Last-minute shoppers gave holiday sales a boost, possibly improving sales overall for the shopping season, according to Reuters.
On trend with a good selling season, Amazon reports very strong holiday sales, with customers using Amazon Prime more than than in any other year. Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service that offers free two-day shipping for Amazon purchases.
Retail consultant Craig Johnson updated his forecast from 4.1 percent sales growth above November and December 2015 to 4.9 percent growth, Reuters reports. The increase was due to higher-than-expected shopper traffic in late December, Reuters says. Johnson told Reuters that he expects 2016 sales to be the strongest since 2005.
Consumers who were still shopping on Christmas Eve, as well as those who took advantage of markdowns on the Monday after Christmas, contributed to the sales growth, according to CNBC.
Amazon also announced that the 2016 holiday season was its “best ever” due to increased sales of its Amazon Echo smart home products. Nine times more Amazon Echo products sold in 2016 than in 2015, according to the company.
Other contributors to holiday sales growth include improvements in the job market, lower gas prices and higher consumer optimism, Reuters reports.