Nearly Half of Black Friday’s Record-Smashing $5B Online Sales Went to Amazon

November 28, 2017

3:50 pm

Everyone knows what the two shopping holidays are for: Black Friday is for physical store sales, and Cyber Monday is for finding deals online. And long ago, the two holidays lived together in harmony. But this year, Black Friday is drinking Cyber Monday’s milkshake, a new report has revealed: Black Friday’s 2017 online sales passed up a record $5 billion, up 17 percent over last year. Here’s a look at the aftermath of the holiday shopping spree.

The Winner: Amazon

Amazon nabbed nearly half of all Black Friday orders — between 45 and 50 percent, a new report from GBH Insights notes — making over a billion dollars within the 24-hour period last Friday.

According to a Holiday Report from Astound Commerce, 70 percent of shoppers will make at least 26 percent of their purchases at Amazon, and 40 percent will use Amazon for more than half.

The Losers: Everyone Else

By default, everyone else lost out on the billions that flowed through Amazon’s algorithm-powered site on Friday. And in retrospect, perhaps everyone should have been a little more worried about the online giant: 70 percent of small businesses didn’t “believe that Amazon will impact their holiday sales,” a survey reported just last week.

Not only are small businesses losing out to Amazon, but they appear to be in denial about it. Business Insider is already estimating that Amazon will continue to land half of all sales throughout the holiday season.

What can small retailers and businesses do to stop the onslaught? Not a lot, really, but a few best practices might help. One report from InMoment points a finger at poor customer service, noting that one-third of consumers shop in-store only due to previous positive customer experiences.

Personally, I’d recommend leaning into a niche for your store. High-end startups focused on a specific sector (like food, drink or healthtech) should offer value that Amazon can’t touch.

Read more about consumer habits on TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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