Amazon revealed today that Alexa is now supported by 100,000 smart home products offered by 9,500 different brands. This is up from 60,000 in May 2019. That means the Alexa smart home ecosystem expanded by 178 new products each day for the past 7.5 months. The number of brands supporting Alexa also rose in that period by 28%. It would be safe to say that Alexa compatibility has become a standard feature in the smart home product category.
Apparently, consumers are also using Alexa quite often with their smart home devices. In a blog post thanking smart home device makers for their support, Amazon’s June Lee commented, “customers have connected tens of millions of your devices to Alexa, and they use Alexa to control them hundreds of millions of times each week.” That sounds like a big incentive for smart home device makers to support Alexa.
Now A Standard Feature for Smart Home
Voicebot research shows that the overlap between smart home and smart speaker device owners in 2019 was extensive. More than 55% of smart speaker owners also had at least one smart home device. Alexa users are clearly a market for smart home device makers to sell into with the added value that consumers can leverage their current voice solutions to control their devices.
Amazon has led in smart home integrations, in part, because it was first to market. However, the fact that it still holds a relative smart speaker market share of nearly 61% among U.S. adults makes it an obvious platform for smart home device makers to support.
Continued Smart Home Support
Today’s blog post went on to enumerate several Alexa updates in 2019 related to smart home such as the Frustration-free Setup and a number of new APIs that extend Alexa’s smart home feature support. Frustration-free setup has been a particular focus for Amazon as Daniel Rausch, vice president of smart home for Alexa, told Voicebot in an exclusive interview earlier this year.
“Frustration-free setup is providing a setup for smart home the way people want. Basically, you plug it in and it works. With the Smart Plug and the 4.5 stars it has achieved–over 80% are 5-star [reviews]–you see customers raving about a setup experience. That is not something you find on other products. No one spends any time other than complaining about setup experience for other product categories…Having sold millions of Amazon Smart Plugs is a testimonial that you are not going from 17 to 15 steps. You just plug it in and it works. Consumers seek out products like that.”
WiFi simple set-up technology was made available to device OEMs earlier this year as Rausch outlined in a blog post. Smart home has been a strong focus of Amazon’s since shortly after the Echo smart speaker product launch. It appears likely that the trend will continue in 2020.