Although the 2013 holiday shopping season was forecasted to have the slowest sales growth since 2009, such horror did not come to pass. In fact, holiday shopping from November 1 to December 24 was higher than it was in 2012, despite a late Thanksgiving. And according to IBM Digital Analytics, the biggest increase in holiday spending was seen in online sales, which soared 16.5 percent higher than they did last year.
As everyone knows, if you say "online sales" three times fast, Jeff Bezos of Amazon will appear. And he'll have a big ol' grin on his face, because 2013 was Amazon's best holiday season of all time. Here's what Amazon consumers spent their hard-earned holiday budgets on this year; warning, there's not a single handmade body scrub or funny inside joke (or yacht) in sight. Instead, they bought:
- In women's clothing, Amazon reports that the top three sellers were the Columbia Women's Benton Springs Full-Zip Fleece Jacket, the Carhartt Women's Sandstone Duck Quilt Flannel Lined Active Jacket and the Columbia Women's Arcadia Rain Jacket. Ah, Christmas — the season of practicality!
- Men's top clothing sellers were all Levi's jeans — a desperate attempt to capture some of that rugged Americana spirit once again, perhaps?
- The top beauty sellers covered all the bases: Infiniti Pro by Conair Curl Secret, D & G Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana For Women Eau De Toilette Spray, and Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System. Good hair, clear skin, and a light spritz of la dolce vita… what more does a girl need?
- Under Amazon's health and personal care category, the top sellers were Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, the Philips Sonicare Essence 5600 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush and something called a Braun Series Pulsonic Shaver System. Loose weight, take care of dental health, and get a closer shave — sounds like somebody's been listening their dude's New Year's resolutions.
- Get ready to yawn your head off at the best shoe sellers: Clarks Originals Men's Desert Boot, Tamarac Men's Camper Moccasin, and Bearpaw Women's Emma 10" Shearling Boot. No "leopard platform Louboutin knockoffs?" What kind of a culture do we live in, people?
- In the jewelry category, we gave a lot of silver: Sterling Silver and Amethyst Flower Earrings; Sterling Silver "I Love You To The Moon and Back" Two Piece Pendant Necklace; Alex and Ani Bangle Bar "Tree of Life" Russian-Silver Expandable Bracelet. It's all so dreamy until you realize that half the world is now wearing "I Love You To The Moon and Back" around their neck.
- The most-gifted Kindle book was Sycamore Row by John Grisham. It's a romantic tale, full of Christmas cheer, wherein a rich man dying of lung cancer hangs himself from a sycamore tree.
- The most-gifted computers were all Chromebooks, because nobody can afford Apple products anymore.
- And the most-gifted toy was something called a "Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Kit," which has something to do with electricity — proving once and for all that materialism has ruined the simple joys of childhood.