The Amazon Echo home assistant and its smaller version, Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list. Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division said that it had difficulty keeping the shiny toys in stock.
Sales of voice-controlled Echo devices were nine times more than they were during last year’s holiday season, the company said. Amazon did not disclose comparable sales figures from a year earlier.
Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research pointed it out it was easy to be positive when you don’t tell the world the actual figures. He said that that this year’s figures were all relative to numbers that they have never told anyone about.
Amazon likely sold between 4 million and 5 million devices this year to date with Alexa, the voice-controlled assistant on the Echo, estimated Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy in a research note. Shoppers can command the Echo to perform a host of tasks, from playing music to turning on Christmas lights.
“While Amazon’s device sales are still relatively small growth drivers currently, we believe the proliferation of these devices will drive more ubiquitous use of Amazon services over time,” said Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian in a note, pointing to customers ordering more items by speaking to the Echo.
More than 72 percent of Amazon’s customers worldwide shopped through mobile devices, the company added, and 19 December was the busiest shopping day this holiday season.
“Prime customers are spending twice as much as other consumers using Amazon and helping to fuel rapid revenue growth that few retailers with only a fraction of Amazon’s revenues are able to generate,” Retail Metrics President Ken Perkins wrote in a note last week.