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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2967 - December 28, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

Normally Reticent, Amazon Speaks on Holiday Season

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
December 28, 2012




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Amazon.com, which usually reveals very little about its business, typically issues a report immediately after the holidays to tout sales, and this year was no different. In a press release issued on Thursday, it said it had a record-breaking holiday season and announced it came in number-one in ForeSee's annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index.

Amazon also said its Kindle Fire HD tablet continued its run as the best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon worldwide since its introduction 15 weeks ago.

Amazon said the 2012 holiday shopping season was its biggest ever, with over 26.5 million items ordered worldwide on its peak day (Nov. 26 - Cyber Monday), which is a record-breaking 306 items per second. That's nearly double the number of units ordered on its peak day in 2010 (2011 numbers are unavailable).

And, on its peak day this year, Amazon's worldwide fulfillment network shipped over 15.6 million units across all product categories.

To take a trip down memory lane, Amazon.com's 2003 peak holiday shopping day saw 2.1 million units ordered worldwide, and its worldwide fulfillment network shipped over one million packages on its peak day in 2003!

In 2010, Amazon.com's peak day was November 29, when customers ordered more than 13.7 million items worldwide across all product categories - up 44% from December 14, 2009, when customers ordered over 9.5 million items worldwide.

Amazon's worldwide fulfillment network shipped over 9 million units across all product categories on its peak holiday shopping day in 2010, up 29% from the over 7 million units shipped on its peak day in 2009.

Amazon does not reveal dollar sales or specific numbers about units shipped for the holiday as a whole. As far as its marketplace merchants, the company said on Thursday:

"Amazon's third-party sellers sold enough Lindt truffles to serve one to every traveler passing through Chicago O'Hare Airport over a weekend. And Amazon's third-party sellers sold enough HDMI cables to make three round-trips to the International Space Station."

With same-day delivery making headlines among ecommerce retailers, Amazon released this shipping factoid: Its last Local Express Delivery order that was delivered in time for Christmas went to Seattle, WA. It was a Case Logic 14.1-Inch Laptop Attache that was ordered at 11:44 a.m. PST on Christmas Eve and delivered at 2:44 p.m. PST.

Amazon continued to keep it non-specific, saying customers taking advantage of free shipping saved "hundreds of millions of dollars" with Amazon Prime and Free Super Saver Shipping.

Amazon also bragged that it scored an 88 on ForeSee's index for customer satisfaction for the second year in a row, the highest ever attained by any retailer in the study. ForeSee noted in its report that satisfied customers are more likely to purchase, stay loyal, and recommend.

From the report: "Amazon is still head of the class: Amazon remains steady with an 88 for the second consecutive year, the highest score ever attained by any retailer measured in the holiday Index since 2005. As the "best of the best" in providing a great customer experience, other companies should model Amazon's focus on the customer experience"

LLBean.com came in a close second, followed by QVC.com, Vitacost.com, and Esteelauder.com; 26 other retail websites registering satisfaction scores at or above 80, which is generally considered the threshold for excellence when using the ForeSee methodology.

Larry Freed, author of the study and president and CEO of ForeSee, said, "To achieve such high customer satisfaction scores and sustain them over time is a remarkable feat that remains unmatched by any other e-retailer."

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was quoted in the press release, "We are grateful to customers for once again ranking us at the top of the ForeSee customer satisfaction survey and for choosing to shop at Amazon this holiday. On behalf of Amazon employees around the world, we wish everyone happy holidays and the very best for the coming year."

Amazon also used the press release to reveal facts about the Kindle and Amazon Digital. Of note:

  • Christmas Day was the biggest day ever for digital downloads across Amazon's selection of over 23 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games.
  • Amazon Appstore for Android selection nearly tripled in 2012 over 2011.
  • Sales of apps and games during the holiday period alone were up more than 250 percent over the same period last year.

Amazon said customers added more than 15 million toys to their Wish Lists this holiday season, and said if every Christmas Story Leg Lamp purchased by Amazon customers this holiday season were stacked, the height would reach the top of Mt. Everest.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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