Amazon owned online holiday shopping, and a great non-fiction KDD

Amazon owned online holiday shopping, and a great non-fiction KDD

We are still getting data on the 2016 holiday sales, but it looks like Amazon dominated…on a Bambi Meets Godzilla level. 😉

According to this

Seeking Alpha story by Gary Bourgeault

Amazon had 45.5% of online purchases for the week ending December 17, 2017. That’s almost half!

Now, if they had a close competitor, it would just make it a battle…but again, according to the article Amazon had a market share about ten times higher than Best Buy, their closest competitor!

That’s astonishing! It’s like winning a basket ball game 110…to 10. 😉

I strongly recommend the article, which uses graphs and multiple sources to do an interesting analysis.

Probably more importantly than the percentage of the market, was the reported increase in Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) memberships. Amazon has started making a profit, but many of the sales at Amazon during the holidays were due to, well, sales, where Amazon likely didn’t make much if any profit.

Prime members, though, reportedly spend more year round and buy those physical items (diapers and windshield wipers) where the profit is higher.

Why did Amazon dominate?

Yes, sales were part of it…you can think of buying a discounted Echo Dot as a marketing expense, and one that many competitors can’t afford.

Prime is another. I always prefer to buy from Amazon, given a choice…things come quickly, the prices are good, and they already have my financial information. A big thing for me is being able to send items to a local grocery story, using Amazon Locker. That’s not specifically a Prime benefit, but Prime makes you consider Amazon first.

Yet a third was Alexa. Amazon’s digital assistant is now available on many devices, not just the Amazon Echo family. Shopping through Alexa is easy and they had special deals through that service. That’s part of what I mean when I talk about Amazon wanting to be the “infrastructure of the internet”. They want to be both the way that people interact with the internet, and how things get to them (through fulfillment and Amazon Web Services, to name two).

As shoppers still increasingly move to shopping online, Amazon’s growing dominance in holiday sales looks likely to be an ongoing trend (and  speak as a former brick-and-mortar store manager). The one thing they’ll need to watch is people moving to Virtual Reality (which I have been doing since I got a Samsung Gear VR headset (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at the holidays). I have no doubt that I will be shopping through VR, as I spend more and more time there. I already can, because I can browse the internet. Not getting in on VR now is like not getting into mobile when SmartPhones started becoming popular. I’ve predicted Amazon will get into VR in a big way in my annual prediction post: The Year Ahead: 2017.

Another thing this year? So far, there have been amazing discounts on popular e-books!


Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is any of 26 highly-rated non-fiction titles, each under $4 and many for $1.99 each.

If you think you don’t like non-fiction, some of these titles might challenge that notion. 🙂

Remember that you can buy these as gifts and delay the delivery until the appropriate gift-giving occasion, or have the purchase sent to yourself, print them out, and give them whenever (even wrapped, if you want).

Check the price before you click or tap (or eye gaze, if you are in VR) that Buy Button…the prices may not apply in your country.

Title include:

  • A Night to Remember by Walter Lord | 4.5 stars out of 5 | 536 customer reviews…classic account of the Titanic, been adapted
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn | 4.4 stars | 2,349 reviews
  • Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors by Stephen Ambrose
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
  • The Fall of Japan by William Craig
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
  • We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang—The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
  • Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan (also available as part of Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*))
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved AmericaOct 19, 2009 | Kindle eBook
    by Timothy Egan (KU…these are the only two in the sale which are part of KU at time of writing)
  • Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope by Eleanor Herman


I’ve only listed some of the titles…if you’d like to suggest others for me and my readers, or if you have thoughts about Amazon dominating holiday sales (who could disrupt them and how, for example) or my embracing of VR as a consumer reality (so to speak) feel free to comment on this post.

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* When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


2 Responses to “Amazon owned online holiday shopping, and a great non-fiction KDD”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I got an unexpected Amazon Gift Card from an out of town cousin. I picked up two books from today’s deals along with “Meanwhile There Are Letters.” Normally, I would never pay over $19 for a single Kindle book, but this one has been on my Wish List for a long time and has gone up in price instead of down. Since it’s already been a deal that I missed somewhere along the way, and since it was a gift, I decided to splurge.

    Meanwhile, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I know you’ve mentioned that book before: glad you got it! I got books as gifts for the holidays (I know I haven’t written about that yet), and that’s one way I get books that are priced over…well, I rarely buy books for myself any more. I use Kindle Unlimited, read gift books, and gifts I already own. I will, though, sometimes buy a real bargain book, and I do buy books my Significant Other will read (and often read them myself).

      Do you mind sharing which books you got from the sale? Not necessary, but I’m always curious.

      As to snow…we’ve had some serious frost here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but our precip is rain…raining right now. The big negative for us on that is not being able to go to our favorite dog park…our dogs don’t like the rain. We usually walk about 5K in there both weekend days (and drive half an hour to do it), so we definitely lose out on some exercise.

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