Black Friday Kohls

Black Friday Discounts Showcase Voice Assistant Expansion and Acceptance

Black Friday is still a few days away, but modern commerce means that plenty of big sales have already begun. Smart speakers and other voice assistant-powered technology are arguably an even bigger part of the Black Friday frenzy than in previous years, with deeper sales on more products. That’s partly a function of the evolving state of the industry, but it also reflects the way people are becoming more comfortable using voice assistants. People are integrating them into their lives instead of partitioning them in their own category.

Amazon and Google Generation Domination

Smart speakers and smart displays are still the biggest part of the market for voice assistant-focused products. The last year has seen a whole new generation of the devices roll out, offering a real contrast in features and price for the first time. Amazon and Google are splitting the difference in how they approach selling earlier models. Some are on sale with deeper discounts than the most recent varieties, while others are not being sold directly at all, but can be bought on sale from third-party retailers.

Amazon is discounting both the Echo Dot and the new version that comes with a clock, as well as the latest version of the Echo. The more expensive Echo Plus smart speaker is not on sale at all, however,  and none of the previous iterations of the larger Echo smart speaker can be purchased. Amazon is very keen to get at least some form of Alexa in people’s homes though, as the cheaper Echo Dot is a free bonus included when purchasing some of the other Amazon electronics, such as a Fire TV. The same limitation goes for Amazon’s smart displays, with only the Echo Show 8 and the smaller Echo Show 5 available and on sale.

Google’s Black Friday deals online store are similarly focused on its most recent creations, the ones using the Nest branding Google fully adopted for its smart home products earlier this year. That means the Nest Mini smart speaker is on sale, as is Nest Wifi, a router that includes Google Assistant access. The Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays are also on sale. Unlike Amazon, Google’s earlier smart speakers and displays are still available and are part of Black Friday sales, just not directly from the company. As can be seen in these flyers, though, the Google Home Mini and Google Home Hub, as well as their Nest counterparts, can still be acquired from other retailers.

New Ways to Talk

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant tend to suck up most of the oxygen when it comes to smart speakers and smart displays, but the Apple Siri voice assistant is still available through the HomePod smart speaker. In comparison, Microsoft Cortana is essentially gone from the consumer space. Still, Apple’s AirPods and the new AirPods Pro are both on sale and will keep people speaking to Siri on their mobile devices. Wearables of all sorts are on sale, including smartwatches and earbuds with voice assistant access.

Wearables aren’t just limited to earbuds and smartwatches, but, the glasses, rings, and smart clothing imbued with voice assistant access that Google and Amazon debuted in recent months are not on sale for Black Friday. There is reason for the companies to be confident that people will be eager to snap them up at full price in 2020 as there will be an anticipated 27% spike in spending on wearables next year.

With so many options to connect to voice assistants, on-sale and otherwise,  the end result of Thanksgiving Weekends sales will be worth observing. That including both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, another big shopping day, with even bigger discounts. Here’s a quick rundown of the cost and savings for some of the smart speakers and displays for Black Friday. Be sure to check out our upcoming comparison of voice assistant Black Friday sales internationally and what the manufacturers report about their sales during this crucial weekend.


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