Even without a formal presence at CES 2017 Amazon Echo was arguably the belle of the ball, and with good reason: In its two-plus short years in the market it’s captured the imaginations, and pocketbooks, of millions of consumers.
According to an analysis of the wireless speaker and virtual digital assistant by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), some 8.2 million U.S. Amazon customers have purchased the device since its limited introduction in 2014.
Since then consumer awareness of Echo has increased dramatically, up to 82 percent of Amazon customers as of Dec. 31, 2016, compared with 47 percent the year prior and 20 percent as of March 31, 2015, the first full quarter following its rollout.
And thanks to Amazon’s efforts at promoting and expanding the Echo line, the installed base has nearly tripled over the past 12 months, while fourth-quarter unit sales hit 3.1 million.
“Amazon's efforts to promote the expanded Echo product line appear to have paid off,” observed CIRP partner/co-founder Josh Lowitz. “With traditional media advertising and prominent placement at the Amazon website, Echo product awareness among Amazon customers continued its rapid ascent in the fourth quarter of 2016.”
Fellow partner/co-founder Mike Levin also attributed the holiday uptick to “especially aggressive pricing for the Echo Dot,” with new models accounting for half of all Echo sales since their introduction last year.
But while Amazon sees Echo’s Alexa AI platform as a starting point for connected home migration, Lowitz noted, most customers still use it to retrieve information (66 percent) and play music (over 40 percent), CIRP said.