Amazon said it delivered more than 1.5 billion toys, home products, beauty and personal care products, and electronics worldwide over its “record-breaking holiday season.”
The retailer beefed up its fulfillment methods this holiday season by adding Amazon 4-star or Amazon Books stores to its options for online order pickup. Post holidays, Amazon said it delivered over 8 million items to alternative delivery locations, including an Amazon Hub location, or Amazon physical retail store.
“Amazonians around the world have truly shown what it means to be customer-centric and support our communities this year,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer at Amazon, in a corporate blog post. “And when customers needed a little extra holiday cheer, millions of employees and partners worked together to deliver more savings and holiday gifts than ever before. We couldn’t be prouder of, or more thankful for, our teams around the world.”
Amazon invested $2.5 billion in front-line employee bonuses and incentives last year, including a recent $500 million special holiday bonus. It also invested more than $18 billion to help independent businesses grow their sales on Amazon.
The retailer said this holiday season has been the best ever for independent businesses selling on Amazon—nearly all of which are small and medium-sized businesses—with worldwide sales growing over 50% compared to the same time period in 2019. During the holiday season, American small- and medium-sized businesses sold nearly 1 billion products in Amazon’s store.
Since the start of the pandemic, Amazon has absorbed more than $5 billion in operational costs on behalf of independent businesses selling in Amazon’s store, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses, and expect to invest billions more through 2021, it said.
“As we look ahead with vaccines on the horizon, other logistics providers have already announced their annual fee increases,” the retail said in the post. “In a normal year, we’d be doing the same, but this isn’t a normal year. We are postponing our annual fulfillment fee adjustments through June 1, 2021 to provide stability and support for small- and medium-sized businesses during what will likely remain a challenging winter.”
Amazon also noted that in 2020, it provided more than $1 billion in AWS credits to help early-stage startups accelerate their growth and development.
Amazon’s Holiday Takeaways
- Some of the best-selling items included ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game, Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic Retro Toy, Jenga Classic Game, Just Dance 2021 - Nintendo Switch Standard Edition, Sengled Smart LED Light Bulb, all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, COSORI Air Fryer Max XL Electric Hot Oven, Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker, iRobot Roomba 675, Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer, and Neutrogena Cleansing Face Wipes.
- Matching pajama sets for the whole family, animal prints, fleece, and bold kicks were some of the popular gifts to give and get this holiday season, as seen in the Amazon Fashion gift guides, which were curated by influencers such as Blair Eadie, Rocky Barnes, and Charli D’Amelio.
- While customers couldn’t always be together this year, they used Alexa video calling to connect with each other twice as many times this holiday season compared to last year.
- Customers asked Alexa tens of millions of times to help illuminate holiday lighting this season—that’s equal to more than once every second.
- Customers asked Alexa for recipes and cooking advice tens of millions of times through Christmas.
- Alexa helped tens of millions of customers find the perfect gift for everyone on their list this year by providing gift suggestions and helping customers make and share lists, add items to carts, and make purchases.