Shoppers trust Amazon, and it has completely changed the way last-minute holiday shopping is done

Amazon has changed the way people do their holiday shopping. Getty
  • Amazon has unleashed a slow revolution on holiday shopping, becoming one of the most important places people turn to when they shop for the season.
  • Last-minute shoppers now increasingly trust only Amazon to deliver their orders in time, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence.
  • Amazon is ensuring it stays that way, giving out free trials of Prime like candy, ensuring prices stay competitive, releasing a physical toy guide, and offering free shipping, for every order, later in December than ever before.
  • It’s clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping – and will be for the foreseeable future as online shopping grows.

Amazon is home for the holidays.

The e-commerce company has become essential to the fabric of holiday shopping. Though much of America’s holiday shopping is done the weekend of Thanksgiving, it’s rivaled by the weekend right before Christmas, which includes a day that analysts have dubbed “Panic Saturday.”

Basically, last-minute shopping is how America prepares for the holiday. And no other retailer is in a better position to capture that market than Amazon.

As Christmas gets closer, shoppers increasingly say they trust only either Amazon or going to physical stores, according to a survey of 500 shoppers by retail platform Teikametrics. While 56% per cent said they’d go to a store, 40% said they would most likely turn to Amazon for holiday shopping. Only 5% said they would trust a retailer not named Amazon to ship them their gifts in time.

According to Rakuten Intelligence data reported by The New York Times, Amazon’s share of e-commerce sales fluctuates hugely during the holiday season.

This year, it dipped lower than 20% on Thanksgiving. But that share tends to rebound, shooting up near 50% as Christmas draws closer. The busiest day for Amazon last year was December 18, while for other retailers it was December 10, according to Gartner L2 data.

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Amazon is now so ingrained in holiday shopping, it’s effectively become the default online. For many shoppers who enjoy the convenience of online shopping, the choices are to either brave the crowds in stores or see when Amazon guarantees delivery by.

Amazon has gone out of its way this year to make itself a holiday destination.

It’s also ensuring it stays that way, giving out free 30-day trials of Prime like candy and offering a week of Prime for $US2, offering deals, releasing a paper toy guide, and offering a free-shipping promotion, for every order, later in December than ever before.

Amazon gave free shipping to all orders this season, regardless of size. Then, Amazon extended its non-Prime free shipping deadline twice this year, first to December 18 from what was originally December 15, then another day to December 19.

It’s clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping – and will be for the forseeable future as online shopping grows.