Amazon Echo Data Leaks, Shows Poor Engagement

Posted on August 7, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Smart Home with 27 Comments

Amazon’s Echo devices may still dominate the smart speaker market, but customers rarely use them to purchase goods from the e-retailer.

Which, you may recall, was the whole point.

“Only a small fraction of smart speaker owners use them to shop, and the few who do try it don’t bother again,” a new report in The Information notes. “[We have] learned that only about 2 percent of the people with devices that use Amazon’s Alexa intelligent assistant—mostly Amazon’s own Echo line of speakers—have made a purchase with their voices so far in 2018, according to two people briefed on the company’s internal figures.”

Another interesting tidbit from the report: Amazon has sold about 50 million Alexa devices, The Information’s sources claim.

So why is this data important? Two reasons.

First, Alexa and the Echo speakers came to market for a single reason only: To provide Amazon’s customers with yet another way to easily make purchases from its online store.

Second, while Amazon does currently lead in the market for smart speakers, Google is very quickly catching up. And I still expect Google to surpass Amazon, perhaps as soon as by the end of 2018.

Not being able to monetize Echo and Alexa is a problem. And it’s going to be a problem for Google, too. In that case, the online search giant will attempt to leverage its own Google Home/Google Assistant user base with, yep, you guessed it, advertising. Something that Google has publicly stated is coming to the platform.


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