Just like any retailer, Black Friday weekend -- more specifically the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday known as "Turkey 5" -- is critical for Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). It serves as a key driver for the company's holiday quarter, which is Amazon's biggest quarter every year when measured by revenue.

But can the e-commerce giant live up to its impressive performance during Turkey 5 last year, when the company shattered records?

Boxes in an Amazon fulfillment center

Image source: Amazon.com.

A tough comparison

Following Turkey 5 last year, Amazon confirmed it was a "record-breaking holiday shopping weekend" for the company. In addition, Amazon said Cyber Monday was its "single biggest shopping day in the company's history with the most products ordered worldwide."

Other key achievements during the weekend:

  • Toy sales exceeded 18 million.
  • Amazon sold over 13 million fashion items.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses' sales were up 20% year over year.
  • Over 180 million items total were sold.
  • Customers in the U.S. ordered "millions more products over the five day period vs. the same period last year."

The strong weekend helped Amazon report fourth-quarter revenue at the high end of its guidance range for the important period.

Key promotions

Of course, Amazon is doing whatever it can to try to set new records once again this year. Earlier this week, Amazon gave investors and consumers a glimpse at some of the big promotions and discounts it will be running over the holiday weekend.

From Saturday through Cyber Monday, Amazon will be rolling out "new deals all day, every day, and deeper discounts than ever before," the company said in a press release this week. Furthermore, Amazon is already running a special page on its website called "Black Friday Countdown" where customers can find its signature "Lightning Deals" and other discounts.

In addition, Amazon has provided details on specific promotions it will be offering at various times between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, including Echo Dots for $22 (discounted by $27.99), the all-new Echo for $59.99 ($40 off), Fire HD 10 tablets for $99.99 ($50 off), and many more.

Further, the company will be offering big promotions on some online services. A Kindle Unlimited subscription will come with three free months, $0.99 will get customers four months to Amazon Music, and select channels on Prime Video will be 50% off.

These deals and the company's heavy promotions on its websites are positioning Amazon well for the weekend.

Of course, anything less than a record-setting Turkey 5 could be bad news for Amazon investors. The company guided for total fourth-quarter revenue to rise 11% to 20% year over year to between $80 billion and $86.5 billion. Amazon will need an impressive shopping weekend to help its total quarterly revenue rise to this all-time high.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.