The 2016 holiday season has turned out to be a huge success for Amazon. First, the company walked away with nearly 37% of online sales during the November 1 to December 6 period. On Cyber Monday 2016, Handmade at Amazon saw a 200 percent increase in sales versus Cyber Monday 2015. And now, Amazon devices led by Amazon Echo have also set the charts on fire, registering a 9 times increase over the sales Echo registered during last year’s holiday season.
“Echo Dot is the best-selling, most gifted item on Amazon.com with millions sold worldwide since launch.” – Amazon
In typical Amazon fashion, the company didn’t give exact numbers of the Amazon Echo devices sold during the season. Instead, they just mentioned sales in terms of “millions sold worldwide since launch.”
Though numbers are hard to come by, according to a report published by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners on November 21, 2016, Amazon sold 5.1 million Amazon Echo devices in the United States since its 2014 launch, with approximately 2 million units sold in the first nine months of 2016. That sales number would have gone up by a quite a bit in the last three months as Amazon says that it sold 9 times more than it did last year of the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap combined.
“Echo and Echo Dot were the best-selling products across Amazon this year, and we’re thrilled that millions of new customers will be introduced to Alexa as a result. Despite our best efforts and ramped-up production, we still had trouble keeping them in stock. From turning on Christmas lights and playing holiday music to shopping for gifts and asking for help with cookie recipes, Alexa continues to get smarter every day,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon.
Customers use Amazon Echo for many purposes, with one-third using it as an information provider in response to questions, and over 40% as an audio speaker for listening to streaming music. “Our research shows that more than half of Echo owners use the device as more than a voice-controlled music speaker,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Users report asking about weather and news, and increasingly controlling other connected devices.”
In a recent article, we covered why the Amazon Echo family is undoubtedly the most effective product in this category. It is the only such device that can fully leverage the 400-million-rich catalog that Amazon and its Marketplace boast of.
As it stands, the 9x sales of the Echo and Tap line-up this holiday season is validation of that fact. Google Home is the only comparable product in this category right now, but we won’t get those sales figures that close to the device’s launch. Hopefully, Google won’t be too far behind Echo, but they already have a 2-year lag behind the online retail giant. For Microsoft that lag will become three years when they launch their own Cortana-powered device with Harman/Kardon speakers next year.
For now, all we can say is Amazon’s lead in this space is getting wider by the month.
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