Amazon notched a 37% year-over-year increase in net sales in the third quarter, reaching $96.1 billion.
The retailer also gave an update on its most recent Prime Day, which was delayed this year because of the pandemic, and noted that holiday shopping has started earlier than ever.
Amazon’s operating income increased to $6.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with operating income of $3.2 billion in Q3 — an increase of nearly 94%. Net income, meanwhile, increased to $6.3 billion in the third quarter, compared with net income of $2.1 billion in the third quarter of 2019 — an increase of 200%.
In 19 countries, Amazon’s Prime Day kicked off the holiday shopping season on Oct. 13-14 with the two biggest days ever for small and medium-sized businesses in Amazon’s stores. Third-party sellers — most of which are small and medium-sized businesses — surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day — a nearly 60% year-over-year increase, growing even more than Amazon’s retail business. Prime members saved more than $1.4 billion, taking advantage of deep discounts and incredible deals over the two-day event.
“We’re seeing more customers than ever shopping early for their holiday gifts, which is just one of the signs that this is going to be an unprecedented holiday season,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
During the third quarter of 2020, the first Amazon Fresh grocery stores opened in Woodland Hills and Irvine, California. Amazon Fresh offers a seamless grocery shopping experience whether customers are shopping in-store or online, consistently low prices, a wide assortment of national brands and freshly prepared foods made daily, and free same-day delivery and pickup for Prime members. The stores also offer new ways to make grocery shopping more convenient, including the Amazon Dash Cart, which enables customers to skip the checkout line, and new Alexa features to help customers manage their shopping lists and better navigate aisles.
For the fourth quarter of 2020, Amazon said that net sales are expected to be between $112.0 billion and $121.0 billion, or to grow between 28% and 38% compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. Operating income is expected to be between $1.0 billion and $4.5 billion, compared with $3.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. This guidance assumes approximately $4.0 billion of costs related to COVID-19.
Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while its wholly owned subsidiary, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, is No. 24.