Amazon's Echo Dot is outselling Google Home -- but many consumers aren't convinced they need a voice assistant

Sales of smart speakers are growing rapidly, but many consumers don’t yet see a need for them, a new study indicates.

Recent analysis by Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) shows that smart speakers — as well as the voice assistants that come with them — have seen a huge spike in popularity.

During this past holiday season, US sales jumped nearly 1,000% from the same period a year earlier. But even outside the holidays — when about three out of every four smart speakers was sold last year — sales have been up 39 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

And the report had some good news for Amazon. While Google Home topped US online sales of smart speakers during the holidays, Amazon’s Echo Dot — which sells for less than half the price — held that title in the first quarter.

Still, the data suggests that the smart speaker market has some serious obstacles to overcome.

According to ADI’s data, some 49% of American consumers do not use a voice assistant, whether its one built into a smart speaker, a phone or a computer. Meanwhile, some 37% of U.S. consumers report say that the voice assistants they have used — whether on a smart speaker or some other device — are “not up to par with their standards,” according to ADI’s report.

Adobe’s numbers are based on analysis of 14.3 billion visits to online retailers between May 2016 and May 2017, as well as 14.5 million social media mentions of voice assistants and smart devices. They also surveyed 397 consumers about voice assistants.

Read the full ADI study here.


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