Despite the holiday period being notoriously slow on news, our gentle giant from Seattle has managed to stay in the headlines, be it through its own actions or those of its competitors.
Here is what I found newsworthy relating to Amazon’s performance over the holidays.


amazonFirst up is a look at Germany, where bookselling chains Mayersche and Osiander ganged up on the Kindle after christmas, offering customers „freedom“. Whoever wanted to exchange his or her Kindle in order to be free to buy from whichever ebook platform was given a Pocketbook Touch Lux 2 reader, no questions asked. Those Kindles that were traded in will be donated to literacy programs.

Despite those pesky unions which continued strike action at most of Amazon’s German logistics centres right until Christmas, the company boasted of formidable sales: orders where up 20 percent on 2013, making it Amazon’s best German holiday season so far. No information on actual figures, though. You just have to take their word for it. Which we all do, of course.

One should not forget that books may be iconic for Amazon’s history, but that they make up for only some 10 percent of the company’s business. And here is where third party vendors come into play: in 2014, they sold more than 2 billion items, which is a cool growth of 100 percent over 2013. Third party vendors now account for 40 percent of all products sold on Amazon.

These figures actually fit a report that Amazon has added more than 10 million subscribers to its Prime program during the holiday season and that Prime customers ordered 10 times (!) as many items as in 2013. Many of these new members will no doubt leave the program when the 30-day trial expires, but there is no denying that Prime has been a big hit for Amazon in 2014. It already serves as the strategic backbone to Amazon’s retail operations, with members staying much more loyal to the behemoth’s offers and spending more time shopping from its catalogue.

And, to round off the Amazon holiday season news: Just under 60 percent of the company’s customers used its mobile app during the rush for christmas, which is twice as many as in 2013.