals while picking up their Amazon.com order by selecting an Amazon 4-star and Amazon Books location as their delivery location. Prime members can also get FREE Same-Day with no minimum purchase amount required when shipping to an Amazon physical retail store or Amazon Hub location. Amazon Hub is an easy, convenient, and contactless package pickup network that offers customers either an attended or unattended experience in neighborhoods, cities, and college campuses in more than 900 cities and towns across the country. To find an Amazon physical retail location click here and an Amazon Hub location click here.
- Sustainable shipping. This holiday season, Amazon has been working to make sure that customer purchases are shipped as sustainably as possible. As part of these efforts, Amazon is using more sustainable packaging options when possible, such as the recyclable paper padded mailer. Made with a lightweight cushioning material layered between sheets of paper, the mailer is replacing other non-recyclable mixed material mailers or cardboard boxes for items that need less protection. More than 200 million paper-padded mailers have been shipped to customers across the U.S. This innovative design takes up less space when transported by Amazon airplanes, semi-trucks, and delivery vans. That results in fewer trips, less fuel consumption, and reduced carbon emissions.
- Frustration-Free Packaging. Amazon works with manufacturers to ensure products are packaged in easy-to-open packaging that is 100% recyclable and ready to ship without the need of additional Amazon boxes. Customers can shop more than 2 million items by looking for items labeled Frustration-Free Packaging. Since 2015, Amazon has reduced the weight of outbound packaging by 33% and eliminated more than 915,000 tons of packaging material, the equivalent of over 1.6 billion shipping boxes.
- Extended returns window. With Amazon’s extended returns window, customers can shop with confidence knowing that most items shipped from October 1 through December 31, 2020 can be returned for free until January 31, 2021 at over 18,000 convenient locations across the U.S. Find out more at amazon.com/returns.
Amazon jobs and career advancement
Amazon believes in providing employees with great jobs and better futures by providing pathways to long-term careers for hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. and Canada. A job at Amazon can be a springboard to other opportunities both at the company and beyond.
- Amazon not only creates great jobs, but also provides pathways to long-term careers and has promoted more than 35,000 associates this year.
- Amazon is actively hiring for 100,000 new, regular full- and part-time positions across the U.S. and Canada, and 100,000 new seasonal jobs this season, many with a sign-on bonus, across our operations network.
- Amazon was named #2 on the World’s Best Employers list globally by Forbes based on employee input. Highly competitive pay, comprehensive benefits from day one for regular full- and part-time employees, and training programs for in-demand jobs are just a few reasons Amazon is a great place to work.
- As of this holiday season, more than 30,000 associates have participated in upskilling training through Career Choice, a program that pre-pays 95% of tuition for certification and associates degrees that lead to high-demand career paths outside of Amazon.
*This blog post includes forward-looking statements reflective of Amazon’s operations as of November 30, 2020, however, it is not possible to determine the ultimate impact on our operations for the entire holiday season or fourth quarter, or whether other currently unanticipated direct or indirect consequences of the pandemic are reasonably likely to materially affect our operations.