Amazon's Alexa push is making customers buy more

The company sold $43.7 billion worth of stuff in only three months.

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Andrew Tarantola
October 26th, 2017
In this article: alexa, amazon, business, earnings, echo, gear, prime
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images

Amazon announced its earnings for the third quarter of 2017 on Thursday and to nobody's surprise, the internet shopping titan revealed that it has sold a whole bunch of products for unfathomable amounts of money.

The company reports that it sold $43.7 billion worth of merchandise in Q3, that's a 34 percent increase over the same period last year. However, if you don't count the $1.3 billion in sales that Whole Foods earned during that time, the company's net sales only increased by a measly 29 percent year-over-year.

So where did all this cash come from? Well the Whole Foods acquisition in late August definitely helped, but Amazon also introduced three new Echos (the second-gen Echo, the Echo Plus home hub, and the lightweight Echo Spot) as well as new Fire TV, which supports 4K and integrates with an Echo for voice control.

The Alexa assistant living in the Echo also saw a number of upgrades, including the ability to make phone calls, the ability to play nice with Microsoft's Cortana assistant, and an upcoming expansion into the Japanese and Indian consumer markets. That wasn't the only new hardware to come out, however. Amazon also debuted new iterations of the Fire HD 10 tablet and the Kindle Oasis 7-inch e-reader.

In terms of the firm's brick-and-mortar businesses, Amazon did open four new bookstores (oh the irony), bringing the nationwide total up to 12. Three more stores are slated for Walnut Creek, CA, Washington, DC, and Austin, TX in the coming months. The company also threw down the proverbial broken pool cue this quarter, challenging cities across the country to fight to the death for the honor of hosting its second headquarters.

All told, don't expect this trend to change through the end of the year. The company reportedly expects its sales growth to continue unabated and "be between $56.0 billion and $60.5 billion, or to grow between 28 percent and 38 percent compared with fourth quarter 2016," according to Thursday's release.

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