The big picture: Amazon on Thursday said customers shopped at “record levels,” ordering billions of items worldwide during the holidays. That's great news for the retailer and investors alike but the magic isn't over just yet as there are plenty of gift cards to be redeemed and cash to be spent in the coming weeks.
Despite lingering privacy concerns regarding personal voice assistants, consumers scooped up compatible devices in droves. The Echo Show 5, Echo Auto and Echo Dot were once again hot commodities with shoppers buying “millions more” devices this year compared to the 2018 holiday season.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon still leads the pack with regard to personal assistant marketshare.
Independent third-party sellers also got in on the action as unit sales worldwide saw double-digit growth year-over-year, Amazon said. In total, more than a billion items were sold in Amazon’s Stores this season.
Packages got to buyers faster, too. The e-commerce giant on Thursday revealed that during the holiday season, the number of items delivered via Prime Free One-Day and Prime Free Same-Day Delivery nearly quadrupled compared to the same period a year ago. Use of Amazon Hub locations is also up year-over-year as 60 percent more customers had an order shipped to a pickup point this year.
While most consider the holiday season to officially be over, that’s not really the case. There are tons of gift cards and cash that’ll be redeemed and spent with Amazon in the coming weeks, pushing sales even higher. And if you need to make a return, fret not, as Amazon recently expanded its free return policy through December 31, 2019.