The volume of Amazon purchases by US residents was cut by over half in January compared to December. Those sales, however, were still higher year-over-year from January 2016. Purchases by UK customers were down a disappointing 57 percent month-over-month and lower than those of last January as well. While overall sales were down, US shoppers’ preference for Amazon-brand products remained and the UK’s love for gaming was seen again in their shopping carts. Read on for our full online shopping analysis.

Top 10 products purchased on Amazon by US residents

Every month we analyze individual products purchased by US and UK consumers on Amazon to detect the top ten products and MoM trends in purchase behavior. In January, slower sales of Amazon gift cards and of the new Echo Dot drove a 51 percent MoM decline in purchases, compared to December, when they accounted for the 30 percent increase in sales over November. Regardless of this decrease, Americans’ preference for Amazon-brand products was evident in January, as five of the ten leading products purchased were Amazon-brand products, accounting together for 61 percent of the top ten product sales.  

The Fire TV Stick with Alexa was the most popular product purchased by US consumers in January, accounting for 21 percent of purchases of the leading ten products. January’s purchase volumes for this product were also four percent higher than the monthly average since its October launch.

Amazon’s gift cards came in second for purchases in January, accounting for 16 percent of the activity. While still popular, overall Amazon gift card sales in January represent only a third of those of December.

As in 2016, US residents were getting a head start on their taxes in January, driving TurboTax software into third place with 14 percent of top ten product purchases. However, this was a decrease from the 19 percent share seen last year.

Pre-orders of the long anticipated game “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” for Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console, pushed the game into the top ten list with six percent of the activity. January’s pre-orders also outpaced those of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon in October by 6 percent.

# Product % of Top 10 MoM Changes
1 Fire TV Stick with Alexa 21% -4%
2 Amazon Gift Cards 16% -67%
3 TurboTax Deluxe 2016 14% N/A
4 Echo Dot 2nd Generation 12% -76%
5 SanDisk 32GB microSDHC 7% -13%
6 iPhone 7 Glass Screen Protector 6% N/A
7 AmazonBasics HDMI Cable 6% -17%
8 SanDisk 64GB microSDXC 6% -20%
9 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Switch 6% N/A
10 AmazonBasics Apple Lightning to USB Cable 5% N/A

It’s worth mentioning that the pre-sales of the Nintendo Switch console, scheduled to launch on March 3rd, drove it to 13th place for product purchases in January. Switch would most likely have ranked higher if not for the limited inventory available for pre-orders in the US, which quickly went out of stock.

Top 10 products purchased on Amazon by UK customers

UK residents’ purchases of the leading ten products on Amazon fell by 57 percent in January, mostly due to decreased purchases of Amazon gift cards, the second-generation Echo Dot and Fire TV Sticks since December. However, the Fire TV Stick was still the most popular product purchased by UK consumers in January. Holding on to the lead for for five months now, Fire TV Sticks accounted for nearly a quarter of the top ten product purchases in January.

SanDisk’s 32GB memory card for gaming rose to second place in January, accounting for 13 percent of the top ten product purchases. Although the SanDisk memory card saw a 34 percent decrease in purchases since December, January’s sales were still 52 percent higher than the monthly average throughout 2016.

Auto-reload for Amazon gift cards, called Amazon Top Up, came in third with 9 percent of the top ten purchases in January. This is the first time that the product made our top ten list since we began analyzing UK consumers’ Amazon shopping carts in January 2016.

As in the US, UK residents have been anticipating the launch of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” game, which was the 11th most popular product purchased in January. However, as opposed to the US, pre-orders of the Pokémon games in the UK outpaced those of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” by a significant 240 percent. And, as the Nintendo Switch console is still available in the UK, pre-orders of the console outpaced purchases of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” by 9 percent.

# Product % of Top 10 MoM Changes
1 Fire TV Stick 24% -54%
2 SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC 13% -34%
3 Amazon Top Up 9% -26%
4 Echo Dot 2nd Generation 8% -55%
5 SanDisk 64 GB microSDXC 8% N/A
6 HP Ink Cartridges 8% N/A
7 Salter Body Fat Analyser 8% N/A
8 Nintendo Switch 8% N/A
9 Bridget Jones’s Baby 7% N/A
10 SanDisk Ultra 32 GB USB 7% N/A

Bottom line: While post Christmas decreases are expected, the differences between US and UK consumer choices were significant. Amazon still relies on its own branded products to drive sales, especially in the US, while the UK’s love affair with gaming was restored, having been replaced by that old technology, books, in December.