Amazon’s Echo products have passed their “growth phase” and the company expects only moderate increases in sales of Alexa-powered smart speakers and displays.
Internal documents spied on by Bloomberg Businessweek show that a large chunk of Echo owners don’t use their devices on a weekly basis.
Meanwhile, the documents also reveal that Amazon has had years where up to 25% of new Alexa-powered devices were no longer active after just one week of use. That suggests it was either unwanted gifts, impulse purchases, or that the novelty of voice control has faded very quickly.
The engagement statistics will be concerning for Amazon, which has seen massive and often deeply incentivized growth from devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and a host of other spin-offs.
According to the documents, only 56% of owners of the Echo Dot, the most affordable Echo speaker in the range, use their device on a weekly basis. The more music-centric standard Echo is used at least weekly by a healthier 66% of the user base.
The top performer, however, is the “Display Devices” category, which encapsulates the Echo Show range of smart displays. They are used at least weekly by 74% of all users, according to the internal document seen by Bloomberg. So it’s no wonder that Amazon’s steepest reviews of the design and form factor have been made on this device.
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The internal documents reveal that the main concerns of the users are the privacy of these devices, after a series of violations and errors, and the knowledge that the company’s employees can listen to the audio. The Bloomberg reports also reveal that Amazon is concerned that many users will not find the Alexa assistant so useful.
“The claim that Alexa’s growth is slowing is not accurate,” an Amazon spokesperson said in response to the report. “The fact is, Alexa continues to grow; we are seeing increases in customer usage and Alexa is being used in more homes around the world than ever before.”