It's the biggest day for the world's biggest online retailer, and Amazon hopes Cyber Monday could give it a big boost.
Customers ordered 740 items per second last Cyber Monday and spokesperson Pia Arthur says that number could be even higher this year!
“I think we expect the numbers to be even better,” she told us from the company’s fulfillment center in Robinsville, NJ. “Black Friday was actually larger this year than last year.”
Arthur said the company prepped for the high demand by hiring 120,000 seasonal employees worldwide.
This holiday season is expected to see a decent bump from last year, with the National Retail Federation predicting sales will rise 3.6 percent from 2016. Shoppers are also expected to start working on their gift lists a little earlier. Research firm Nielsen says that 29 percent of buyers began their holiday shopping back in September. And while the official shopping season kicks off on Black Friday, retailers themselves are starting to offer discounts even earlier in the month. Arthur says Amazon kicked off its holiday sales on November 1st.
Another trend this season: consumers are expected to spend more. Financial firm Deloitte estimates that, on average, consumers spent $427 over the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, up from $400 in 2016. And over the entire holiday period, gift-givers are expected to spend close to $1,000! The NRF expects total outlay will rise 3.4 percent to more than $967.
There’s also been an increase in mobile shopping. According to Adobe Analytics, about 40 percent of people made purchases from their devices on Black Friday. That’s up from 29 percent last year and is a trend Arthur backs up.
“This year on Thanksgiving we actually had 50 percent more customers shop on their mobile devices,” she said.
Amazon’s got a couple other tricks to increase its appeal this season -- the company launched a Spanish version of its website, and so far Arthur says that the strategy is proving to be a good one.
“We are seeing that millions of people are shopping Amazon in Spanish,” she said.
The strength of online retail has come, largely, at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores. Several companies are struggling to manage inventory, and even when customers are coming into stores, they are simultaneously looking for digital deals. Deloitte reports that 38 percent of brick-and-mortar shoppers are also searching online for deals or price match guarantees as they browse.
And Amazon continues to dominate the e-commerce space. While the company has only about a 4 percent share in the retail space overall, research firm eMarketer says it holds 43.5 percent of online sales and will bring in $196.75 billion this year.