A new e-commerce study from Adobe discovered that the Echo Dot is the best-selling smart speaker in the market today. The report analyzed 14.3 billion visits to online retailers from May 2016 to May 2017 using Adobe’s Analytics Cloud. While the company didn’t name its online retail customers, one can assume it has deep visibility into the market as 75% of every dollar spent online with the top 500 US retailers goes through the Analytics Cloud platform. It is worth noting that these sales figures do not reflect the sales that take place on Amazon and Google’s own website so it’s not quite the full picture. However, since both Google and Amazon have been quiet about releasing their own sales figures, this is probably as close to accurate as we’re going to get.
Google Home Wins in Terms of Revenue
The Amazon Echo Dot may be the best-seller as of today, but that doesn’t tell the full story. In terms of revenue, Google Home actually consistently outsells Amazon Echo devices. The study found that during the holidays, Google netted 48 percent of revenue, compared with 33 percent for Echo and 17 percent for the Echo Dot. In Q1 2017, Google dropped to 40 percent, but still topped Echo’s 31 percent and Echo Dot’s 28 percent. These numbers make sense, considering that Amazon needs to sell almost 2.5 Echo Dot units to account for one Google Home based on price.
But in terms of units sold, the Amazon Echo Dot is the winner in the smart speaker market. While Google Home barely outsold the Dot during the holiday season – 39% compared to 38% – the Dot more than made up for it in Q1 of this year, claiming 53% of online unit sales compared to Google Home’s 30%.
A Robust Holiday Season
One really surprising data point was the holiday sales figures for smart speaker devices in 2016. According to Adobe, 3 out of 4 voice devices were sold during the 2016 holiday season. That statistic is even more significant when you look at holiday sales for retail as a whole. According to the NRF, typically holiday sales make up about 25% of a retailer’s total sales. For smart speakers last year, it was three times that. The launch of the Google Home in October and the reduced price of the second-generation Echo Dot definitely contributed to those large numbers. Why? Mainly price.
A recent finding from Morning Consult’s consumer study found that the feature consumers care most about when shopping for a smart speaker is price. It’s not surprising that both the Google Home and Amazon Echo Dot regularly outperform the Amazon Echo in number of units sold. Or that the incredible holiday sales coincided with the launch of both devices. They are the most affordable options.
Smart speakers are still a relatively new concept to most consumers. They are still taking them out for a test drive to see if they are actually an item they will use in their daily lives or if they are just a passing trend. By making them affordable, Google and Amazon are facilitating their adoption and increasing the market overall. While Adobe said the market is growing, it states that these devices are “not yet a household item.” Until maybe next holiday season.