Smarter Than Our Speakers

By Jacquelyn Cooley | Market Research Analyst | February 13, 2019

Even though Smart Speakers are only as smart as their users, these devices are vastly improving lives through functions such as voice assistant, which can provide real time information, music streaming, and home control that can sync with home security devices and the thermostat. With an emphasis on connectivity and automation, Alexa (and others) certainly made our lives easier in 2018.

It comes as no surprise that Smart Speakers were at the top of consumers’ wish lists this past holiday season. In fact, “Echo Dot”, “Echo” and “Alexa” made it onto the top 50 list of on-site search terms in the week encompassing both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to 1010reveal Shopper Journey.

Among those who purchased a Smart Speaker in the holiday period, most searched for a specific product, such as the Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo or Google Home Mini. However, in the long-tail of search terms, it is clear that Smart Speaker buyers were also on the hunt for tech devices such as the Amazon Fire Stick, Ring Doorbell, Google Home Hub and Amazon Smart Plug.

The top selling Smart Speaker products this season (Oct – Dec 2018) were the Amazon Echo Dot with 27% of market, the Google Home Mini (25%) and the Google Home (14%). The Google Home outpaced the others in October with 42% of the market share. The Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini competed with one another later in the holiday season.

Although the Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini appeared to be each other’s biggest competition from a sales perspective, 1010reveal Shopper Journey shows that both Google and Amazon were actually most often competing with themselves.

To be more specific, 88% of the time a consumer purchased an Amazon Echo Dot, the buyer did not compare the product to any other Smart Speaker. However, the Echo Dot buyer viewed the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Spot 6% and 3% of the time before purchasing, respectively. Moreover, the Google Home Mini did not see any product comparison shopping on 77% of occasions. When product comparison shopping did take place, the Mini was compared to the Google Home in 13.3% of instances. This suggests that consumers may be partial to a brand before they ever begin browsing products on-site…but how do consumers know which brand is right for them?

1010reveal’s Ecommerce Suite shows that Smart Speaker buyers are often referred to the site where they ultimately made a purchase by product review sites such as cnet.com, digitaltrends.com and techradar.com. With product information and consumer reviews so readily accessible online, it is likely that Smart Speaker consumers have done their research before arriving on a retailer’s webpage.

In addition to product review sites, bargain hunting sites such as ebates.com, joinhoney.com and slickdeals.net over index in the Smart Speaker category. On the same list of referral sources, we see thetileapp.com and ring.com referring Smart Speaker purchasers. This suggests that the tech savvy consumer went great lengths to get the right Smart Speaker at the right price this past holiday season. I wonder what would happen if you asked a Smart Speaker to search this for you – would it be smart enough to recommend itself?

To continue tracking the evolution and eventual takeover of smart speakers and other automated technologies, reach out to us at insights@1010data.com.