News Feature | October 10, 2017

Retailers Should Leverage Ecommerce This Holiday Season To Challenge Amazon

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Walmart & Sam's Club eCommerce Site Upgrades

Holiday sales are anticipated to top $929 billion this year.

As the holiday shopping season gets closer, companies are scrambling for their share of an expected $929.15 billion in sales from November and December. Within that spend, more than 10% of total sales will happen online, and Amazon is the undisputed king of that market.

Feedvisor, an algorithmic and machine learning company focused on marketplace sellers, conducted an analysis of Amazon order volume and peak sales days starting on Halloween 2016 through this year’s Prime Day, with a focus on the holiday season. Here’s what they found:

  • Black Friday kicks off the season: Order volume increased by 140% on this day, and seller revenue increased by 170%, as prices rose to accommodate demand.
  • Cyber Monday is the winner: Order volume increased by 200% on this day, and seller revenue increased by 260%, showing that Cyber Monday outpaced Black Friday when it came to holiday shopping.
  • People shop up into the last minute: The holiday sales increase started on November 15th, and lasted until December 17th, and sales started to dip around December 23rd.

Most retailers rely on the lucrative fourth quarter with its holiday shopping season to help boost sales for the year. Last year, Amazon’s Cyber Weekend sales increased  18 percent to reach $260 million in first party sales over the four-day period, according to research from  e-commerce research firm One Click Retail. "There is every reason to believe that Amazon will continue this growth trend and remain the most profitable sales channel for vendors going into the 2017 holiday shopping season," One Click Retail researchers said.

Approximately three-quarters of all holiday shoppers and 90% of Amazon Prime members expect to make purchases through Amazon this year, while just half of consumers said they plan gift shopping at Target and Walmart, according to a report from consulting firm Fung Global Retail & Technology. Ecommerce is gaining in popularity, set to overtake physical stores this holiday. The report found that 82 percent of shoppers anticipate buying gifts online, compared to 77 percent shopping in physical stores.