Amazon, Cyber Monday spark small business growth
Small businesses did well on Amazon this Cyber Monday. Amazon shoppers ordered nearly 140 million units from small businesses and entrepreneurs globally during that day, according to statistics from Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke, which were emailed to Retail Dive. Some purchaseswere fueled by trends, like AncestryDNA, which was one of the top selling products on Amazon on Cyber Monday, selling 800% more kits in one day than during the entire holiday period last year, according to Vineet Mehra, the company's Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer.
Several businesses set records with their Cyber Monday Amazon sales. Tomofun's sales rose more than 350% over last year, a new high, according to Tomofun CEO Victor Chang. (Furbo was the No.1 Best Seller on Amazon in the pet camera category, he also said.) Tea Forte saw its biggest sales day ever, selling "thousands of items" and seeing a 550% sales increase year over year, Tea Forte VP of Commerce Jurgen Nebelung said. Cyber Monday was also the biggest holiday sales day at One Savvy Life, with thousands of unit sales and a 30% year-over-year rise, according to founder Kelly Fedio.
Black Friday was also a big day on Amazon for these businesses. Kahili Creations sales were up 70% year over year, according to founder Marcia Asuncion-Ricchiuti. And average order size also grew for some, increasing 30% at Spa Destinations on Cyber Monday, with sales there growing more than 200% from last year, said founder Theo Prodromitis.
Cyber Monday is winning the holiday season so far, with nearly $6.6 billion in sales, according to Adobe, up 16.8% compared to last year and on track to be the largest online shopping day in history. While it's not surprising that Amazon would take a major share of the bounty —7 in 10 shoppers will make at least 26% or more of their holiday purchases at Amazon, and 40% will use Amazon for more than half, according to Astound Commerce's holiday report emailed to Retail Dive —it is worth noting how much that accrues to some of its marketplace sellers.
"From Thanksgiving to Monday, customers ordered nearly 140 million units from small businesses and entrepreneurs," Wilke noted in a Tweet on Tuesday.
Cyber Monday 2017 was the biggest day ever for sellers on Amazon. From Thanksgiving to Monday, customers ordered nearly 140 million units from small businesses and entrepreneurs. Congrats!— Jeff Wilke (@jeffawilke) November 28, 2017
Many merchants depend on Amazon for more than 80% of sales, and, for that reason, Amazon's dominance has many of them worried. More than half (52%) are concerned Amazon will take away their privileges, half are worried about high fees and 45% are scared that Amazon will compete directly with them, according to recent research from marketplace commerce platform Feedvisor.
As a result, Walmart's e-commerce marketplace, launched in 2009, is gaining, as many merchants seek to diversify their outlets beyond Amazon's marketplace, eMarketer reports. Some 65% of sellers on Amazon's Marketplace say they also sell on eBay, while two-fifths also sell on their own website. Less than 10% say they sell on Rakuten, Walmart or Jet, Feedvisor found.
Still, Amazon's Marketplace, despite the fact that it favors customers over sellers when it comes to returns and copies many of their bestsellers for its own private labels on major selling days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, provides an ideal platform to sell through. Aside from the fact that half the merchandise sold on its site comes from its Marketplace, Amazon was responsible for 55% of all online transactions that occurred on Black Friday, as well as for more than 45% of online checkouts completed on Thanksgiving Day, according to data supplied to the publication Dealerscope by analytics company Hitwise. That means Amazon accounted for 7.14 million of 13 million transactions that occurred on Black Friday, as well as 5.64 million of the 12.5 million orders placed on Thanksgiving Day.
Separately, marketing technology company Amobee, which monitors digital content engagements and their relation to various brands told Retail Dive via e-mail that 36% of all Black Friday digital content engagement was Amazon-related. In comparison, early yesterday through 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, about 55% of all Cyber Monday digital content engagement was Amazon-related.
And it's not just the traditional holidays. Amazon's own Prime Day over the summer, which this year surpassed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 in sales, was record-breaking for small businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide who participated in the event, Amazon said earlier this year.
"So far, this year's Prime Day sales increased 350% from last year's," Kahili Creations' Asuncion-Ricchiuti said in July. "Getting the opportunity to offer lightning deals as a Handmade at Amazon artisan has been a boom to my business."
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