Amazon breaks own records this holiday

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Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant suffered service outages in Europe on Christmas Day, likely because of a flood of new users using the Alexa app. Amazon said that 2018 brought record sales for smart home devices, and the company's own Echo Dot smart speaker was one of the best-selling items. Carhartt clothing and accessories were top-sellers in the fashion category, and Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones were popular purchases in the electronics category. The e-commerce giant didn't disclose the real reason for the crash. These sales could give the company a much needed better outlook after disappointed investors after the company's last earnings reports. In the month of October, Amazon's revenue and profit forecasts for the holiday quarter fell short of analyst estimates, as investors anxious about the Amazon increases the pace of spending as well.

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 kind of volume presents a challenge for logistics services like FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. Many feel these new subscribers contributed to Amazon's ability to dominate last-minute online shopping, but that is no different than any other year.

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On Wednesday, the Internet retailer said "countless individuals around the world" agreed to accept its Prime administration, which offers free two-day sending on a huge number of things and in addition video and music gushing, as indicated by Bloomberg. It was also a good time for Amazon's own devices, as Amazon said it sold millions more this holiday compared to previous year. "The investments that UPS made in the network, technology, people and planning across the season with our customers obviously paid off". UPS expects return packages to hit 1.3 million on January 3. The company sold millions of Prime membership and trials. During that quarter, Amazon failed to reach operating income of $3.9 billion, making only $2.1 billion, and falling short but nearly half. They have gained about 17 percent this year, compared with an 12 percent decline on the S&P 500.

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The Alexa app landed on the top spot of the App Store and Google Play on Christmas, which suggests there was a large number of first-time Echo owners setting up their new devices on Christmas day. (Amazon did not immediately respond to an email about the reported outage.) While Amazon is notorious for keeping hard numbers under lock and key, it did say the number one Alexa request this year was "Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree".

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