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Amazon's Prime Day shatters sales record -- again

Sales grew by 60 percent from a year ago, and the Echo Dot was the most popular product sold.

Apparently, people like sales.

Amazon's Prime Day again proved to be a huge success.

The exclusive sale for Prime members, held on Tuesday, broke the e-commerce titan's single-day sales record for the second year in a row. Amazon said Wednesday that overall sales grew by 60 percent from a year earlier and that more new members joined Prime than on any other day in Amazon history.

Amazon has found huge success creating the sales holiday in 2015 to mark its 20th anniversary. For that first year, Prime Day outpaced prior Black Friday sales. Then, last year, the company broke its single-day sales record. Amazon said it surpassed that sales record yet again on Tuesday.

Prime Day raked in an estimated $2.5 billion to $2.9 billion in global sales, including sales from third-party vendors, financial firm Cowen said Wednesday.

Especially following last year's sales, the record isn't too surprising. Amazon also mentioned Tuesday evening that it was "on pace to be the biggest global shopping event in Amazon history," helped along by Prime Day's expansion into China, India and Mexico this year. Still, the strong showing points to Amazon's continued dominance in online commerce and growing influence in retail overall, with the company continuing to grow quickly while traditional retailers are flagging.

Prime now includes an estimated 85 million US customers, up from 63 million last June, and should reach 50 percent of US households this year, analysts estimate. Also, Amazon now accounts for about 40 percent of US online sales every year, FTI Consulting reported.

Looking to present itself as a benevolent force in retail, Amazon on Wednesday pointed to Prime Day's positive influence for small businesses and entrepreneurs, which were able to sell more goods through the sale.

The company said the best-selling product on Tuesday was the Echo Dot smart speaker, which went on sale for $35, down from $50. Amazon offered several more superlatives, saying that Prime Day resulted in the biggest sale of Amazon devices and that over 50 percent more Prime members made a purchase on Prime Day this year than the year before. In addition, 3.5 million toys were bought worldwide.

The sale also appeared to go more smoothly than in years past, with fewer complaints about crummy sales and low inventories on social media, and no major computer glitches to annoy customers.

Notably absent from Amazon's announcement, though, were references to how many people used their Echo devices for buying. The online seller this year made a concerted push to get more people to try voice shopping, offering deals specifically through the Echo.

Despite the device's huge popularity, it hasn't appeared to take off as a new sales channel for Amazon just yet. In all, about 19 percent of US customers have tried voice shopping so far, according to a report released Wednesday from Walker Sands.

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