• The business of third-party sellers was 60% up from last year's Prime Day
  • Close to 2.3 million small and mid-sized businesses participated in the sale
  • The company said third-party sellers' business grew more than its retail business over the years

Third-party sellers on Amazon's online marketplace earned more than $3.5 billion during this year's Prime Day shopping event, the e-commerce giant said Thursday.

This is 60% more than last year's third-party revenue of $2 billion and is also a record for small and medium-sized businesses in Amazon's marketplace. Third-party sellers' business grew even more than the company's retail business over the years, Amazon said in a press release. Close to 2.3 million small and mid-sized businesses participated in the sale held on Oct. 13 and 14 this year.

"Amazon designed this Prime Day to support small businesses even more — including funding a promotion that helped drive over $900 million in sales for small businesses in the two weeks leading up to Prime Day," the company said in the release.

The Jeff Bezos-led company did not disclose the total sales during Prime Day, but JPMorgan analysts had reportedly forecast that the company would rake in a revenue of $7.5 billion, while data from eMarketer suggested the target would be close to $10 billion.

The best-selling categories for third-party sellers included bedding, wireless accessories, nutrition and wellness and health care.

"2020 has been a rollercoaster for small businesses like mine, but Prime Day helped us sell a whole month's worth of inventory in two days," said Kennedy Lowery, owner of a small skincare company.

Amazon's devices like Echo, Ring and Eero were some of the most popular items during the sale, which was held in 20 countries this year.

The coronavirus created unique conditions for businesses with in-store sales evaporating during the lockdowns, and pushing up e-commerce sales across the U.S. The pandemic also forced Amazon to push its Prime Day event from July to October. Following Amazon's bumper sales, other major retailers have also started the holiday season early by offering attractive discounts.

Digital footprints of retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have gone up since the pandemic hit the country in February as online shopping surged in the following months. Amazon registered a 40% rise in revenue in the last quarter, recording the biggest profit in its 26-year history.

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