Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Amazon.com
Thank you for joining today's call. Before we move to questions, I will make some comments about our Q3 performance and the outlook for Q4. For the third quarter, worldwide net sales were $127.1 billion, representing an increase of 19% year-over-year, excluding approximately 460 basis points of unfavorable impact from changes in foreign exchange rates.
As the dollar continued to strengthen during the quarter, the foreign exchange impact was higher than the 390 basis point impact we had incorporated into our Q3 guidance. This represents a headwind of approximately $900 million, more than we initially guided to.
Throughout the quarter, our worldwide stores business continued to stay highly focused on our customers and driving the inputs that matter most, which helped to accelerate sales growth in the quarter. We now offer our widest selection ever. We've taken actions that have driven strong recovery of in-stock rates, and we continue to work on improving delivery speeds, all while ensuring our pricing remains sharp for our customers.
Third-party sellers and the products they offer remain an important strength of our offering for consumers, representing 58% of total paid units sold in Q3, the highest percentage ever. It's up from 56% in Q3 of last year. And we're working with these partners, most of whom are small and medium-sized businesses, to build an even stronger offering. We recently hosted Amazon Accelerate, our US conference for selling partners, where we introduced new tools, including new e-mail marketing capabilities, free-to-use shipping software that offers discounted shipping rates and new features and analytics to help sellers better understand and act on conversion-driving content.
This was a big quarter for Prime members. We celebrated our eighth Prime Day in July, which contributed approximately 400 basis points to our Q3 year-over-year sales growth rate. Prime members purchased more than 300 million items worldwide, making it the biggest Prime Day net sales event in Amazon's history. As a reminder, Prime Day occurred in the second quarter of 2021.
We also debut the two largest Prime Video releases ever. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day. And in the first two months since its launch, Rings of Power has driven more Prime sign-ups globally than any other Amazon Original. NFL Thursday Night Football also premiered in September, averaging more than 15 million viewers during its first broadcast, and driving the three biggest hours of US Prime sign-ups in the history of Amazon.
Our next broadcast, the seventh of the 15-game schedule, kicks off in a few hours, with the Ravens visiting the Buccaneers. We also saw good growth in our advertising offerings where sales grew 30% year-over-year, excluding the impact of foreign exchange as vendors and sellers have embraced our portfolio of products, which allow advertisers to build general awareness and/or drive sales of a specific product.
In AWS, net sales increased to $20.5 billion in Q3, up 28% year-over-year, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, and now representing an annualized sales run rate of $82 billion. With the ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties, we've seen an uptick in AWS customers focused on controlling costs. And we're proactively working to help customers cost optimize, just as we've done throughout AWS' history, especially in periods of economic uncertainty. The breadth and depth of our service offerings enable us to help them do things like move storage to lower-priced tiers options and shift workloads to our Graviton chips.
Graviton3 processors delivered 40% better price performance than comparable x86-based instances. And our teams across AWS continue to work relentlessly to expand that breadth and depth, including recent launches of new EC2 machine learning training instances in AWS IoT fleet-wise. And we continue to expand the AWS infrastructure footprint to support customers with the launch of the AWS Middle East region in August and the recent announcement to launch AWS Asia Pacific region in Thailand.
Now, let's shift to operating income. During the quarter, we reported $2.5 billion in operating income. Turning first to our North America and international segments, during the quarter, we generated over $1 billion in operations cost improvements driven by higher leverage of our fixed cost base and continued productivity improvements in our fulfillment and transportation networks. This represents a solid improvement in productivity quarter-over-quarter, though not quite as much as we had planned. We are encouraged by the progress made during the quarter, but we recognize there's still a lot of opportunity to continue to improve productivity and drive cost efficiencies throughout our networks. We have identified initiatives that the teams continue to work hard on, and we expect to see further improvement in the quarters ahead.
Another impact to operating income was the step-up in Prime Video content and marketing costs in Q3, primarily driven by the global premiere of the Rings of Power and the launch of the NFL Thursday Night Football package in the United States. Our results were also negatively impacted by non-recurring charges related to the closure of certain businesses and products such as Amazon Care, Fabric.com and Amazon Explore.
We continue to ramp up our investments in AWS, adding product builders and sales and professional services headcount to help customers save money, invent more quickly in their businesses and transition to the cloud. We're also continuing to invest in new infrastructure to meet capacity needs, expanding to new geographic regions, developing new services and iterating quickly to enhance existing services.
Overall stock-based compensation expense was $5.6 billion in Q3, up from $5.2 billion in the second quarter. This increase was primarily driven by a reduction in the estimated forfeiture rate on certain unvested stock awards.
We reported overall net income of $2.9 billion in the third quarter. While we primarily focus our comments on operating income, I'd point out that this net income includes a pretax valuation gain of $1.1 billion included in non-operating income from the common stock investment in Rivian Automotive. As we've noted in recent quarters, the impact of this investment to our income statement is driven by quarter-to-quarter fluctuations in Rivian's stock price.
Now let's discuss capital investments, which is the combination of capex plus equipment finance leases. For the full year 2022, we expect to incur approximately $60 billion in capital investments, which is broadly in line with what we spent in 2021. This represents an estimated reduction in fulfillment and transportation capital investments of approximately $10 billion compared to last year, as we've continued to moderate our build expectations to better align with demand. And this is offset by an approximately $10 billion year-over-year increase in technology infrastructure, primarily to support the rapid growth, innovation and continued expansion of our AWS footprint.
We also provided our fourth quarter financial guidance as part of our earnings release. While we are encouraged by our progress across the business, macroeconomic environment remains challenging worldwide. The continuing impacts of broad-scale inflation, heightened fuel prices and rising energy costs have impacted our sales growth as consumers assess their purchasing power and organizations of all sizes evaluate their technology and advertising spend.
As the third quarter progressed, we saw moderating sales growth across many of our businesses as well as the increased foreign currency headwinds, I mentioned earlier, and we expect these impacts to persist throughout the fourth quarter. As we've done at similar times in our history, we're also taking actions to tighten our belt, including pausing hiring in certain businesses and winding down products and services where we believe our resources are better spent elsewhere. We aim to strike the right balance between investing for our customers for the long-term, while driving operational efficiency improvements and accomplishing more with less.
When faced with an uncertain economy or some kind of discontinuous event, customers tend to double-down on companies that they believe have the best customer experience and that take care of them the best. And that is where our efforts remain focused. As we head into the fourth quarter, we are ready to make this a great holiday season for our customers. We kicked off the season a few weeks ago with our first-ever Prime Early Access sales event where tens of millions of Prime members shopped and ordered more than 100 million items from Amazon's selling partners. We remain heads-down focused on driving a fantastic customer experience, and we believe putting customers first is the only reliable way to create lasting value for shareholders.
Thanks. And with that, let's move on to your questions.