Pushing the cost of Amazon Prime up to $99 annually hasn't done much to hurt the subscription service; Amazon today announced that 10 million new customers used its premium membership program over the holidays. As usual, Prime's free two-day shipping was probably the leading draw for many, but Amazon is talking up other recent additions like Prime Music, Prime Pantry, and Prime Photos.
The online retailer also said that same-day delivery saw huge growth this year. Customers ordered "10 times as many items" with same-day delivery compared to 2013, but in typical Amazon fashion, we're left without any hard numbers. The company's quest to provide instant gratification to its customers will ramp up further in 2015, according to CEO Jeff Bezos. "We are working hard to make Prime even better and expanding the recently launched Prime Now to additional cities in 2015," he said in a statement. Really, we've become pretty impatient people. Some poor Amazon courier had to make a delivery at 11:06PM on Christmas Eve. And not to drop off a toy or another clutch Christmas gift, mind you. He or she delivered three 12-packs of Bai5 antioxidant drinks.
60 percent of customers bought at least one item from a smartphone or tablet
Back to the stats: shopping from mobile devices is also becoming more common. Amazon said that 60 percent of customers placed an order from a smartphone or tablet over the holidays, with mobile purchases peaking on Cyber Monday. To get a sense of the frenzy, take this example: globally, Amazon customers ordered 18 toys per second using mobile devices on Cyber Monday. Clearly people have come to realize it's a better option than scratching and clawing over a Frozen Elsa doll at Toys 'R Us.
As for what else consumers bought, Amazon is claiming victory for its own Fire devices in the "most popular tablets" category. The Fire TV Stick is "Amazon's fastest-selling device ever." Does that mean it's outpacing Chromecast? Again, Amazon doesn't say. Regular e-reader Kindles also sold in healthy numbers; Black Friday sales were four times higher than last year. Most of the big winners aren't altogether surprising. Chromebooks led laptop sales, with Acer's C720 taking top honors. Consumers flocked to the latest Call of Duty game. GoPro had another huge year in cameras. And just about everyone snatched up an Amazon Basics HDMI cable. Amazon's still a fan of converting its sales into fun facts, too. "Amazon customers purchased enough Elsa dolls to reach the top of Cinderella's castle 855 times," is just one example. "Amazon customers purchased enough Rubbermaid storage containers to pack a lunch for the entire population of Montana" is another. For the whole list of popular holiday items, head over to Amazon.