Amazon Completes Ring Acquisition, Cuts Price of Entry Level Video Doorbell to $99
Amazon today completed its acquisition of Ring, the company that made video doorbells popular. Ring wasted no time in implementing one of Amazon’s favorite sales techniques, discounting. The entry level Ring Video Doorbell is now $99.99 which the company portrays in ads as a 43% discount from their website listing yesterday. On Amazon.com it looks more like a 25% discount from $132.99 and is estimating a ship date of April 25th.
Amazon has used aggressive discounting to build formidable market share for its Echo smart speaker line of products which works with Ring Doorbells and a variety of other smart home products. However, this discounting doesn’t place Ring Video Doorbell pricing below all of its rivals. There are at least a dozen products in this category available on Amazon.com priced between $59 and $99. It may appear that this discount is targeting the Google owned Nest Hello Doorbell which is priced at $229, but that product’s specifications match more closely with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 which sells for $199.99. Ring and Amazon are making sure they are competitive in the value segment of the market with the new entry-level pricing. A press release from Ring today affirms this interpretation.
To kick start this commitment, Amazon and Ring have dropped the price of the popular Ring Video Doorbell to $99.99, making home security more accessible than ever to customers…Now, with Amazon’s aim to deliver premium products at non-premium prices, the two companies can help make peace of mind at home a reality for more neighbors than ever before.
Smart Home is another Amazon – Google Battlefront
Smart speakers and voice assistants become more valuable and stickier when they are integrated into services that consumers use everyday. Smart home products are exactly the type of product that fits this description. The Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2018 found that controlling smart home devices was the 14th most tried feature of smart speakers. However, smart home use cases were the 7th most frequent daily tasks used on smart speakers.
The fact that 21% of smart speaker owners use them to control smart home devices daily is a telling metric. That is the highest daily use relative to features ever tried among all device owners. What that means is not a lot of people yet own smart home devices, but those that do are very likely to use them frequently with their smart speakers. In addition, the finding that so few consumers have smart home devices offers an opportunity for significant unit sales growth.
Both Google, which owns Nest, and Amazon’s Ring knows these data points reflect an opportunity beyond simply selling smart home devices. Smart home sales can help drive sales of smart speakers and in turn loyalty to branded voice assistants. If the smart home product category becomes an appendage to the smart speaker market, it will be increasingly hard for independent companies to compete as Amazon and Google have incentives to subsidize price discounting to drive market share. You can officially add smart home as a new voice assistant battlefront that already includes smart speakers, mobile devices, PCs and appliances.