Amazon shipped 5B Prime items in 2017, and plenty of Instant Pots

Cyber Monday 2016 at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Dupont, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon said it shipped more than 5 billion items through its quick-delivery Prime program, while more people joined the $99-per-year service worldwide than any previous year.

Amazon doesn’t always give much detail on sales, instead opting for metrics like the “tens of millions” of Alexa-powered devices during the holiday season. But it is clearly proud of Prime, which has grown over the years from a fast-shipping program, to an expansive video service, to a ticketing and live event service, and much more.

A pair of Amazon’s own device — the Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot — were the best selling items across all categories and manufacturers. Another top seller is an item that has lately become synonymous with Amazon Prime: The Instant Pot. Amazon said the item was the most gifted Amazon Wedding Registry item, the item on the most Wish Lists and it was delivered to more than 27,000 U.S. zip codes in 2017.

More than 100 million items are available for two-day delivery via Prime, double the amount Amazon was trumpeting a year ago. To ship all those items and fill all those orders, Amazon upped its global footprint of distribution centers by 30 percent this year. In the U.S. alone, more than 6,000 trucks and 32 Amazon Air planes traversed the roads and skies, packed with Amazon packages.

To grow the Prime pie even further, Amazon has steadily been opening the program to more potential customers. In 2017 Amazon expanded the program to Mexico, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Singapore, making 16 countries around the world with access to Prime. Amazon also began offering versions of the fast-shipping program to business customers and people on government assistance.

In addition to its core areas of shipping and video, Amazon broke some new ground with Prime in 2017. It was the first full year for Twitch Prime, a bundle of Amazon Prime benefits specifically aimed at gamers like discounts on game pre-orders and new releases, a rotating selection of free digital titles, in-game bonuses, and an ad-free Twitch experience that includes a free monthly Twitch channel subscription. The retail giant also dove into the sports world, streaming 11 NFL games on its Amazon Prime Video service.