By Rieva Lesonsky
Advertising for smart speakers (also known as voice-activated speakers or voice assistants), like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home reached a fever pitch over the holidays. According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the producers of CES (the Consumer Electronic Show) which opens today, sales of smart speakers over the holidays—in the U.S. alone—hit about 11 million. Overall, in 2017, almost 25 million speakers were sold, more than three times 2016 sales. And CTA projects 2018 sales will increase to 36 million, boosted in part by the introduction of the HomePod from Apple.
The fact that millions of American own smart speakers is having a huge impact on consumer behavior—and this is only the beginning. In fact, Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at CTA, told Billboard, “It’s starting to turn the corner into the mass market.”
One of the results of this shift is likely to be consumers embracing even more smart gadgets. David Limp, Amazon’s SVP of devices and services, told Billboard that people who own an Echo are far more likely to install other smart devices. “They start with a switch [or smart plug].” (If you’re in the market for a smart plug, you can find some on Alibaba.com.)
In light of all this Think With Google has compiled some interesting statistics, underscoring how much of a paradigm shift is taking place.
- 62% of consumers who own smart speakers are likely to use their devices to make a purchase
- 58% of those who regularly uses smart speakers use them to manage or create shopping lists
- 44% of regular users order products (household items, etc.) using their speakers at least once a week
Owners of smart speakers are looking to the devices to deliver more information to them.
- 52% would like to get information about deals, promotions and sales from businesses through their devices
- 48% want businesses to deliver personalized tips and information through the smart speakers that help make their lives easier
- 42% want to learn about a company’s upcoming events and activities
- 39% use their voice-activated speakers to get more information about a business, such as hours of operation and location
If your business wants to start marketing through these speakers, it’s important to know that most people (53%) say talking to a smart speaker feels “natural.” That’s why it’s important to change your search engine optimization strategy for these—you need to reconsider the keywords you use. Google says 70% of users of Google Assistant ask questions in natural language.
There are already a ton of accessories available for the smart speakers. These, too, are bound to soar in popularity, so it could be a smart idea for your business to start selling them. Check them out here, here and here on Alibaba.com.
There’s going to be a lot more information about smart speakers (and other smart devices) at CES this week. You can learn what’s going on by following the Alibaba.com live stream. Or follow the action on Twitter using the hashtag #AlibabaCES.