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I enjoyed this VoiceBot.AI article about the Google Home Black Friday sale at Costco. A few things struck me:

  • It seems way too early to running a Black Friday sale. We’re still on Halloween sales that are spooktacular. Is nothing sacred?
  • Competition is driving towards base dottiness pricing ($19.99). That is where the Echo Dot or Alexa enabled hardware has been sold and anything less than that isn’t work selling.
  • Major retailers often mismatch supply and demand. When something is already beyond the early adopters and on its way to the early majority, they can overshoot supply. This means either a lot of red clearance price tags on a product or being shoved onto a dusty shelf or in a yellow crate marked “bargain”. It doesn’t make your product look good.
  • On that note, the Echo is the face of Alexa and Home the face of Google Assistant. If retailers run ads burying the device in page six of its weekly ad, like Costco did, it erodes Google’s brand.
  • It’s weird for a retailer to sell an Echo or a Home. These devices are retailers of their own. Does the Apple Store sell Windows? It’s not just a competing product, it’s a new paradigm. Margin is margin, right?

Playing with retailers is tricky. One one hand, they have the distribution to get a product out, on the other, it’s their business and in their store it’s their rules.

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Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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