Now You Can Visit an Amazon Alexa Smart Home to Try Out Alexa

While Amazon’s presence is mostly online, the retailer in recent years has been working on creating a physical presence in the US as well. The company has worked with partners like Kohl’s and Best Buy to introduce Alexa to consumers face-to-face with in-store Echo displays as well as including them in the now Amazon owned Whole Foods stores across the country. The company is now giving Alexa a physical presence in the home as well by rolling out Alexa-enabled smart home models with partner Lennar Corp. Amazon and Lennar have opened 15 “Amazon Experience Centers” nationwide near cities like Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington with more planned to open to the public by the end of the year.

Experience It In Person, Buy It Online

The smart home industry is slowly gaining popularity among consumers and new homes are even being built with Alexa and other voice assistants in mind. The problem is, the idea of a smart home is still foreign to most consumers as most people have never interacted with one. “Today, the choices open to customers are, you can go to a brick-and-mortar store and you can see devices on demo tables. You go online and do your research. But you fundamentally are left to imagine what an integrated home would look like,” said Nish Lathia, general manager of Amazon Services, in the company’s Vallejo, California experience center outside San Francisco. The idea of the Amazon Experience Center is to “educate and inspire” according to Lathia. But he did note: “On the secondary benefit, yes, if it drives sales, we’re not complaining.” So secondary that Lennar Ventures will get a cut of any sales made through Amazon from the smart home visitors.

Amazon already leads the industry as far as the number of smart home devices Alexa supports, claiming the number to be more than 12,000 more than double the Google Assistant’s 5,000 supported devices. The problem is it doesn’t matter how many Alexa-enabled smart home devices there are if consumers aren’t using them. Putting consumers physically in a smart home is one way to get people to see the potential of living in a smart home and using Alexa to do so.

Learning how easy it is to ask Alexa to lower the blinds or turn off the lights can only increase sales of smart home items on Amazon, Echo products and increase Alexa user engagement. Amazon gaining all these benefits for a small commission to Lennar is an obvious win for the company, especially considering the smart home market is expected to reach an estimated $107.4 billion by 2023 according to ReportLinker.

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