Google Home Mini Aggressively Discounted to Support Smart Speaker Strategy
Google Home Mini is on sale at the Google store on Best Buy and elsewhere sporting a 20% discount when you purchase a single device for $39 instead of the list price of $49. That discount rises to 40% when you purchase two devices for just $58 compared to standard pricing of $98. We also noticed that Best Buy and others are now carrying the Coral device color which previously had been only available directly from Google.
Not to be left out, Google Home purchasers can also snag a $30 discount and pick up the more robust smart speaker for $99. If you add a Google Home Mini to that order, you get a $65 discount which is an effective price of $14 for the Mini. The sale pricing is scheduled to end on June 17, 2018. In case you are wondering, Google Home Max is not on sale and still lists for $399.
Amazon Also Has Echo Discounts, But They Always Have Discounts
Google Home Mini’s rival Amazon Echo Dot is also on sale for $10 off today, listed for sale at $39.99 on Amazon.com. And, the Amazon Echo Show voice-controlled smart display is on sale for the lowest ever price of $149.99. Amazon frequently discounts its devices and often matches Google’s moves so we may see more Echo deals revealed this week. Voicebot believes Echo Show discounting will continue as the company prepares to launch a second generation device later this month or early in July. Google does not have a comparable product today, but several manufacturers such as Lenovo, LG and Sony have announced they will launch Google Assistant compatible smart displays in 2018.
Google is Building Marketplace Momentum
Google has had a lot of good news lately related to the Google Home smart speaker product line. Analyst firm Canalys reported in May that Google Home outsold Amazon Echo devices globally in Q1 2018. U.S. survey data gathered by Voicebot and Voysis also found that Google had narrowed Amazon’s market share lead among consumers substantially. Between January 2018 and May 2018, Google’s U.S. consumer market share rose 8.5% to 26.9% while Amazons dropped 10 points to 61.9%.
Several people have asked if Google’s frequent discounting and bundling of Mini’s with Google Express and Pixel smartphone promotion are helping drive up sales volume. The answer is yes. This is an all-of-the-above strategy by Google to drive more device adoption.
Google is Focused on Capturing Users, Not Driving Device Revenue
Since smart speakers are a new category and a small number of households will adopt multiple brands, the leading manufacturers are eager to secure placement in as many homes as possible regardless of price. That position in the home could lead to substantial downstream revenue from shopping, in-app purchases and more. The selling price of the device is a minor consideration compared to those revenue sources over several years and establishing user loyalty to a primary voice assistant. That is why letting some Google Home Mini’s go for $14 in a bundled sale is worth it even if the device costs $26 to make.
Google is likely trying to push device sales as high as possible prior to Amazon Prime Day which will fall on July 10th this year. One analyst estimated that Amazon sold 3.3 million Echo devices during the 2017 Prime Day. Aggressive sales by Google in June could help capture new users before they join the Amazon ecosystem next month. In addition, Apple is expected to announce a lower priced smart speaker today to complement its $349 HomePod. The increased attention to the smart speaker category could make the timing of Google’s sale particularly useful in capturing some users that simply want to test-drive a device.