[H]ardOCP: Amazon Breaks Its Holiday Sales Records for Most Items Ordered Worldwide

Amazon’s Alexa suffers outages on Christmas Day as device appeared to cope with onslaught of new users

Amazon breaks holiday sales record again, aided by Alexa voice purchases

That means best-sellers will likely differ from Amazon when compared to other online websites as its peak gifting period is usually closer to December 18, when compared to Walmart and Target, which is closer to December 10, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence. Even better, the entire smart home segment did well in Amazon's stores, with Amazon's own devices breaking records and other devices being some of the most popular items bought from the e-commerce giant.

Another highlight for Amazon this season: More than 50% of items sold came from its small and medium-sized businesses in Amazon's stores.

Amazon’s Alexa suffers outages on Christmas Day as device appeared to cope with onslaught of new users

Amazon's Alexa generally works by sending voice commands through Amazon Echo devices that go straight to a server where a computer interprets them. Amazon has an estimated 75 percent share of the smart speaker as of November while Google LLC and Apple Inc. account for most of the rest. The most popular choices on Amazon were the Ring Video Doorbell 2, TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet, and the iRobot Roomba 690.

Tablets, smart speakers, and set-top boxes with Alexa equipped in grew this holiday season off the shelves, as per Amazon. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common requests was for recipes and cooking-related advice. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Securities and Exchange Commission has asked Amazon to start disclosing how much revenue it books from Prime subscribers, but Amazon has resisted, saying those figures aren't essential.

On the other hand, Amazon faced renewed scrutiny over its virtual assistant in recent weeks.

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa took a day off on Christmas and many users particularly in the United Kingdom were not amused.

Amazon also made sure to tout that their own brands did very well. 9to5Mac reported that the app, labeled "Setup for Amazon Alexa", is from a company called One World Software. So consumers werent able to use their new devices and get to know how they worked, while those who had already incorporated the smart speakers into their everyday lives controlling lights, media, or security systems, for instance were left unable to use the devices they rely on.

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