Approximately 44 percent of U.S. eCommerce sales, and 4 percent of total U.S. retail sales, were generated by Amazon in 2017, according to findings from market analytics firm One Click Retail. Impressive numbers, CNBC reported on Wednesday (Jan. 3), yet ones which also reveal plenty of room for more growth in 2018.
The fastest-growing product categories included luxury beauty (up 47 percent from last year), pantry items (up 38 percent), grocery (up 33 percent) and furniture (up 33 percent).
Consumer electronics such as laptops, headphones and other computer accessories and components performed well, too, with more than $8.5 billion in sales in these categories. Also making strong showings were home and kitchen, with more than $5.5 billion in sales; publishing, at more than $5 billion; and sports and outdoors, a sector selling more than $4 billion worth of products.
Last year, Amazon worked to build a foundation for its private-label lines, which netted nearly $450 million in sales in 2017. AmazonBasics, selling essentials such as batteries and computer cables, led the pack. The eCommerce giant also invested heavily in keeping its voice-activated Echo speakers ahead of those of the competition with innovations to proprietary virtual assistant Alexa.
Growth in these categories is expected to continue to gain momentum in 2018, according to industry experts. One Click Retail CEO Spencer Millerberg said that millennials were the wind in Amazon’s sails this year.
“Every major trend we see across 2017 can be explained by the fact that more of Amazon's core demographic [millennials] are growing up: they're increasingly owning homes, raising children and buying a ton of stuff to go with it,” Millerberg wrote in an annual review of Amazon.
Millerberg questioned whether this trend could create the long-term changes and tailwinds Amazon will need to evolve and stay relevant for many years to come, however. For example, are 300 some-odd Whole Foods stores really even in the same league as 4,000 Walmart stores? Only time will tell.