Though there are still a few sales going on, for the most part Cyber Monday has come to a close, and the data is in. More than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation, surpassing estimates that 164 million shoppers would hit the sales this year.
Though those numbers are rather surprising, it’s no surprise that many of Amazon’s top-selling items on Cyber Monday were the retailer’s own products, like the Echo Dot, the all-new Echo, and the Fire 7 tablet.
Among the day’s top-selling products, however, was the Ancestry.com DNA kit, which sold 700 percent more in one day than in the entire holiday period last year. Yep, you read that right ― 700 percent.
In a recent press release, the company also announced that in October, “the total number of customer samples in Ancestry’s DNA database exceeded six million.” Thus, making them the world’s largest consumer DNA database.
For $100 (or $70 during the holiday period), kit users get instructions, a saliva collection tube, and a pre-paid return mailer to send off their DNA sample. The DNA is processed in a lab, and consumers are notified of results via email once they’re ready.
But, is the Ancestry.com DNA kit actually worth it?
Shoppers seem particularly eager to try out consumer DNA kits ― when they’re on sale. One of the most-purchased items during Amazon Prime Day this year was the 23andMe DNA kit, one of Ancestry’s top competitors.
The 23andMe kits use saliva DNA samples to create a personalized genetic report that outlines health, traits and ancestry information. Its premium version can also outline genetic health risks as well as carrier status for inherited conditions.
The AncestryDNA kit, on the other hand, does not test for genetic mutations or diseases. Instead, given Ancestry.com’s roots as a family resource company, its services combine “advanced DNA science with the world’s largest online family history resource” to predict your genetic makeup, extend your family history and connect you with other family members.
“DNA testing is no longer a niche interest,” Howard Hochhauser, interim CEO of Ancestry, said in a press release. “It’s a mass consumer market, with millions of people wanting to experience the emotionally powerful, life-affirming discoveries that can come from simply spitting in a tube.”
Tube-spitting aside, it’s clear consumer DNA testing is here to stay, and shoppers are interested. Take look at both Ancestry and 23andMe to learn more about their results and process, and read up on what to know before taking a consumer DNA kit.