Thanks, Alexa: Amazon's net sales increased 38% to $60.5 billion in Q4 2017. That’s compared with $43.7 billion in the same period of 2016. The ecommerce giant’s smart speaker device is likely one of the causes. “Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them. We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often—expect us to double down,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement.
Marketplace Growth: Alibaba reports that the number of annual active consumers on its retail marketplaces reached 515 million for 2017 overall—an increase of 27 million over the 12 months ended September 30. And mobile monthly active users (MAUs) on its marketplaces reached 580 million in December 2017, an increase of 31 million over September 2017.
Beauty Bump: The NPD Group estimated that the prestige beauty industry in the US totaled $17.7 billion in 2017, an uptick of 6% from 2016's figure. The sector was bolstered by the skincare category, which saw a year-over-year sales growth rate of 9% and accounted for 45% of prestige beauty's total sales gains. Makeup was another significant contributor, recording a 6% increase in sales during 2017.