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Amazon Grows Sales 44% in First Quarter of 2021

Amazon Grows Sales 44% in First Quarter of 2021

Amazon grew total sales 44% in the first three months of 2021 for its entire business, including the Amazon Marketplace. Sellers accounted for 55% of Amazon worldwide paid units (excluding Whole Foods Market). In Thursday’s press release announcing earnings, it noted the following:

  • Net sales increased 44% to $108.5 billion in the first quarter, compared with $75.5 billion in first quarter 2020. Excluding the $2.1 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 41% compared with first quarter 2020.
  • Amazon net income increased to $8.1 billion in the first quarter compared with net income of $2.5 billion in first quarter 2020.

Breaking down net sales growth by segment, Amazon reported the following:

North America: 40%
International: 60%
AWS: 32%
Consolidated: 44%

North American net sales make up 59% of total net sales, while International makes up 28%.

The following are excerpts from Amazon’s earnings press release.

Amazon.com Announces First Quarter Results
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2021.

“Two of our kids are now 10 and 15 years old—and after years of being nurtured, they’re growing up fast and coming into their own,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “As Prime Video turns 10, over 175 million Prime members have streamed shows and movies in the past year, and streaming hours are up more than 70% year over year. Amazon Studios received a record 12 Academy Award nominations and two wins. Upcoming originals include Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, The Tomorrow War, The Underground Railroad, and much more. In just 15 years, AWS has become a $54 billion annual sales run rate business competing against the world’s largest technology companies, and its growth is accelerating—up 32% year over year. Companies from Airbnb to McDonald’s to Volkswagen come to AWS because we offer what is by far the broadest set of tools and services available, and we continue to invent relentlessly on their behalf. We love Prime Video and AWS, and we’re proud to have them in the family.”

Empowering Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

  • In recognition of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Amazon partnered with Diane von Furstenberg to help empower more than 100 women-owned businesses by launching dedicated women-owned small business stores in the U.S. and a dozen other countries around the world, making it easy for customers to discover and learn about women-owned sellers and shop from their selection of thousands of products. To help raise awareness of women-owned businesses and support their success, von Furstenberg hosted a virtual event on Amazon Live and shared her own experience and insights on being an entrepreneur.
  • Amazon celebrated Black History Month by launching a Black-owned small business store with products from third-party sellers, enabling customers to discover and shop from Black business owners. Amazon also hosted an Amazon Live event with celebrities and entrepreneurs Tia Mowry and Karamo Brown during which Black Amazon sellers shared their insights about launching and building a small business.
  • Amazon announced the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Awards, a free competition designed to support emerging, innovative European startups. A judging panel will select five startups to each win a €10,000 grant and free access to Amazon Launchpad for one year. The “Startup of the Year” winner will receive an additional €90,000 grant.
  • Amazon India announced it has digitized 2.5 million small and medium-sized businesses, enabled cumulative exports worth $3 billion, and announced the $250 million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund. The fund will encourage the best ideas to digitize small and medium-sized businesses, drive technology-led innovation in agriculture to improve farmer productivity, and enable healthcare access.
  • Amazon India announced that more than 50,000 offline retailers and neighborhood stores joined the Local Shops on Amazon program in its first year. It also committed to bringing one million Local Shops online by 2025. Launched in April 2020, the Local Shops on Amazon program helps sellers sustain their livelihoods and jumpstart their businesses.


  • There are now more than 200 million paid Prime members worldwide. Members have exclusive access to deals every day and especially during Prime Day, which will take place later in the second quarter.
  • Amazon continues to innovate and invest in fast, free, and convenient delivery for customers. In the U.S., Same-Day Delivery in as fast as five hours is free on orders over $35 on over three million items in select cities. This is in addition to Free Same-Day Delivery on millions of items in thousands of cities and towns across 47 major U.S. metro areas, plus over 10 million items available for Free One-Day Delivery coast to coast. These fast and efficient deliveries are powered by Amazon’s last mile network of delivery driver partners—small businesses creating tens of thousands of new jobs across the country.
  • Amazon continues to expand Amazon Scout, a fully electric autonomous delivery system. Similar in size to a small cooler on wheels, Amazon Scout rolls down the sidewalk at walking pace and delivers items right to customers. Since its launch, Scout has delivered tens of thousands of packages to customers in California, Georgia, Tennessee, and Washington, and the program is continuing to expand to new communities in the U.S.
  • The new Prime prescription savings benefit offers pharmacy savings at more than 60,000 participating pharmacies in the U.S., including Amazon Pharmacy. Amazon has helped Prime members save millions of dollars on prescription medications so far this year when paying without insurance, both at Amazon Pharmacy and other local pharmacies.
  • Amazon expanded Discover Rooms, an immersive shopping experience that helps customers browse and shop from thousands of home room designs and instantly discover home furnishing product inspiration based on visual attributes. The experience is now available in nine countries, including Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, and the U.S.
  • Prime Wardrobe, Amazon’s “try before you buy” offering, expanded selection and launched new innovations for customers, including the ability to chat live with Amazon Stylists for personalized recommendations and trial items recommended by their favorite fashion influencers and websites.
  • In the U.S., Amazon launched an expanded assortment of NFL merchandise, including replica jerseys and hats, at amazon.com/NFL. Customers can now shop thousands of additional products on Amazon from NFL Pro Line, Fanatics, New Era, Outerstuff, ’47, and other top brands. Amazon also made enhancements to the sports fan shopping experience, including improved navigation in Your Fanshop and personalized game celebrations for customers’ favorite teams.
  • Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit continues to work aggressively with law enforcement, industry associations, brand owners, and academics to bring counterfeit to zero. Examples this quarter include working with the U.S. National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center to prevent counterfeit Super Bowl LV merchandise from reaching consumers and partnering with Pennsylvania-based, family-owned card game maker Dutch Blitz and Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo to file lawsuits against multiple counterfeiters and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
  • In March, Amazon launched Amazon.pl, offering Polish customers a selection of more than 100 million products across more than 30 categories, including products from thousands of European and local Polish businesses. Amazon has been operating in Poland since 2014, has created over 18,000 permanent jobs, and will open its tenth fulfillment center in Swiebodzin in 2021, adding more than 1,000 new jobs to Amazon’s existing network in Poland.
  • Amazon opened its first international physical retail stores powered by Just Walk Out technology with the launch of three Amazon Fresh locations in London. These new convenience grocery stores sell a range of products, including the new “by Amazon” private brand, and enable shoppers to enter a store, grab what they want, and leave without stopping to check out. There are now 15 Amazon Fresh physical stores around the world.
  • Amazon Fresh grocery stores expanded into four new communities in the U.S.: Oak Lawn, Illinois; Bloomingdale, Illinois; Fullerton, California; and Long Beach, California, creating hundreds of regular full- and part-time jobs in each community with starting wages of at least $15 per hour and comprehensive benefits.
  • Amazon announced that millions of Prime members now have access to Key In-Garage Grocery Delivery in more than 5,000 cities and towns in the U.S., enabling them to enjoy free, contactless, and secure in-garage delivery of grocery orders from Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh.
  • Amazon One—a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to enter, identify, and pay—launched as a payment option at Whole Foods Market, starting with the Madison Broadway store in Seattle. Amazon One will be added as a payment option at additional Whole Foods Market stores in the Seattle area in the coming months.
  • Delaware North, a global leader in hospitality and food service, announced the opening of two checkout-free convenience stores using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at TD Garden, an entertainment venue in Boston and home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins.
  • Amazon Business, the company’s global procurement solution, now serves more than five million businesses and generated $25 billion in worldwide annualized sales. More than half of unit sales are from third-party sellers, such as women-, minority-, or veteran-owned businesses that have been certified by U.S. diversity-certifying organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. In the U.S., Amazon Business serves 45 states and 80 of the Fortune 100 companies, including Citigroup, Intel, Cisco, and ExxonMobil.
  • Amazon continues to expand its air cargo network to meet growing customer demand. In January, the company announced the purchase of 11 aircraft from Delta and WestJet to expand its Amazon Air fleet to more than 85 aircraft by the end of 2022. Amazon also announced new Amazon Air sites in Toledo, Ohio and Fairbanks, Alaska, and plans to expand existing operations in Canada this summer.

Amazon highlighted its vision to be the best employer and safest place to work and included sections on Supporting Communities; The Climate Pledge; Entertainment; Amazon Devices and Services; and Amazon Web Services. See the Amazon Investor Relations website for the full press release including charts and financial guidance.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.