Amazon said it delivered billions of items to customers around the world this holiday season in its annual post. As usual, you’ll have to wait until mid- to late-January to find more color when it releases its fourth-quarter financial results (and even then, it doesn’t provide granular data). But it did offer some factoids to chew on in its post-holiday blog post.
Package pickup: Offering ways for shoppers to pick up items not only gives customers more choice, it also avoids the need for last-mile delivery. “We delivered over 8 million items to alternative delivery locations this holiday season, including an Amazon Hub location, or Amazon physical retail store like Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Books.”
Shopping through Smart speakers: People are putting smart speakers in their homes, and they’re not just for playing music or looking up facts on search engines. Amazon is putting its understanding of shopping behavior to use in its smart-speaker technology. “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.”
Leveraging third-party sellers: Opening its marketplace to third-party sellers allowed Amazon to increase selection, and it can toot its own horn about how it is helping small- and medium-sized businesses. Here are some of the takeaways from its announcement, some of which it previously announced (excerpts):
- Independent businesses selling on Amazon—nearly all of which are small and medium-sized businesses—experienced worldwide sales growth of 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.
- This year, Amazon launched more than 250 tools and services to help sellers manage and grow their businesses.
- In 2020, we hosted over 1,000 educational events for small- and medium-sized businesses around the world, with more than 150,000 attendees, through programs like Amazon Small Business Academy.
- Since the start of the pandemic, we 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.
Stay tuned for more information in Amazon’s 4th-quarter financial announcement, likely to be released the week of January 25, 2021.