Amazon.co.uk has released its 2016 Trends Report, which reveals what its customers across the UK bought in the past 12 months.
Doug Gurr, UK country manager of the online retail giant, said: “Our vast selection of products is something we’ve always worked hard to offer customers, and this report looks at which of the many millions we sell saw a surge in popularity in 2016. It gives a fascinating insight into how the events of the year shaped the way we shopped.”
Overall, the top 10 favourite products of the year on Amazon.co.uk were: Breville Blend Active personal blender, FIFA17, Hasbro Speak Out, Edinburgh Gin rhubarb & ginger liqueur, Fire TV Stick. Fire 7in tablet display, Shills peel-off black face mask, Minecraft: pocket edition, Amazon Echo Dot and Meridian smooth almond butter.
For best-selling books on Amazon.co.uk, 2016 was the year of the Body Coach, with titles authored by the fitness expert Joe Wicks coming in as the first (‘Lean in 15’) and third (Lean in 15: The Shape Plan’) best sellers of the year.
His third book, ‘Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan’ was published in November and out-sold ‘Lean in 15: The Shape Plan’ in the comparative time period. So, Amazon.co.uk says, it looks as though Joe Wicks will continue to feature in its best-selling lists for some time.
Two other food-related titles appeared in the top 10: ‘The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet’ Dr Michael Mosley was at number five and Mary Berry’s ‘Mary Berry: Foolproof Cooking’ was at number eight.
Shopping trends varied hugely month by month.
January: Healthy eating manuals and fitness DVDs topped the charts including ‘Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks and ‘Deliciously Ella Everyday’ by Ella Woodward. The most popular fitness DVDs were ‘Davina: 5 Week Fit’ by Davina McCall and Charlotte Crosby’s ‘3 Minute Belly Blitz’.
February: was the month of the facial sheet mask. This Korean beauty craze took male and female grooming by storm, with Amazon.co.uk seeing sales rocket by more than 900% year-on-year.
March: witnessed the rise of the Spider Catcher. As temperatures rose and critters invaded our homes, this household gadget became a bestseller on Amazon.co.uk, with sales up by 232% year-on-year. A video of its inventor using the contraption went viral and was watched over 100 million times worldwide.
April: As Merriam-Webster Dictionary added ‘athleisure’ to its unabridged version, Amazon.co.uk saw sales of athletic apparel grow by 147% year on-year. Influenced by celebrities Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Beyoncé and Gigi Hadid, power leggings, training vests and sports logo sweaters flew off its virtual shelves.
May: Panini Official UEFA Euro 2016 sticker sales soared in the run-up to the football tournament, jumping to the top of the Amazon.co.uk’s toys bestsellers list
June: inflatables dominated swimming pools across the globe. From rainbow coloured unicorns to swan shaped drinks holders, Amazon.co.uk saw a 540% increase in sales year-on-year as the nation indulged in buoyant summer water fun.
July: author J.K. Rowling’s much anticipated release ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ was the most pre-ordered book of 2016, with customers sending it straight to the top of the book charts in July.
August: heralded the summer for ‘drinking pink’ as sales of rosé wine soared 530% year-on-year. Four out of the top five best sellers on Amazon.co.uk were premium French rosés from Provence including Whispering Angel and Chateau Miraval, famously owned by celebrities Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie.
September: 100 years on from the birth of author Roald Dahl, Amazon.co.uk revealed his top 10 most popular books in digital and print format. ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was the best seller, followed closely by ‘The BFG’ and ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’.
October: sales of pet costumes surged 62% year-on-year. Lion mane costume sales were up 17,600%, wizard-themed costumes were up 700% and Bat dog costumes were up 450%.
November: Brits embraced the Danish art of ‘Hygge’, loosely translated as cosiness, as the nights drew in. ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking topped the best seller list in Home & Garden Books as customers stocked up on candles, fairy lights and blankets. Mermaid tail blankets were a huge hit and became one of the bestsellers in Amazon.co.uk’s Home Store, becoming this year’s ‘slanket’.
December: TV cook Jamie Oliver took the crown with ‘Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook’ topping the Christmas cookbook chart, followed by ‘Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection’.
Meanwhile, musician Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography ‘Born to Run’ was revealed as the number one best-selling celebrity autobiography of 2016. And it looks like Sir Cliff Richard OBE will be adorning the walls across homes up and down the UK in 2017, as his calendar was the best-selling of 2016.
The first significant spike in sales of Christmas-related products indicated that Christmas shopping started in earnest for Amazon.co.uk customers on Wednesday October 19 - 43 days before the first window of the advent calendar was opened.
Christmas sales then peaked during Amazon.co.uk’s extended Black Friday Sale event, which ran from November 14 to November 25. Customers enjoyed twice as many deals as the previous year, and once again made Black Friday the busiest day of the year for Amazon.co.uk.
As for 2017 shopping trends, ‘the Smart Home has arrived,’ according to the retailer. Customers are making their homes smarter and their lives easier, as year-on-year visits to the Smart Home Store were up by almost five times and unit sales up by more than 80%.
Housewares examples include the Smarter iKettle and coffee machine which can be controlled from bed via an app – so when users get downstairs a hot drink is ready for them, and Robotic vacuums such as the Vileda Robot Vacuum which take the hard work out of cleaning.
This year, Amazon.co.uk will continue to invest in the UK, building on its £4.6 billion spend since 2010. There are plans to open a further three fulfilment centres in 2017, as well as a new head office in London.