iRobot’s Stock is Up. Can Alexa Take Credit?

Last month, we reported how Domino’s gave Alexa partial credit for its sharp increase in sales during the fourth quarter of last year. And now, another company is seeing a return on its Alexa investment. The Motley Fool reports that shares of iRobot Corporation rose 15.9% in March after debuting new features for its automated robots:

iRobot’s climb last month didn’t happen all at once. Rather, the start of its upward trend coincided with the announcement of a new version of its HOME app, as well as plans to incorporate Amazon’s Alexa voice control into its robots in the near future.

The Alexa Skill Announcement Still Matters

What is also interesting about the company’s recent success is that iRobot just announced the Alexa skill. It is not scheduled to launch until sometime this quarter. The company announced the skill alongside the update to its HOME app, which was readily available to iRobot users. But why announce the two together? It could be because these two new features are part of the company’s future plans for an ecosystem of home robots. But it could also be the guaranteed press coverage companies will receive when they announce an Alexa skill.

While there are over 10,000 skills available today, many household names still do not have a presence on Alexa. iRobot and Domino’s were smart to take advantage of the Alexa name early because they are still somewhat of a novelty. But this won’t last forever. As consumer awareness of Alexa and other voice assistants grow, more brands will develop Alexa skills, diluting the amount of press coverage each one will receive. iRobot’s recent success should encourage brands to get on Alexa – and fast.