Amazon set a record for holiday sales in 2018

Jermaine Castillo
December 29, 2018

Alexa played millions more songs this season than ever before across services comprising Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Tidal amongst others, Amazon claims.

The internet retailer said "tens of millions of people worldwide" signed up for its Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping on millions of items as well as video and music streaming.

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The Seattle-based company says it shipped more than 1 billion Prime items in the US for free, and that best-sellers included Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones, L.O.L. Surprise!

The last Prime Now delivery on Christmas Eve made at 11:30 pm in Berkeley, Calif.

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Amazon said it sold "millions more" of its devices this holiday season compared to a year ago. "We are thrilled that in the USA alone, more than one billion items shipped for free this holiday with Prime". But investors will still have to wait for Amazon's fourth-quarter earnings to understand the impact of these sales since the company did not disclose the amount of revenue generated this season.

Amazon's Kids Edition devices did especially well, it says, including Echo Dot Kids Edition and Fire Kids Edition tablets.

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It also seems that customers are growing more accustomed to ordering with Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant. Steep rises in the purchase of voice devices, as well as smart home devices like the Amazon-owned Ring and Blink, point to a consumer base that is increasingly adopting voice technologies and the concept of a connected, smart home.

Amazon's Alexa is pretty handy for day-to-day tasks, but on Christmas, the smart assistant served a nasty surprise - it went down. Glam glitter Series doll, Bose Corp, some of the wireless headphones and clothes from Carhartt Inc. In fact, more than 50 percent of items sold in stores came from small- and medium-sized businesses. Also, if you're looking to setting up your Alexa, make sure that you're downloading the official app that is developed by AMZN Mobile LLC. Amazon gave back during the holidays as well.

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The International Monetary Fund expects USA economic growth to slow to 2.5 percent next year from 2.9 percent in 2018. Mastercard and Amazon were among those reporting Wednesday that 2018 saw top holiday retail sales numbers.

A week before Christmas, several of Amazon's online stores in North America and Europe sold out of various models of Alexa-powered devices, hinting at the surge in demand.

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