Amazon Breaks Records for Prime Membership Over Holiday Season

The company’s annual breakdown of shopping trends included a boatload of facts and figures such as best-selling consumer electronics items.

Online retailer Amazon announced a record-setting holiday season for Prime, the annual membership program offering unlimited free two-day shipping on millions of items.

The service was so popular this holiday that Amazon limited new Prime membership signups during peak periods to ensure service to current members was not impacted by the surge in new membership.

"Amazon Prime membership continues to grow, and we now have tens of millions of members worldwide. They benefit from all-you-can-eat, free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items and our members have a voracious appetite," Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. "We are extremely grateful to our customers around the world and wish everyone the very best for the coming year."

The company’s annual breakdown of shopping trends included a boatload of facts, figures and statistical information. On Cyber Monday, customers ordered more than 36.8 million items worldwide, which is a record-breaking 426 items per second, and more than half of Amazon customers shopped using a mobile device this holiday.

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 reported.

The Amazon Appstore selection worldwide more than doubled in 2013–there are now more than 100,000 apps and games in the Appstore and on Kindle Fire devices—the Kindle Fire HD was also the best-selling tablet on the site.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s digital media selection grew to more than 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games in 2013. Prime Instant Video selection increased from 33,000 to more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes in 2013. Instant Video now includes more than 150,000 movies and TV episodes.

Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, Amazon customers ordered more than five toys per second from mobile devices, and Amazon customers purchased enough Crayola Marker Makers to be able to draw a line around the world four times.

Amazon shipped to 185 countries this holiday, and the last Prime One-Day Shipping order that was delivered in time for Christmas was placed on Dec. 23 at 10:22 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and shipped to Carlsbad, Calif.

In the company’s consumer electronics department, the Samsung Chromebook, Asus Transformer Book and Acer Chromebook were the best-selling notebooks on the site, while the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon PowerShot A2500 and Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera were the most popular cameras.