Prime was prime, as Amazon reports another record holiday
Although UPS delays left some Amazon customers empty-handed, the company boasts a merry Christmas, both for sales and services like its Amazon Prime.
It's become a sort of holiday tradition for CNET to offer a snapshot of just how merry Amazon's holiday sales have been, with a little help from the company's PR department. So here we go.
Amazon's annual post-Christmas press release boasts yet another record season, with more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday -- that's 426 items per second. And more than half of Amazon customers shopped using a mobile device this holiday season.
But while Amazon noted, vaguely, that "millions of customers unwrapped Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets this holiday season," the company also took the opportunity to focus on the popularity of some of its services. Amazon Prime, for example, the annual membership program offering free two-day shipping, set records by signing up more than a million new customers in the third week in December.
However, some of those customers were left with empty spots under their Christmas trees due to UPS delays. Amazon maintains that its fulfillment centers processed and tendered customer orders on time for holiday delivery, and that the blame lies with UPS. A service update on UPS' Web site said the volume of air packages exceeded its capacity immediately preceding Christmas.
Still, Amazon "is reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers," a company spokeswoman told CNET. "We refunded any shipping charges associated with impacted shipments in addition to a $20 gift card."
Amazon also crowed about the success of its new "Mayday" feature, which instantly connects Kindle Fire HDX owners with a customer service representative via video chat. The company said that on Christmas Day, Mayday response time was 9 seconds on average, better than the 15-second goal for response time.
OK, so enough with the service stuff -- here's a list of the most popular gadgets this season by Amazon's gauge:
- Tablets: Kindle Fire HD; Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch ; Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch
- TVs: Samsung 32-inch Smart LED HTDV; Samsung 40-inch LED HDTV; Samsung 22-inch Slim LED HDTV
- Laptops: Samsung Chromebook; ASUS Transformer Book; Acer Chromebook
- Cameras: Canon EOS Rebel T3i; Canon PowerShot A2500; Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera
- Video Games: Call of Duty: Ghosts - Xbox 360; Just Dance 2014 - Nintendo Wii; Grand Theft Auto V - Xbox 360
- Kindle Books: "Sycamore Row" by John Grisham; "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak; "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
- Amazon MP3: "The Marshall Mathers LP2" by Eminem; "Artpop" by Lady Gaga; "Pure Heroine" by Lorde
- Movies & TV: "Despicable Me 2" (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy); "Star Trek Into Darkness" (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy); "Man of Steel" (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
- Amazon Instant Video: "We're the Millers"; "Man of Steel"; "Monsters University"
- Prime Instant Video: "Alpha House" Season 1; "Downton Abbey" Season 3; "Falling Skies" Season 3
- Home: Darice 80-Piece Deluxe Art Set; Black & Decker Dustbuster 15.6-Volt Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vacuum; Swarovski 2013 Annual Edition Crystal Star Ornament
And here are a few more random holiday facts Amazon compiled relating to its top selling techie gifts:
- The new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gaming consoles were so popular that at the peak of sales for each console, customers bought more than 1,000 units per minute.
- Amazon customers purchased enough miniature flashlights to satisfactorily light four collegiate football fields in accordance with NCAA standards.
- If you stacked every Himalayan Crystal Lamp purchased by Amazon customers this holiday season, the height would reach the top of Himalaya's highest peak -- Mt. Everest.
- If you placed every upright vacuum purchased by Amazon customers end-to-end, they would reach 15 times the depth of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point in Earth's oceans.
- The number of "Star Trek Into Darkness" Blu-ray combo packs purchased would span the distance of 25 Star Trek Enterprise space ships.
- Amazon customers purchased enough Cuisinart Griddlers to place one in every McDonald's restaurant in the world.