The Amazon.com Inc. application displays the Amazon Echo on an Apple Inc. iPad in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Amazon.com unveiled a new security tool for cloud customers last week, part of a slew of product announcements designed to fend off competition from Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.'s Google and others in the fast-growing cloud computing market. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Amazon has declared 2016 its "best ever" holiday season, selling millions of Alexa devices and enough 4K TVs to reach the peak of Mount Everest more than nine times.
"Echo and Echo Dot were the best-selling products across Amazon this year, and we’re thrilled that millions of new customers will be introduced to Alexa as a result. Despite our best efforts and ramped-up production, we still had trouble keeping them in stock. From turning on Christmas lights and playing holiday music to shopping for gifts and asking for help with cookie recipes, Alexa continues to get smarter every day," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO, worldwide consumer.
Amazon typically doesn't release sales figures and this year was no exception. Instead it offers fun facts about how many specific items were sold, such as enough KitchenAid Mixers were bought this holiday to make nearly 7.5 million cookies at once" and a watch was sold ever 1.5 seconds this season.
But Amazon's fun facts also help shine a light on growing shopper loyalty as Prime membership climbs and consumers become more entrenched in Amazon's ecosystem.
Prime ostensibly offers free two-day shipping to members for the annual rate of $99. Amazon has layered on a host of other benefits including access to video and digital book libraries, streaming audio, and new features available only through Alexa - a virtual, voice-activated assistant embedded in Echo devices.
A recent report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ISLR) claims that roughly half of all U.S. households are subscribed to Amazon Prime, half of all online shopping searches start directly on Amazon, and Amazon captures nearly one in every two dollars that Americans spend online.
"As a retailer, its market power now rivals or exceeds that of Walmart, and it stands only to grow: Within five years, one-fifth of the U.S.’s $3.6 trillion retail market will have shifted online, and Amazon is on track to capture two-thirds of that share," according to ISL.
More shoppers also interacted with Amazon through its mobile app as that use grew by 56%. This means more consumers are going directly to Amazon to browse and buy, tying them more effectively into Amazon's ecosystem.
Amazon's growing dominance might also allow it more access to our lives and personal preferences that we might like. The company also released data about consumer behavior, as revealed by Alexa.
Alexa helped mix hundreds of thousands of cocktails this holiday season with Tom Collins and Manhattans being the most requested drinks from skills like The Bartender, Mixologist and DrinkBoy.
Chocolate chip and sugar cookies were the favorite recipes from Alexa skills like Food Network and Allrecipes.
Home Alone and Elf were the most requested holiday movies with Alexa.
Alexa helped play millions of holiday songs this year, and the top songs were Jingle Bells (1999 - Remaster) by Frank Sinatra, All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano.
What was Alexa asked to cook? The most popular cooking tips requested on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were turkey, prime rib and chocolate chip cookies.
Who played the most holiday music with Alexa? Customers in Seattle, New York and Chicago asked “Alexa, play holiday music” more than any other city in the U.S.
Who turned on Christmas Lights the most with Alexa? Customers in Seattle, San Diego and New York asked, “Alexa, turn on Christmas lights” more than any other city in the U.S.
What games were the most requested with Alexa this holiday? Alexa entertained families with popular games like Jeopardy!, Twenty Questions and The Magic Door.