Wednesday, January 26

The great challenge for Amazon with its Alexa speakers is that people continue to use them once the “novelty” wears off

The great challenge that the creators of Alexa will have to face 2022 is not about implementing new functions, achieving a more attractive and versatile design or improving its reliability. Not alone, at least. His most pressing challenge – in the face of the latest data unveiled by Bloomberg– It is something much more complicated: to keep the attention of the users, that after the novelty of the first days, they continue to use the Amazon smart speaker. It is not a minor issue.

According to internal company data revealed just a few days ago by Bloomberg Businessweek and corresponding to the planning of the exercises from 2018 to 2021, since the multinational began to market its speakers there were years in which 15-25% of new Alexa users they had ceased to be “active” as early as the second week. In other words: after the initial “boom”, the tool was condemned to the drawer.

The percentages vary depending on the device. The same internal documents would show that among those who run the Echo, for example, the proportion of users who would use Alexa each week would be 66%, compared to 56% for the Echo Dot and 74% for devices with a screen. The proportions are in any case bulky enough for Amazon Inc’s internal planning documents to influence the need to retain users’ attention and interest.

Go beyond the first three hours

Despite the multinational’s plans to improve its speakers with more cameras and sensors that allow them, among other functions, to recognize voices or the room where users are, in 2020 Amazon calculated – according to Bloomberg – that the market for smart speakers had “passed its growth phase” and would expand by just 1.2% annually in the short term.

In statements to the American media, Amazon managers influence any case in which your sales forecasts for Alexa are optimistic and the data detailed in the article does not correspond to the current “photo” of the market. “Alexa continues to grow; We see increases in customer use and it is used in more homes around the world than ever, “reasoned Kinley Pearsall, a spokesman for the company, after emphasizing that the slowdown figures are not” accurate. ”

The truth is that the cylindrical Echo speaker, Amazon’s first Alexa device, was a resounding success in sales. Just three years after launching the Amazon Echo, from the multinational they assured in an interview with The Verge that they had already marketed one hundred million devices worldwide. In 2020 they estimated that 25% of US households had at least one Alexa device. So good was the impact, that other companies, such as Facebook, Apple or Google, went to the market and commercialized their own versions.

What is the reverse of the coin? That a large part of the clients do not take advantage of all the options that the tool offers them. Based on the planning documents he had access to, Bloomber assures that “most” only use it to play music, turn on the lights or set the timer in their kitchens. It’s more, in 2019 users discovered half of the functions who took advantage of Alexa throughout the first three hours of interaction with the device. One of the fields in which Amazon works is in fact offering new ways of interacting with Alexa, such as devices with screens, headphones or apps for vehicles.

137 Alexa commands to get the most out of your Amazon Echo

Make the assistant easier to use, make it more intuitive or even encourage the user to explore and take advantage of new Alexa features –something that, as Bloomberg detailsThey’re trying from Amazon itself — they’re not the only smart speaker challenges. Among the main barriers or enemies to beat also stands out concern for privacy, suspicion fueled by controversies such as that of Alexa Data Services, a division of the company that, according to Bloomberg itself in 2019, was dedicated to listening to the messages received by Alexa in order to transcribe interactions and improve the capacity of the virtual assistant.

Via | Bloomberg Businessweek