During Q2 2017, worldwide PC shipments declined by 4.3% according to a report from Gartner. That makes it the 11th consecutive quarter of declining shipments and the lowest in total shipments for the past decade. Despite the market’s ongoing slump, Amazon’s PC product group is recording significant growth: PC sales in the U.S. have grown by 20% YoY and that number is even higher elsewhere.

There are many contributing factors to the decline of PC sales globally. Long-term causes include increasingly sophisticated smartphones driving obsolescence for some aspects of PC usage. Short-term causes include component shortages for DRAM, as well as solid state drives and LCD panels driving up costs in Q2 2017. In spite of these challenges, the PC industry in 2017 is optimistic: a decline of 4.3% is a massive improvement over the 10.6% drop experienced in Q4 2015; the first quarter of this year saw a growth of 0.6% according to IDC; and four of the six leading brands in the U.S. have experienced a YTD increase in sales.

As the PC industry begins to climb out of its 5-year slump, Amazon is becoming one of the essential sales channels for brand manufacturers within the U.S. and globally. Today’s shoppers, with a renewed hunger for laptops, networking products and PC accessories, are part of the Amazon generation, and the eCommerce platform will be the first stop on most consumers’ shopping trip. Brands competing effectively in the 2017 PC market are doing so, in large part, by successfully leveraging Amazon.

Amazon International 2016 PC Sales*

U.S.GermanyUKFrance
$3.9B€730M£440M€150M

*These values cover 1st-party sales only.

Amazon-internationa-PC-sales-statisticsIn all four countries we examined, PC sales on Amazon grew at a rate that would be considered very significant even if the global market wasn’t in decline. From 14% growth in Germany all the way up to 37% in France, sales of PC products are experiencing a boom on Amazon while other sales channels are faltering. Whether consumers are switching from other retailers in favor of Amazon or the latter’s customers are primarily young people new to the PC market is unclear, though it’s likely a combination of the two.

2017 YTD Top Amazon PC Categories US

CategorySales
Computing Memory$750M
Computer Components$410M
Networking$410M
Laptops/Notebooks/Chromebooks$380M
Monitors$310M

2017 YTD Top Amazon PC Categories Germany

CategorySales
Computing Memory€125M
Laptops/Notebooks/Chromebooks€110M
Computing Accessories€70M
Networking€65M
Computing Components€60M

2017 YTD Top Amazon PC Categories U.K.

CategorySales
Computing Memory£100M
Laptops/Notebooks/Chromebooks£50M
Computing Components£45M
Computing Accessories£45M
Networking£30M

2017 YTD Top Amazon PC Categories France

CategorySales
Laptops/Notebooks/Chromebooks€40M
Computing Memory€35M
Computing Components€30M
Computing Accessories€25M
Networking€15M

Key PC Trends

  • Computer Memory

Laptops are considered the central product in the PC market, but within Amazon’s PC product group they come second to Computer Memory as the leading category. In the U.S., the Laptops/Notebooks/Chromebooks category, which includes tablets, ranks as only the fourth largest. While laptops themselves made up the largest single subcategory with $320M in YTD sales, that still pales in comparison to the $750M earned by Memory.

In the U.S., Germany, and the U.K., Memory is the largest category by far, earning as much as double the sales of the runner-up in the U.K., and ranks second only to Laptops in France. In all four countries, at least three of the top ten subcategories fall under Memory, with Solid State Drives ranking on every list. Samsung is the market leader in this category with the bestselling SSDs in all four countries and the top Memory products everywhere except for the U.K., where SanDisk memory cards rank higher.

  • Laptops vs. Tablets

Laptops remain the heart of the PC product group within the U.S., but in Europe they are consistently outperformed by tablets. In both the U.K. and France the top subcategory is Intel Notebooks, and in Germany two of the top items are Samsung Galaxy tablets. The bestseller in the U.K. is the Apple MacBook and in France it’s the Microsoft Surface.

  • Networking

The other major growth driver in Amazon’s 2017 PC sales is Networking. In the U.S., Networking grew by more than 50% and ranked among the fastest growing categories in all four countries. Much of this growth was driven by the Google Wifi System, a whole home router replacement set which ranks as the third bestselling PC item YTD in the U.S. In Germany, the AVM FRITZ!Box Router has ranked as the bestselling item for the past two years with more than triple the YTD sales of the next highest item.Amazon-PC-sales-data-US-Germany-France-UK

2017 Fastest-growing PC Categories U.S.

CategoryYoY Growth
Computing Memory57%
Networking51%
Monitors19%
Desktops19%
Laptops17%

2017 Fastest-growing PC Categories Germany

CategoryYoY Growth
Computing Components58%
Monitors14%
Computing Memory11%
Computing Accessories9%
Networking6%

2017 Fastest-growing PC Categories U.K.

CategoryYoY Growth
Computing Components35%
Monitors34%
Laptops/Notebooks/Chromebooks26%
Networking24%
Computing Peripherals19%

2017 Fastest-growing PC Categories France

CategoryYoY Growth
Monitors81%
Computing Components72%
Networking49%
Computing Memory37%
Computing Accessories37%

Top PC Products

As with the Fritz!Box in Germany, the top items in the U.S. remain fairly consistent year-over-year. The bestseller remains an Acer Aspire laptop (a newer model of the 2016 top seller) and the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB solid state drive is the second bestselling item in both 2016, and YTD 2017. The Google WiFi system has pushed the Intel Core Desktop Processor down from 3rd place to 4th (a newer model of the #3 item from 2016).

Category Title
Laptops Acer Aspire E 15 15.6-Inch Full HD Notebook
Memory – Internal Solid State Drives Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
Networking – Routers Google Wifi System – Router replacement for whole home
Computer Components – Processors Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K
Laptops ASUS ZenBook 13.3-inch LCD Ultra-Slim Laptop

Amazon-PC-sales-data-top-items

In a significant change, ASUS surpassed both Dell and HP to become the second highest selling laptop 0f 2017 YTD, with neither of the latter brands ranking in the top 20 for YTD sales. This is despite the fact that ASUS recorded the largest drop in sales of the top 6 laptop brands in the U.S. during Q1 2017, with a 14% decrease in units shipped, while both Dell and HP recorded small gains over the same period. This reveals how brands can outcompete even their toughest competitors by putting more resources into their Amazon strategy.

One Click Retail is the industry’s most accurate source of sales data for the world’s top eCommerce marketplaces. Using a combination of website indexing, machine learning and proprietary software, OCR estimates weekly online sales figures with 98.5% accuracy down to the level of the individual SKU on Amazon in order to deliver the best insights, analytics and strategies to their brand manufacturer clients. To catch a glimpse of how OCR gives brands critical edge on online platforms with our unique data and expertise, subscribe to our weekly eCommerce insights blog, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you are a brand manufacturer who would like to learn more about how you stack up to the competition—or would like to see your market share and category growth insights—email us at info@oneclickretail.com for a free capabilities demo.