Amazon reports record holiday season buoyed by devices, including Echo Dot

Amazon reports record holiday season buoyed by devices, including Echo Dot

Amazon reports record holiday season buoyed by devices, including Echo Dot

Customers seem to be growing more comfortable ordering with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, with the company saying people used it for shopping three times as much as past year.

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. wireless headphones and clothes from Carhartt Inc.

Amazon's holiday shopping announcement is filled with other interesting facts about new retail trends. These sales could give the company a much needed better outlook after disappointed investors after the company's last earnings reports.

Customers asked Alexa to turn on their holiday lights tens of millions of times this holiday season, with the number one request being, "Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree". The company sold millions of Prime membership and trials.

Despite some online backlash, smart speakers are more popular than ever before. Still, Amazon, which dominates e-commerce in the US, has relied on the growth of its Prime members, who pay $119 a year for the service. To deal with the rush of deliveries, the company invested in automation and new facilities to add sorting capacity of 350,000 packages an hour to its USA system. "We are thrilled that in the USA alone, more than one billion items shipped for free this holiday with Prime".

The couriers are bracing for a second wave of business as people begin returning gifts in January.

Amazon's stock was up about 2 percent Wednesday.

Amazon's Alexa suffered outages on Christmas Day as the smart devices appeared to struggle with the onslaught of new users.

While in-house products like Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablet and Kindle products were best sellers for the tech giant, it also reported that more than 50% of the products it sold this holiday season were from small to medium-sized businesses selling on the site.

Alexa failed to register new devices and answered queries by saying "Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding you right now." and "Please try again later".

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