Holiday Central

Amazon's Prime customers are spending more this holiday season, as retailers scramble to keep up online

Key Points
  • GBH Insights has predicted the average Prime customer is spending 20 to 25 percent more on around the holidays this year.
  • In 2017, Amazon is expected to capture as much as 50 percent of all online holiday sales.
  • Most of the top-selling items on thus far have been Alexa-enabled products, such as the Echo Dot.
Amazon shares may pop another 20%

The key to Amazon's success appears to be its wealthier and more loyal customer base.

Prime members are Amazon's "golden jewel," especially during the holiday shopping season, according to GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives.

Ives said he expects the internet giant will capture as much as 50 percent of all online sales from November through the New Year. That compares with Amazon's share of 38 percent of the market in the same period last year.

Meantime, GBH Insights has predicted the average Prime customer is spending 20 to 25 percent more on around the holidays this year. Those customers' dollars are adding up, and quickly.

"The ring-fence that Amazon has built around its Prime customer base has significantly benefited the company in a fiercely competitive Cyber Monday pricing environment with much more competitive prices from Walmart in particular seen across inventory during the day," Ives wrote.

The Amazon Fulfillment Centre prepares for Black Friday on November 25, 2015 in Hemel Hempstead, England. Black Friday has now overtaken Cyber Monday as's busiest day with 5.5million items sold on the day last year.
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Adobe Insights, which measures roughly 80 percent of online sales from 100 major U.S. retailers, has forecast 2017 will mark the first holiday season to surpass $100 billion in digital transactions.

More than $6.5 billion is expected to have been spent on Cyber Monday, while Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day brought in $5.03 billion and $2.87 billion in revenue, respectively, Adobe found.

A noticeable trend this season has been more consumers turning to their smartphones to make purchases, forgoing using a desktop computer or making a trip to the store altogether.

More than ever, it's crucial that retailers have a mobile platform to meet shoppers' demands and fulfill peak order volume, or they risk being dwarfed by the competition — mainly Amazon.

Companies including Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and Kohl's have been investing more in mobile of late, in response to consumers' changing behavior.

But Ives still calls Amazon the "clear star of the show" among retailers in 2017.

Over the holiday weekend, some of the top-selling items on included many Alexa-enabled products, such as the Echo Dot. A Keurig coffee maker was another bestseller, the company said, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores sold more turkeys for Thanksgiving than ever before.

Moving into 2018, Amazon will look to add even more members to its Prime base.

According to Statista, there are more than 85 million paying Prime subscribers in the U.S., who spend an average of $1,300 on every year.

An annual membership will set you back $99, but benefits include free two-day shipping, Prime Video and unlimited music streaming.

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