In a blog post Tuesday, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that the 2020 holiday shopping season through Cyber Monday has been its "biggest holiday season to date." Consumer behavior has undergone a dramatic shift as the pandemic has caused shoppers to pivot to e-commerce for their gift-giving needs. 

Amazon revealed that independent businesses on its platform generated $4.8 billion in worldwide sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, an increase of 60% year over year.

A woman in a Santa hat and a man sitting on a couch entering credit card information into a laptop with a Christmas tree in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company "offered more deals than ever before" to kick off its holiday shopping season early this year, which began immediately after wrapping up its belated Prime Day sales event. As a result, customers began shopping earlier, attracted by the "deep discount and deals" that Amazon dropped in mid-October.

Small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. have sold roughly 9,500 products per minute so far during this holiday season, and more than 71,000 businesses worldwide exceeded $100,000 in sales.

One trend that has been consistent in recent years has been high demand for Amazon-branded products, with the latest edition of the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote among the biggest sellers.

Shoppers also sought out Barack Obama's best-selling book "A Promised Land," and Revlon's One-Step Hair Dryer and Hot Air Brush. Other top sellers were the Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic, Amazon Smart Plug, and the 23andMe Health and DNA Test

Amazon also identified several notable shopping trends this season, with "self-care, nesting at home, and cozy comfort" leading the pack in the U.S.

This has already been an extraordinary year of the e-commerce leader, with net sales that jumped 35% year over year during the first nine months of 2020. To give that context, Amazon's net sales grew just 20% during the same period in 2019. 

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.