Amazon Leads the Pack When it Comes to Black Friday and Holiday Shopping in 2020

Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has released new Prime Day 2020 findings that, coupled with Numerator survey data, indicate Amazon will lead the holiday shopping season in terms of US household penetration.

Historically, Big Box retailers have led in household penetration over the five days from Thanksgiving through the following Monday, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  In an analysis of non-grocery purchases during this 5-day period in 2019, Walmart led with overall household penetration of 39.2% (Walmart brick-and-mortar 36.7%, 4.8%) during the five-day period, with Amazon following at 29.6%. This year, Amazon is expected to close Walmart’s 10-point lead, in part because of the success of Prime Day 2020.

Based on an analysis of more than 43,000 verified Prime Day purchases:

  • More households shopped Amazon on Prime Day:
    • More than 1 in 3 US households (36%) shopped Amazon on Prime Day 2020, up from 23% in 2019. Survey data of verified Prime Day buyers further indicates that nearly one-third (31%) reported they were doing it for the first time.
  • While individual order sizes were down, consumers spent more, and placed more orders in total, on Prime Day:
    • Average spend per order was $54.64 in 2020, down from $58.91 in 2019.
    • Consumers spent $7.4B at Amazon on Prime Day, up from $4.5B in 2019.
    • More than 135 million Amazon orders were placed on Prime Day, up from 76 million in 2019.
  • More consumers were multi-trip Prime Day participants:
    • More than 3 in 5 Prime Day buyers (61.8%) placed 2+ orders on Prime Day 2020, up from 57.6% in 2019.


  • Amazon anticipated the importance of holiday buying on its rescheduled Prime Day:
    • Amazon dedicated 25% of its advertising budget to gift cards, compared to only 1.6% in 2019 — which appears to have worked.
    • Gift card reloads and new Amazon gift cards landed on the list of the top six most-purchased items on Prime Day 2020. On last year’s Prime Day, new gift cards did not make the top items list.
  • Prime Day gift buyers were more valuable shoppers than the average Prime Day buyer. These gift buyers:
    • Spent an average of $286.79, nearly twice that of the typical Prime Day buyer.
    • Placed an average of 5 separate orders throughout Prime Day.
    • Were 3.6x as likely to purchase Toys and Video Games, 1.9x as likely to purchase Baby items, and 1.7x as likely to purchase Books & Videos
  • A survey of verified Prime Day buyers shows that 9 in 10 Prime Day buyers plan to shop on Amazon again before the holidays.


  • Consumers report plans to shift holiday shopping online:
    • In a Numerator survey of verified holiday buyers, 65% said they expected to shop differently for Christmas or Hanukkah in 2020 than they have in years past.
    • More than half (54%) of consumers said they expected to do all or most of their holiday shopping online, more than double last year (22% of respondents).
    • 39% of consumers are planning to buy gifts on Black Friday, only 34% intend to go in-store, while 90% plan to shop online.
  • Amazon is poised to capture the largest share of these online gift shoppers:
    • 82% of consumers indicate they will shop on Amazon for holiday gifts.
    • With Prime Day, Amazon gained a head start on holiday gifting, with 29% of Prime Day shoppers buying holiday gifts and, of those shoppers, 25% saying that they completed at least half of their holiday shopping with their Prime Day purchase.
  • For omnichannel retailers, online gains are not likely to offset in-store declines:
    • Other retailers can also expect significant gains in their ecommerce divisions, but these increases will not likely make up for the losses expected in their brick-and-mortar stores. According to Numerator survey data, the number of people planning to shop on for holiday gifts is up (48% in 2020 vs. 39% in 2019), but in-store is down (46% in 2020 vs. 61% in 2019). Similarly, respondents indicate can expect an increase in penetration (39% in 2020 vs. 29% in 2019), with physical stores expected to show a decrease (34% in 2020 vs. 47% in 2019).