Alexa credited for strong sales performance by Amazon

Use Amazon Alexa to control your Dish Network box.                  Dish Network

This guidance includes approximately 1,000 basis points of impact to the company's year-over-year growth rate from Whole Foods Market.

But here's why Amazon's net sales trend is particularly exciting: The 29% year-over-year increase in adjusted net sales marked a sharp acceleration from the 25% growth in net sales Amazon reported in its second quarter. That pushed operating income, including $21 million from Whole Foods Market, down 40% to $347 million.

The quarter is just further evidence that the e-commerce giant "continues transitioning to becoming more of a services company, as opposed to a retailer in the traditional sense", Cooper Smith, head of Amazon research at brand intelligence firm L2, told Retail Dive in an email. The e-commerce and cloud computing giant crushed Wall Street's expectations and its own guidance across the board.

He called the growth in service sales along with Amazon's 59% year-over-year growth in subscription services in Q3 a positive, being more predictable sources of revenue.

An Amazon Echo Dot is displayed during a program announcing several new Amazon products by the company, in Seattle. Management had guided for third-quarter operating income to be between a loss of $400 million and a gain of $300 million.

Amazon.com Inc sales jumped 34 percent in the third quarter and profit topped analysts' estimates as Prime Day sales boosted its retail business and demand remained strong for its popular cloud service for companies.

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The company is rapidly growing: It paid almost $14 billion this summer for organic grocer Whole Foods; announced a series of new voice-activated Echo devices; and kicked off a public hunt for a place to build its second headquarters. Given Amazon's appetite for growth - even when it comes at the expense of near-term profitability - it seemed logical that Amazon might spend a significant sum integrating Whole Foods' operations into its business. The dramatic growth of marketing costs, which were partly a function of the Whole Foods acquisition as well as the substantial promotion of new devices, took its toll on the bottom line.

Amazon is blazing a trail here with Jeopardy! and in a statement said they will notify developers when the tool becomes more broadly available.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors.

Amazon stock closed the day even at $972.43. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Amazon has changed the rules recently, and today we have news of the first for-pay skill on Amazon's voice assistant platform.

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