Echo Dot and Other Alexa Products Once Again Top Sellers for Amazon Over the Holidays, But Prime Gets First Mention in 2019
Amazon announced this morning that the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, and the Echo Show 5 smart display were among the top sellers worldwide during the 2019 holiday season. “Customers worldwide purchased tens of millions of Amazon Devices…millions more Amazon devices compared to last holiday,” according to a media release issued early this morning by the company.
This is the fourth holiday season in a row that Echo Dot has made the shortlist of most purchases items on Amazon.com. The Fire TV stick with Alexa remote made the list for the second year in a row after its launch. Echo Show 5 made the shortlist in its first year of availability. Amazon Echo held that third mention last year that was assumed by Echo Show 5 in 2019.
Alexa Devices Still Popular but Language Has Changed
This all seems like a consistent trend of Echo Dot and other Alexa devices continuing their dominance at the top of Amazon’s sales charts. However, a close reading of the Amazon media releases between 2016 and today may reveal some useful information. In 2016 Amazon said “Echo Dot is the best-selling, most gifted item on Amazon.com,” and in 2017 that “Echo Dot was the #1 top-selling product across all categories on Amazon.” Then, in 2018, the language changed slightly to “the best-selling Amazon Devices this holiday included all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote, and Echo.” It was no longer the best selling products across all of Amazon but instead among the category of Amazon devices.
The 2019 language mirrored 2018 with the status being best selling Amazon devices. This means there may have been better selling products than Echo Dot and other Alexa devices. We also see this year that Prime and one-day shipping were the first sub-headline with Alexa devices in the second slot which was a reversal from 2018.
Not the Top PR Priority For a Simple Reason
The more notable change is the bullet point sections below the media release introduction. Alexa devices were the first section in 2016, second in 2017, first in 2018, and fourth in 2019. Highlights in the bullet point sections are an indicator of where Amazon wants to draw the readers’ attention. In this case, the readers are the news media and there is plenty of Alexa-related material. However, the company is drawing more attention this year to its operational details associated with employees and distribution centers, its work supporting small business third-party sellers, and Prime services. The first two topics are important from a public relations standpoint as well as offering investors information about the business. The Prime reference is one of the company’s key economic pillars.
Alexa still gets prominent billing, but after a couple of years where Amazon often seemed to be all about Alexa, it looks like it is now one of several top priorities. That is likely a reflection of the fact that Alexa is now a well-known success story. The company no longer needs to lead with Alexa to ensure people pay attention.
The addition to Echo Show 5 to the highlighted shortlist of big sellers is worth noting. It is the first time a smart display has received that type of recognition and likely reflects Amazon’s interest in promoting attention to that product category which data show is growing but not as quickly as some predicted. If you consider that two of the three Amazon devices highlighted, Fire TV stick with Alexa voice remote and the Echo Show 5, are multimodal experiences, you can see that this is an area the company sees as important.