Google Home, Mini and Max Roll Out Discounts in Advance of Amazon Prime Day
Google has rolled out a series of discounts in advance of Amazon Prime Day when millions of Echo smart speaker products are expected to be sold. Google Home and Mini are on sale for $99 and $34 respectively in the U.S. And, Google Home Max is getting its first discount to date with a $150 rebate when you buy two devices. Of course, you will still need to spend $650 to get that big rebate on Google’s high-end smart speaker for audiophiles. The more budget conscious consumer can still opt for the less expensive devices and pair them with a bluetooth speaker.
Discounting Across Channels and Countries
The listings above are from Google’s U.S. store. Google Home and Google Home Mini discounts are also available on Walmart.com, Target.com, but neither had the discount listed for Google Home Max. BestBuy.com had all three discounts on its website with identical pricing to the Google Store.
Nor is Google limiting its discounting to the U.S. The Australia store shows discounts that run through the end of Amazon Prime Day. Canada and the U.K. stores also have discounts listed, but not Ireland, Germany or Mexico. In addition, Canadians can get two free Google Home Minis with the purchase of a Google Home Max. You can see a strategy emerging about where Google feels it needs a boost around Prime Day shopping in some countries, but not others.
Heading Off More Amazon Alexa Customer Acquisition
The reason for Google’s discounting is simply to drive more consumers to try and then adopt Google Assistant-driven smart speakers over those with Amazon Alexa. One analyst estimated that Amazon sold 3.3 million Echo smart speakers on Prime Day in 2017. Google has a lot of momentum and doesn’t want to lose new smart speaker consumers to Amazon on the retailer’s biggest discount day of the year. If a consumer chooses an Alexa-enabled smart speaker, they are likely to form habits around it and that will make it harder for Google to get them to switch to Google Assistant. Canalys Research Analyst Vincent Thielke recently commented:
Amazon and Google know the power of an ecosystem lock-in and have been engaged in a fierce price war to try and build the largest installed base. As Amazon’s Prime Day looms, customers expect discounts, and the company is set for a rush of shipments.
Canalys recently forecasted that Google would rise to 30% smart speaker market share worldwide by the end of 2018 and narrow the gap to Amazon’s share of just over 50%. By 2022, the firm estimates that Amazon and Google will both hold about 34% of the worldwide smart speaker installed base. Google’s discounting is all about offering consumers’ incentives to try Assistant and steering them away from Alexa lock-in. You may have noticed that Amazon also discounts its products before product launches by Google. Expect more of this from both parties throughout 2018.