Amazon continues its seemingly unstoppable rise to complete domination of the retail market with its most successful day ever.
The online giant announced Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day in its history – surpassing Prime Day 2017.
Tech Crunch notes Amazon is believed to have accounted for 45-50 percent of ALL online sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Alexa is moving in
Amazon also took another step toward having a presence in every home in the U.S. – and, indeed, the world – saying that the period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday was its best-ever for device sales.
And by "device," we mean Amazon's own devices, such as the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire Tablets and Fire TV, with Amazon saying it sold "millions" of them over the five-day sales period.
This is not a shock in any way, shape or form, as Amazon heavily pushed its suite of own-brand electronics to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers, offering heavy discounts on them all.
The Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo Dot was on sale for $29.99 – a $20 discount.
The offer paid off handsomely, with Amazon saying the Echo Dot was its top selling product globally from any manufacturer in any category.
Its (also voice-enabled) Amazon Fire TV Stick was the biggest selling streaming device – with Amazon saying it's now the No. 1 streaming player in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan.
Why Amazon wants Alexa everywhere
Amazon is hungry to make a success of the Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Look, Echo Dot and its voice-activated Fire TV, striving to ensure Alexa is the only voice assistant in homes around the world.
It has a huge jump on the competition – namely the Google Home – with eMarketer finding that Amazon Echos made up 70 percent of the 35.6 million voice-activated devices in U.S. households as of April this year.
But doesn't the heavy discounting suggest Amazon is struggling to sell them?
Not on your life. Amazon wants people to have Alexa products because it is yet another lucrative revenue stream for the ubiquitous retailer.
Business Insider reports the voice assistant could generate billions more dollars than the sale of the devices alone, with Amazon taking a cut every time someone uses a third-party service through the device – ordering a pizza, for example.
And the ease of its search function is also leading to more people buying or renting music, video and books through Amazon.
Investment firm Mizuho estimates that by 2020, Amazon could be raking in $11 billion a year from Echo/Alexa devices – of which only $4 billion will come from the sale of the devices themselves, the rest via services ordered through them.
It also predicts Amazon will sell roughly 113 million Echo devices over the next four years.