Amazon's Digital Assistant Alexa Took A Day Off On Christmas

Amazon's Digital Assistant Alexa Took A Day Off On Christmas

Not that it's much of a surprise anymore, but the company said that customers ordered more items during the festive season than any other year, with its homegrown smart home products seeing a particularly big spike in demand. Overall, more than 1 billion items were shipped for free using Amazon Prime. Along with the Christmas sales report, the picture seems much brighter than Amazon had initially projected in its latest earnings results.

Amazon's stock was up about 2 percent Wednesday. Yesterday, the retail giant reported that the 2018 holiday season was record-breaking with more sales worldwide than at any other point in company history.

With Amazon claims that this has been there best season ever, according to the company's CEO, they look forward to continuing to grow in 2019 by making it even more convenient for customers to get what they want.

Driven in part by a surge in membership for its Prime flat-rate shipping program, Amazon enjoyed its strongest holiday season to date.

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In this year's announcement, Amazon said its Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers were among its top sellers this holiday season. Its virtual assistant also reportedly delivered eight times the number of holiday reminders as a year ago and set more than one million holiday timers. Some of the products among their best-sellers were some of their own devices, such as the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K, both of which sold in the millions.

Thousands and hundreds of people across the country reported issues with Alexa on the website DownDectector, and Amazon's customer service account acknowledged the outage in tweets to frustrated customers.

On a related note, the logistics arm of the Seattle-located firm, Amazon Transportation Services, witnessed its income increase by nearly 60% in FY18 as compared to previous year. Amazon's digital assistant was also instructed to turn on holiday lights "tens of millions of times".

On the other hand, Amazon faced renewed scrutiny over its virtual assistant in recent weeks. Alexa was used to set 100 million timers this holiday season and the last package delivered via Amazon Prime occurred at 11:30 pm in Berkeley, CA on Christmas Eve.

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