Amazon’s Echo is outselling the Kindle this year

Echo devices have, in a short period of time, overtaken all Amazon hardware devices in sales dollar volume.  From the launch of the Echo in November 2014 through March 2016 (which includes the first month of Dot and Tap sales), the Echo family accounts for 26 percent of Amazon device unit sales and 41 percent of dollar sales, beating the Kindle by seven points.

 

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Looking at Amazon device sales from January 2013 through March 2016, we see an increasingly diverse array of Amazon devices.  Prior to March 2014, this ecosystem was entirely composed of reading devices (the Kindle and Fire tablets).   By holiday 2015, a clear troika had emerged with Echo, Kindle, and Fire TV gaining footholds into tens of millions of households.   Thinking about this in terms of media consumption devices, Amazon now has the leading e-reader, the hottest audio listening devices on the market, and a growing base of Amazon-powered Fire TV devices that turn our TVs into conduits for Amazon video content.

There have been setbacks along the way, including the failed Fire Phone, but Amazon is well positioned in the battle for the front door to the world’s digital content library, alongside Apple and Google.

among new Echo devices, the Dot is the fan favorite

With the longest track record of the Alexa-powered devices, the original Echo clearly has the lead, accounting for 89 percent of Echo device sales.   But in March 2016, the first month where orders were taken for the Dot and Tap, the Dot was a fan favorite (leaving Amazon scrambling to catch up on production).  In March, including pre-order volume, the Dot accounted for 55 percent of unit sales, and 46 percent of dollar sales.

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Alexa proves to be a solid shopping companion

Early purchase data indicates that the Echo is a strong weapon in Amazon’s strategy to maintain dominance in e-commerce. Echo buyers are heavy Amazon purchasers across all categories, but a purchase of an Echo device was followed by a 7 percent increase in spend per person on CPG items.

35 percent of Echo buyers earn more than $100,000; are 70 percent male

Relative to the overall online shopping population, those that buy Echo devices are slightly concentrated between 36 and 66, affluent (35 percent have annual household income above $100,000), and male (70 percent!).  This matches a typical technology early adopter, albeit a slightly older one, with more strength in the 36-54 age group than we might typically see from early technology adopters.

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