Article

Lisa Luu
Lisa Luu 9 January 2019

Looking back at Amazon’s Black Friday success – the numbers behind the dominance

Amazon has become its very own search engine, which marks a fundamental shift in the way people now shop. According to our 2018 Black Friday research, the retail industry saw a 3% decline in web visits compared to last year. Visits to Amazon, however, were up 3%, reaching a total of 49.98 million – over a quarter of the entire industry in fact.

Amazon also processed 4.22 million transactions on Black Friday, a rise of 9% year-on-year.

Searches starting on Amazon were key to this rise, with the volume of search sessions increasing by 24% on Black Friday. This indicates that less people typed a product search into Google or Bing, and then found their way onto Amazon. They started there. And they stayed there.

Internal searches on Amazon for 2018’s top products skyrocketed on Black Friday – “PS4” searches were up 167% on last year, those for “Laptop” by 343%, and the “Echo Dot” by a massive 1191%.

Hitwise data shows that more shoppers are ditching traditional notions of browsing. With so much choice and so many offers available to consumers, Amazon’s ability to attract buyers directly onto its site is crucial to the retailer’s growth, its market share, and changing the habits of shoppers at the checkout.

Amazon is also doing better at converting visitors into buyers each year. Amazon’s conversion rate was 8.44% on Black Friday (the number of visits that led to a purchase), which was double the average of the next 20 top retailers. Amazon’s conversions on actual people visiting the site was also 19%, meaning people quickly found what they were looking for and then acted upon it.

Over the two weeks leading up to and including Black Friday, Amazon saw a total of 3.48 million exclusive buyers on its site. Hitwise found that there were 1.26 million individual buyers on Black Friday alone. That means consumers did not purchase on the other top seven retailers – not eBay nor John Lewis, for instance. Compare this figure to 2017, and it’s up by 4%.

Online retail has slowed down – visits were down by 2% in November 2018 with Black Friday – but Amazon is still finding ways to grow. Data shows that the ecommerce giant has now become its own search engine. It is getting more effective at keeping people on the site, and converting them at double the industry average. Amazon is taking more share of the consumer’s online journey, and we are seeing brands react to this. More spend and efforts are now being dedicated to Amazon, optimising how a brand’s products are getting featured on the platform.

Only time will tell if Amazon can continue the momentum throughout 2019 but history suggests the giant will continue to make strides in retail.

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