According to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, or CIRP, there are now 8.2 million Amazon Echo devices in the United States. In November 2016 that count was 5.1 million, which indicates a 60% increase in a two month period.
How did Amazon Echo do so well in such a short period of time?
The answer to that is a greater awareness of voice-capable devices, and part of that credit goes to Google Home, which launched in October and became available on store shelves shortly after.
CIRP cites another reason: awareness of Amazon Echo among Amazon’s shopper base has grown as well. As of last month’s survey, 82% of Amazon customers know that there’s such a thing as Amazon Echo. In March 2015 that figure was at a measly 20%, but it quickly grew to 69% by September 2016 – six months after the first survey’s results were published.
But what are people actually using Amazon Echo for?
More data was gathered by CIRP for this, and it shows that the there is an increasing number of people using Amazon Echo as an “information provider” rather than just a voice-activated smart speaker.
According to CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz:
“More Echo owners use it as an information source than as a voice-controlled music device. Amazon positioned Echo and the Alexa software as much more than a smart audio player. Amazon clearly wants it to become an Internet browser and even a home controller. Hundreds of third-party electronics, appliance, and even auto manufacturers now offer products that work with Alexa. Amazon wants Alexa to be the starting point for the move to connected-automated homes.”
Amazon has a tremendous advantage over Google in that its voice assistant – Alexa – is directly connected to Amazon’s massive retail catalog. When Amazon announces its fourth quarter results for 2016, we’ll see evidence of that in North America retail segment growth.
While it’s impossible to say how much will come from the “voice shopping” feature that Amazon enabled for Prime users right before the holiday season, there will definitely have been some gains made over the holiday quarter on that front.
That’s credible because they’ve already hosted the first ever voice-shopping weekend from November 18 through November 21, 2016, and Amazon’s sales chart invariably shows spikes on any kind of special shopping offer they put out, such as lightning deals.
Are these Amazon Echo Sales Numbers Accurate?
As for the accuracy of the numbers from CIRP, it must be noted that these are not actuals because Amazon doesn’t publish those numbers. Along with Prime member count, Amazon Echo sales also seem to be held close to its chest.
For that reason, all estimates must be gleaned from third-party sources. Other sources have different numbers to offer, however.
For example, information from Morgan Stanley shows that no less than 11 million Amazon Echo devices were sold between mid-2015 and December 1, 2016. And even that was noted as being “likely too low” by Morgan Stanley analysts.
On the other hand, VoiceLabs showed that there were less than 8.5 million devices sold of both Amazon Echo and Google Home combined, and their data used input from CIRP as well.
As you can see, these are all educated guesses based on limited data samples and sources. It’s been the same with Amazon Prime’s membership base as well – different sources, different estimates.
It’s safe to say that Amazon Echo and its siblings have sold somewhere between 8 million and 11-million-plus units so far.
To be honest, we’re inclined to accept the higher number because of the tremendous growth that we’ve seen in Amazon Prime growth as well as AWS revenue growth.
These two business segments have proved their mettle as core growth engines for Amazon Technologies Inc, both with a sustainability factor running into decades. With Amazon Alexa on Echo and other devices now in the game, it looks like three’s company.
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