The 2018 holiday season is in the books, and small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) sold big on Amazon. In fact, SMBs had their best holiday shopping season ever.
The e-tail giant itself had a record-setting holiday season as well: More items were ordered worldwide on Amazon than ever before.
"This season was our best yet, and we look forward to continuing to bring our customers what they want in ways most convenient for them in 2019," said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon's Worldwide Consumer business. "We are thrilled that in the U.S., more than one billion items shipped for free this holiday with Prime."
Amazon Prime, and its free shipping perk, appears to have been a big draw for shoppers. In the U.S., more than 1 billion items shipped for free.
Another part of that might have been the free two-hour delivery with Prime Now through the holiday season. The last last-minute Prime Now delivery order was made on Christmas Eve at 11:30 p.m. in Berkeley, California, and included a LEGO Super Heroes Captain America building kit, a Hallmark card, Greek yogurt and shampoo. The five cities with the most last-minute Prime Now deliveries included Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, San Francisco and Springfield, Virginia.
But it wasn't just corporations like LEGO that benefited from all this shopping. More than 50 percent of all items sold came from small and medium-sized businesses.
All these sales on Amazon seem to reflect a larger spending pattern as well. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which provides insights into overall retail spending trends across all payment types (including cash and check), holiday sales increased 5.1 percent this year. That's $850 billion in 2018 – the largest growth in the last six years.
This year, Amazon made it easier than ever for small and medium-sized businesses to sell products directly through Amazon when it created Amazon Storefronts. This dedicated section highlights small businesses through curated collections of products from 25 categories, including Halloween and back to school. It helps add that "mom-and-pop-shop" feeling that is exclusive to SMBs. It also features a Storefront of the Week and Meet the Business Owner sections. [Read related article: What is Amazon Storefronts?]
The Storefronts section launched in September 2018 with 20,000 small businesses and has grown since then. To get your small to medium-sized business on Storefronts, go to https://www.amazon.com/storefrontsinfo. You'll be asked for your Amazon display name, email address, state, main product line and what brands you own, if any. If you do, it asks for 1-10 sample Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs).