5 Jaw-Dropping Numbers from Amazon Black Friday

Amazon Black Friday
Photo: Jeff Spicer / Stringer / Getty Images

What to Look for on Amazon Black Friday

We all know that offline and online, Black Friday—the holiday shopping ritual that is officially kicked-off following the end of Thanksgiving—is a huge boon for retailers like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). But just how big is an Amazon Black Friday?

Here are five numbers that will show how much this day means for the massive online retailer:

1. 500 Orders per Second

According to a local Seattle TV station (where Amazon.com is based), last year’s Amazon Black Friday saw as many as 500 orders per second processed by the company. That’s a whole lot of flat screens. (Source: “The Biggest Winners (and Losers) in the Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopping Wars,” Time, December 1, 2015.)

That’s a pretty crazy number if you consider how much these orders are likely to be worth. Statista has the average online transaction valued at $75.90 as of the first quarter of 2016. That means that Amazon Black Fridays, assuming the average holds, rake in $2,277,000 per minute. Interesting coincidence: that’s how much I charge for my writing services. Who’d have thought I have so much in common with Amazon? (Source: “Average value of online shopping orders in the United States from 2nd quarter 2012 to 1st quarter 2016 (in U.S. dollars),” Statista, last accessed November 21, 2016.)


2. £1.0 Billion 

The BBC reports that Amazon sales in the U.K. passed £1.0 billion in a single day for the first time ever last year. And remember, this is before Brexit, when the British pound sterling, you know, was actually worth something. (Source: “Black Friday: Amazon reports record UK sales,” BBC News, November 28, 2016.)

Not to mention that the U.K. does not celebrate Thanksgiving, meaning that this decidedly American tradition is seeing its turkey wings spread globally.

3. 35.7%

Amazon accounted for 35.7% of e-commerce spending on last year’s Black Friday, blowing away its competition. Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) came in second, with 8.23% of the total online revenue, followed by Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) at 3.38%. If you take the next four competitors’ share and combine them, it still only amounts to about half of an Amazon Black Friday share. (Source: “Amazon Dominated 36% of Online Black Friday Sales, Says Slice,” TechCrunch, December 1, 2015.)

As traditional retailers continue to try to find ways to survive and thrive in the e-commerce world, this number shows that they have a long way to go before they’ll catch up to Amazon.

4. 56.6%

But one of the biggest trends of Amazon Black Friday is that the shopping craze isn’t only limited to a single day. With online Black Friday beating out lines at stores, people are finding other ways around the system. Namely, by starting to shop much earlier. More consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever, with 56.6% hitting stores before our sacred Friday, according to ShippingEasy’s 2016 Holiday Shopping Guide. (Source: “35 Days Of Deals: Amazon Just Turned Black Friday Into Black Month,” Forbes, November 21, 2016.)

5Prime Day

Okay, while not technically a number in and of itself, Prime Day is important for Amazon Black Friday because of the numbers it represents; Prime Day beat the previous year’s Black Friday in terms of sales for Amazon. It just goes to show that while online Black Friday might be a legacy, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be topped.

Not to mention that an estimated 40 million members subscribed for Amazon Prime on the sale day. Amazon Prime offers free shipments on many goods for an annual $99.00 fee.

But even Prime Day couldn’t beat out Amazon’s true time to shine: Cyber Monday. Amazon confirmed to The New York Times that Cyber Monday has in fact become its biggest shopping day of the year, marking a changing of the guard for online Black Friday and, more importantly, a changing of the times. (Source: “Amazon Says Prime Day Beat Black Friday in Sales Numbers,” The New York Times, July 17, 2015.)