Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) came out with a press release the day after Christmas that was full of fun holiday shopping trivia. But it also gave a glimpse of some interesting facets of e-commerce and consumer behavior today.
The company reported that it got over a million new Amazon Prime members to register in the third week of December. Amazon Prime is its membership program that guarantees 2-day shipping on eligible items along with other perks like an online movie and TV show library, for a $79 annual fee. The company also stated that on the peak shipping day more Prime items were shipped than ever before. The Monday after thanksgiving recorded 426 items ordered per second on the website with Kindle tablets being one of the top sellers. In fact, Amazon reported that they had to limit Prime membership at times to ensure seamless service to existing members. These results align with improving consumer spending reports and positive sentiment going into the new-year. It also appears that Amazon's 2 day delivery promise has enticed another section of shoppers; the last minute holiday shoppers as indicated by the surge in Prime memberships late into the holiday season. Shortening the lag between completing an online purchase and receiving the merchandise can drive more conversions over to online retail.
Another interesting note was that over half of the company's customers shopped using a mobile device this holiday season, showing a greater comfort level of consumers in using multiple channels/devices to shop. This could also be evidence of the "show-rooming" trend where shoppers may be walking around stores to look at or try out items, and subsequently using apps like Amazon's to check the price of the items on the website and ordering them on their cell phones or tablets.
While Amazon's release paints a happy picture of the holiday season this year for the company, there are other reports that are not equally exuberant. Comscore reported that e-commerce spending from desktops this holiday season increased only 10% over last year, with the last holiday shopping week being much weaker than expected.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Additional disclosure: I am a self-taught individual investor and this article expresses my views based on my own research. I am not being influenced or paid by any organization to write this article.