In context: Amazon always does well during the holidays, but this year's festive season has proven to be the retail behemoth's biggest yet. That's no surprise, of course – with the Covid-19 pandemic acting as a great deterrent to physical shopping, online retail has become the safest way for most people to snag the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

For its part, Amazon attributes its holiday success to customers that have chosen to "[support] small, [save] big, and [shop] early." In other words, discounts have been steeper, more independent sellers have profited, and Amazon kicked off the holiday deals "earlier than ever" with major price cuts for popular products coming as early as October.

If you're looking for specific sales numbers, we'll have to disappoint you there: Amazon hasn't provided any of its own figures. However, it does say Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been the "best-ever" sales periods for its independent sellers – their shipments grew "over 60%" year-over-year, which is a massive increase.

Digging a bit deeper, Amazon claims "more than 71,000" small and medium-sized businesses across the globe surpassed $100,000 in sales for the holiday season so far (and it's far from over, with Christmas a full month away) – each. American businesses of the same sizes sold an average of 9,500 products "per minute" during the same sales period, which is even more impressive.

Amazon claims to have "committed" $100 million to help these companies succeed, but it's unclear what that means in practical terms.

Some of Amazon's best-selling products over the holidays include the Echo Dot (great news for the company's controversial "Sidewalk" initiative), former US President Barack Obama's "A Promised Land," 23andMe's personal DNA tests, and Amazon's smart plug.