On the heels of news that Amazon may have accounted for half of Black Friday online sales, the retailer today announced that the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend – which it defines as Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday – was its best-ever, in terms of Amazon devices sold. The company historically doesn’t release hard numbers related to its device sales. Instead, it claims that “millions” of Alexa devices were sold during this time frame.
One notable item it did share was that its Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were not only the best-selling Amazon devices during this sales holiday, but they were also the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category on Amazon.
Of course, that’s not too surprising given that Amazon gave its devices a big push this year, offering deep discounts to encourage shoppers to buy.
For example, Amazon slashed the price on its Echo Dot on Cyber Monday to $29.99 – the lowest price ever for the small Alexa-powered speaker. It also took advantage of its newly acquired brick-and-mortar footprint to market the device at its Whole Food stores during this sales holiday, which made the Echo Dot the best-seller at those locations, the retailer noted.
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, meanwhile, was discounted $15 to bring it to $24.99 on Cyber Monday, vastly undercutting its closest rival, the Roku Streaming Stick with voice remote, which is $49.99. The retailer said customers purchased 2.7x more Fire TV Sticks than they did last year, which could also be an indication of the drive towards cord cutting and streaming, more so than the popularity of Amazon’s streaming stick in particular.
“Customers purchased millions of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices this weekend, and Alexa devices were the top sellers across all of Amazon,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices & Services, in a statement. “We’re excited that tens of millions of customers around the world will be using Alexa to prepare for the holidays.”
That “tens of millions” is about as close as Amazon gets to talking about Alexa devices sales figures. It’s the same figure CEO Jeff Bezos dropped in Amazon’s Q3 2017 earnings release, seemingly a confirmation that Amazon has sold more than 20 million Alexa devices. That’s in line with earlier estimates of 16.1 million Echo devices sold through the end Q2.
Voicebot’s analysis of Bezos’ earlier statement estimates that Echo sales to date have totaled 19.5 – 21.5 million units, while non-Echo smart speakers with Alexa built-in were in the 1 million unit range through Q3 2017.
Note that Amazon didn’t announce “record” sales for this 2017 holiday shopping weekend, only record numbers of Amazon devices sold. That could mean that shoppers were spreading their dollars around among other online retailers. This year, shoppers spent a record $5.03 billion in Black Friday online sales in the U.S., and a record-breaking $6.59 billion in Cyber Monday online sales. Those numbers extend far beyond Amazon.
But don’t worry about Amazon – it made up its own sales holiday called Prime Day, which was the biggest sales day in company history in 2017 and the year prior.