What Amazon has taught us all with Amazon Echo is that smart speakers are popular and that consumers love them even more when discounted. Today, Amazon Echo is sold out after several promotions over the past three months. The most recent was $99 for the device normally listed at $179. Some people are reporting that it will ship again on September 4th, but the notice on Amazon.com says, “Currently Unavailable. We don’t know when this item will be back in stock.”
Of course, we know know from earlier reports that Amazon is planning a new Echo and the return of the device on Amazon.com will likely be for the second generation device. The most recent rounds of discounting on Echo were almost certainly designed to drain inventory of the legacy model before launching the new device.
But Amazon is never idle and Echo seekers can purchase an Echo Dot today for a 10% discount. It is currently listed at $44.99, down from $49.99. Normally you wouldn’t think about discounting when a similar product is unavailable. Amazon doesn’t do normal. It focuses entirely on driving volume in all product categories, particularly for Echo where it is trying to be the first smart speaker in every home in America.
Discounts Work for Google Home Too
Google has run a number of discounts on Google Home as well to counter Amazon’s aggressive pricing strategy. The list price of $129 was down to $99 for promotions in the 2016 Holiday season and again around Amazon Prime Day when the Echo discounts were steep. In fact, that $99 price also included a free Chromecast on eBay.
However, Google has typically looked to retail partners like eBay and Best Buy to promote discounts while the $129 list price has remained firm on the company website. More recently, Voicebot came across the biggest discount yet for Google Home. Last week you could buy a Google Home for only $79 on Meh.com. It turned out to be $82.47 after shipping costs, but still a low price record for Google Home and it didn’t last long.
Meh.com shows that it sold 542 Google Homes for a total of $44,847. What is more interesting is that these sales took place over just 75 minutes. The sale was available between 12:00 am and 12:16 am, again at 8:00 am to 9:02 am and then for less than a minute again at 4:00 pm. The seven devices sold per minute doesn’t match Amazon’s “thousands per minute” of Echo sales on Prime Day, but shows how much impact discounts can have. You can easily predict that on Black Friday 2017, smart speakers from numerous brands will be discounted and flying off the shelves.