Amazon’s happy holidays: 9x growth in Echo family device sales

Amazon’s Echo Dot, the best-selling item on Amazon.com this holiday season

Amazon had itself a merry little huge Christmas this year, especially when it comes to sales of its own family of Echo devices. Echo Dot, the newer and smaller version of the Echo, was the top-selling item on Amazon.com this holiday season. That was likely spurred by Dot’s lower price, not to mention aggressive discounting from Amazon — including a “buy five, get one free” deal.

Overall, the company is reporting its best-ever holiday season with a 9x surge in sales of the Echo device family compared to a year ago:

Customers purchased and gifted a record-setting number of devices from the Amazon Echo family with sales up over 9x compared to last year’s holiday season and millions of Alexa devices sold worldwide this year.

As always, you have to do a bit of parsing of the exact wording that Amazon uses when it shares data like this. There’s never been an official, Amazon-supplied baseline sales figure for the company’s own devices. Amazon has been saying “millions” sold for some time now, but that’s really vague. In its 2015 holiday sales announcement, Amazon said its devices saw a 2x sales gain over the previous year. So, even without exact numbers, a jump from 2x growth to 9x growth remains impressive. In November, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimated that Amazon has sold 5.1 million Echo devices in the US.

Sales were so strong that Amazon sold out its flagship device, the Echo, about a week before Christmas. That’s both a blessing and a curse for the company — it reflects Echo’s popularity, but likely also opened a door for some consumers to try competitors like Google Home. (A Google spokesperson declined to provide us with any holiday sales figures for Home today.)

Today, Amazon.com shows the black Echo with a January 26, 2017, in-stock date; the white Echo is due back in stock on January 20. Both the black and white Echo Dots are currently listed as in stock, as is Tap, the portable member of the Echo family.

Mobile shopping

Amazon also says it saw a rise in mobile shopping this holiday season, but that gain was more muted than the big increases mentioned above.

Amazon says more than 72 percent of its customers worldwide shopped on a mobile device this year. A year ago, the company said almost 70 percent of its customers did the same. Amazon says it saw bigger gains on its mobile app, where shopping was up 56 percent worldwide this year.

AmazonBasics

The company didn’t release any specific sales figures for its own brands, but they do appear several times in Amazon’s category-by-category list of holiday best sellers:

  • Audio & Accessories: the AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip was the No. 2 selling product.
  • Camera: the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag was the No. 2 best seller.
  • Home & Personal Care: the top seller was AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48-pack).
  • PC: AmazonBasics Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter was the No. 3 selling product.
  • Wireless: AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable (6 Feet) was the top-selling product.

Prime

Surprisingly, Amazon shared very little data about Prime. The company says more than one billion items shipped worldwide via Prime and Fulfillment by Amazon, and the company gave the vague statement that “more people around the world tried Prime this holiday season than any previous year.” Amazon also shared a number of date-based milestones related to its Prime Now delivery service.

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