Amazon.com unveiled sales up by a third in its latest quarter.
The giant online retailer, which operates the UK’s largest e-tailer, Amazon.co.uk, said third quarter net sales hit $32.7bn (£26.7bn) in the three months to September 30 2016, 29% ahead of the $25.4bn (£20.7bn) reported a year earlier. Net income reached $252m (£202.6m), up from $79m (£64.4m) at the same time last year.
Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said customers had warmed to its Alexa voice service, which in the UK now enables voice-controlled shopping.
“Alexa may be Amazon’s most loved invention yet — literally — with over 250,000 marriage proposals from customers and counting,” said Bezos. “And she’s just getting better. Because Alexa’s brain is in the cloud, we can easily and continuously add to her capabilities and make her more useful — wait until you see some of the surprises the team is working on now.”
Innovations during the quarter included the Great Indian Festival. During the course of the event, Amazon’s biggest yet, the retailer said customers from 97% of India’s serviceable postal codes placed at least one order on Amazon.in.
In the UK, Handmade at Amazon was launched to enable craftspeople to sell their own products on the platform. Amazon.co.uk also announced the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary at the University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, and King’s College London, which provides scholarships for young women to pursue a degree in innovation-related fields.
Around the world, it aims to create 120,000 seasonal jobs ahead of the Christmas period. Those jobs will be in customer fulfilment and in customer service. The retailer says that last year 14,000 people in seasonal jobs moved to full-time jobs after the holiday period.
Prime members can now shop for AmazonFresh groceries (pictured) on the Amazon.com website alongside their other shopping.