Amazon’s record-breaking holiday shopping season was powered in part by voice-activated shopping, with the eCommerce giant saying orders placed via Alexa were three times higher than the year-ago holiday shopping season.
According to Amazon, in addition to seeing voice orders jump three times compared to a year ago, Alexa was also called upon hundreds of thousands of times to help consumers find cocktail recipes — with eggnog and Moscow Mules among the most requested holiday drinks. Other milestones for Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant includes consumers listening to hundreds of millions of more hours of music compared to a year ago, while customers asked Alexa to turn on the holiday lights tens of millions of times during the holiday season with the number one request: “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree.” What's more, Amazon said customers used Alexa almost twice as much on Fire TV devices during the holidays when compared to the same period a year ago.
On Wednesday (December 26), Amazon provided an update on how the holiday season faired for the leading eCommerce player, announcing it had a record-setting season. In a press release, it said customers shopped at record levels for an array of products across every department. The online retailer also said tens of millions of people started a free trial or became members of Amazon Prime to get access to free shipping. More than one billion items were shipped free through Prime.
But Amazon isn’t the only retailer to enjoy brisk sales during the holiday shopping season. Mastercard SpendingPulse found retail sales in the U.S. rose 5.1 percent from November through December 24 and marks the highest growth over a six-year period. Retailers were reportedly trying to keep up with sales throughout the holidays with an early Thanksgiving this season. The report noted that some retailers extended the deadline for holiday purchases to be shipped to meet the demand.