Amazon put out a news release today touting its record-breaking holiday shopping weekend. And, in what will come as a shock to absolutely no one, the company said the best-selling products across all categories sold on Amazon.com were Amazon devices like the Amazon Echo Dot, which Amazon just happened to put on sale… on Amazon.
Get where we’re going with this?
The retail giant is always vague on details, and this release proved no exception, saying only that it was the “Biggest holiday shopping weekend ever for Echo devices, with millions sold worldwide—all-new Echo Dot was the #1 selling product on Amazon globally, from any manufacturer, in any category.”
FWIW, last December, when Amazon released a similar batch of vague statistics, the company reported selling “tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices” worldwide over the entire 2017 holiday season.
OK, obviously Amazon releasing glowing stats about Amazon devices sold at a discount is a total corporate puffery, and I am complicit in writing about it. But, as vague as these stats may be, they are important to consider as more people adopt smart kitchen tech. Amazon’s Alexa is locked in a battle with Google Home to be your preferred voice ecosystem. Dominating voice control could in turn determine which kitchen appliances you buy, or impact where you buy your groceries.
Hardware startups, software developers and appliance makers alike want to align with a winner when it comes to incorporating new smart tech into their products. Amazon can create its own dominance by dint of controlling one of the largest e-commerce companies on the planet. Consider that at last count, Amazon had 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers worldwide. That’s a huge user base to be potentially guided into buying an Amazon Echo device.
The more Echo devices are sold, the more people will want to use Alexa in their homes, which means more third-party support for even more devices and apps. The more third party devices and apps that incorporate Alexa means that Amazon is collecting even more of our data, which Amazon can then use to sell us more stuff, more of its own stuff (like groceries from Whole Foods) or even create more of its own devices like the Alexa microwave, which, now that we mention it, was not mentioned in the Amazon press release.
The point is, the more Amazon can flex its retail power, the more it can dominate the emerging world of smart assistants and voice control in our homes.
Alas, Alexa devices weren’t the only thing the company sold over the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday shopping season. I throw this in here as just a bit of Amazon sales trivia, but Instant Pots continue to steamroll other kitchen appliances, with Amazon saying the Instant Pot DUO60 was also a top seller this past weekend. During the 2017 holiday season, the Instant Pot DUO80 was the top-selling kitchen item.
So take these numbers with the appropriate amount of salt, and be on the lookout for a release from Google touting its own Google Home Cyber Monday sales, followed by another holiday season recap from Amazon at the end of December.