Mobile Commerce

Amazon Echo’s App Ecosystem Momentum

Amazon has put a lot of stock in its Internet of Things, consumer-connected device that we all know as the Amazon Echo.

And now, it appears as though Amazon’s ambitions for its device are coming to fruition as the eCommerce giant slowly builds up its app ecosystem across the Echo app store, also known as the “Skills” section that’s found on Amazon’s Alexa mobile app. In fact, as a TechCrunch article points to, that app store now has more than 130 apps.

That figure is somewhat notable for the fact that, up until Aug. 2015, Amazon only sold the Echo on its own site, before finally deciding to take its device to the masses through major retailers like Staples.

Amazon’s most commonly known app store has simply been its Amazon Appstore, where consumers can find apps for Android and Amazon Fire devices, but the apps found on the Alexa store are focused on building the Echo’s ecosystem with voice-powered apps that allow consumers to ask Alexa (the virtual assistant) basic things, like news, playing music, setting alarms, controlling other smart electronics in the house, etc.

One major app Amazon has secured to show its commerce ambitions through the device is StubHub, which allows users to ask Alexa what types of events are happening in the area. And then, of course, there are the other apps that are aimed at making those consumers’ lives a bit easier.

It’s too early to tell just how well the Amazon Echo has been selling, but Amazon did indicate during the Black Friday retail holiday that the Echo was once of its top five selling devices. The latest data from Adobe shows just how much Amazon’s bet on IoT, along with its investments in smart home and AI, will impact the next year for the eCommerce giant.

Data from Adobe shows that consumers have listed Amazon Echo as the “most admired” product of the digital assistants that are available on the marketplace (67 percent reported this at the top). The next most listed (45 percent) were Google Now and Siri, with Windows Cortana at 38 percent and Facebook M at 18 percent. And when looking at the IoT market and social media mentions, Amazon Echo came in second when measuring data from July–Nov. 2015, with 70,000 mentions. That fell second only to Google OnHub, which recorded 130,000. Amazon Dash had 65,000 mentions.

As technology products tend to be among the bestsellers during the holidays, Echo may give retailers an advantage in moving a number of other items on their shelves as well. Serving as a control hub and connecting various devices in the in-store environment, Echo allows shoppers to experience a connected commerce experience.

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