In accordance with Amazon, this 12 months's Christmas buying interval was the biggest in its historical past


An Amazon fulfillment center in Frankenthal.

Thorsten Wagner | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon said Tuesday that this year's holiday shopping season was the biggest in its history as the coronavirus pandemic forced more people than ever to shop online.

The ecommerce giant said in a blog post that customers were early buying gifts and seasonal items for loved ones. While Amazon has amassed sales, many retailers who rely on physical stores have struggled to survive.

According to Amazon, popular purchases include the new Echo Dot, former President Barack Obama's book "A Promised Land", and Revlon's One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Brush. Self-care, "nesting at home" and "cozy comfort" were among the most popular trends of this time.

"In a holiday season unlike any other, it is clear that customers still want great deals on gifts for loved ones or a little something for themselves, and we look forward to bringing you smiles throughout the season," said Jeff Wilke , CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer.

"Thank you to our customers, employees and distributors around the world for making this our biggest holiday season yet and for all you are doing to support our communities and each other now and throughout the year."

The company didn't release actual sales for Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday, which are typically the busiest days during the holiday season.

Amazon has been criticized for promoting its own products over those of independent retailers, but the company said the latter saw "record demand" on its platform this year.

Independent companies selling on Amazon saw global sales of more than $ 4.8 billion from Black Friday through Cyber ​​Monday, Amazon said, noting that that figure was up 60% year over year. 71,000 small and medium-sized businesses had revenue of over $ 100,000 this holiday season.

Like many other retailers, Amazon started offering vacation deals earlier than ever this year. Prime Day, postponed from mid-July to October, became the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.

Despite the earlier start, consumers opened their wallets and shopped more online on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. Online spending on Black Friday this year grew 22% year over year to a record $ 9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Cyber ​​Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year, is also expected to generate record sales.

The tide of online shopping has been bad news for many brick and mortar businesses as many customers continue to be cautious when taking trips to crowded stores and malls. According to data from Sensormatic Solutions, foot traffic to stores on Black Friday was down 52% year over year.

Amazon is one of the best positioned retailers to capitalize on the trend. The company has staffed its warehouses significantly and expanded its warehouse space, including storing more goods and making sure it is prepared for the holiday frenzy. Those investments could result in 42 cents of every dollar spent this holiday season being drawn down from 36 cents last year, according to Wall Street firm Truist Securities.


Katherine Clark