Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio, Smart assistants

Alexa’s Customer Acquisition Cost (Future Ear Daily Update 7-17-19)

7-17-19 - Alexa's Customer Acquisition Cost

There were two headlines coming out of this year’s two-day Amazon Prime event that really caught my attention as I believe they tell a similar story about customer acquisition cost (CAC) and the long game Amazon is playing. For starters, according to an Amazon blog post, “Amazon welcomed more new Prime members on July 15 than any previous day, and almost as many on July 16 – making these the two biggest days ever for member signups.”

Tren Griffin, who writes the blog 25iq and is a long time Silicon Valley veteran, succinctly summarized the broader takeaway:

Tren Griffin - 7-17-19

On the surface, Prime Day appears to be a giant flash sale, but in reality, it’s a ploy for Amazon to sign up more Prime members. This is important to note, as Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found in 2018 that Prime members purchase $1,400 a year on Amazon goods, while non-Prime customers spend an average of $600. Amazon will easily and quickly make back whatever revenue it gave away during Prime Day with the new members it signed up, as those members’ value tends to more than double.

The second headline that caught my attention was that, according to Amazon, “Prime Day was also the biggest event ever for Amazon devices, when comparing two-day periods – top-selling deals worldwide were Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.”

As Brian Roemmele astutely points out, this wave of new users can be evidenced by the surge Alexa is having in the iOS app store rankings from 96 to 36 in less than 24 hours (I imagine this keeps climbing as more people receive their devices):

We don’t know for sure how many Alexa-enabled devices have been sold this Prime Day yet, but Voicebot published an article that points out multiple Alexa items being sold out and currently on back order, including the Echo Show 5, which is on back order until September. There was seemingly strong demand for Alexa devices during Prime Day once again this year.

What strikes me here is that, similar to Prime Day being a ploy to grow the Prime membership base under the guise of a flash sale, Amazon’s method of slashing of Alexa device prices on Prime Day serves a similar purpose with Alexa, as Alexa is a “membership” of sorts. What I mean is that once a consumer has bought their first Alexa or Google smart speaker, and then decides to add more devices down the line, they’ll likely stick with the same assistant as they’ll be augmenting their living spaces with more access points to the same assistant.

According to Voicebot’s Consumer Adoption report published in March of 2019, it was found that 40% of smart speakers owners have multiple devices, which is up from 34% the previous year. So, to Tren Griffin’s point, Amazon knows that while they’re forfeiting margin on the Alexa devices they’re slashing now, they’ll make up on the back end as more people begin buying additional devices.

Furthermore, the bigger picture is that Amazon wants to own the next generation of computing. Amazon missed the boat on mobile and it’s banking on voice assistants (a 10,000 person team-sized bet) as being the future. So, the CAC of Alexa users in the long run will probably be viewed as incredibly cheap in hindsight as the utility of Alexa rises, and fellow voice assistant providers find that the CAC of poaching Alexa customers becomes increasingly more expensive.

Amazon seems to be using the same playbook with Alexa that it did with Prime – “buy” their user base early, on-the-cheap and lock them in with increasing value. Traditional brick and mortar companies are finding today that trying to poach Prime Members is immensely challenging considering all the value Amazon has been baking into its Prime membership; something that none of Amazon’s retail and e-commerce competitors can seem to match as the cost to build a service to compete with Prime, aka CAC, is just too high today.

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

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To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

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Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio, Podcasts

“Voicebot First 100” Dave Joins the Voicebot Podcast for Episode 105 (Future Ear Daily Update 7-16-19)

7-16-19 - Voicebot First 100

A few weeks back, I was fortunate to be asked by the Voicebot podcast host, Bret Kinsella, to join him, Amy Stapleton and Pete Haas on the podcast to help review some of the most memorable interviews and moments that transpired on the Voicebot podcast across the first 100 episodes. The episode was recently published on all major podcasting platforms.

Amy co-founded the company Tellables, which is a studio that creates interactive story games designed to be told by voice assistants, and prior to Tellables, she worked at NASA for 14 years (so cool). Pete is a long time developer who worked in design and developer roles throughout the various phases of computing, as a web developer, then a mobile developer, and now a voice developer, having created more than 200 voice experiences in the past few years (also very cool). Needless to say, I was in pretty good company!

Voicebot pod pic

After recording our 90 minute chat, here are a few of my big takeaways from the first 100 episodes of the Voicebot podcast:

  1. What a time we live in where you can hear inventors speak candidly about the technology they’re ushering in, such as Adam Cheyer, one of the original founders of Siri. Can you imagine being able to listen to Einstein, Eddison, Ford, etc back in their heyday talk about what they’re working on?
  2. Along the same vein, it’s incredibly impressive the type of access that Bret is getting to leaders within the various companies he interviews. To Amy’s point during our chat, Bret does a great job ferreting out information, and from leaders within organizations that haven’t historically been too transparent, such as Amazon. It’s really valuable as a listener and an awesome resource for business development.
  3. The three episodes I picked as my favorites were the episodes with Amir Hirsh of Audioburst, Vijay Balasubramanyan of Pindrop Security, and Adam Cheyer – co-founder of Siri and Viv Labs (Samsung Bixby 2.0). I view the areas that all three of these companies are working in to be “big ideas” and each area as paramount to the future of voice technology’s success and proliferation.
  4. I love the compilation episodes that the Voicebot team conducts because they often serve as a “teaser” to future, full-length interviews from companies that were originally surfaced in the compilation episodes.

I hope you enjoy the discussion. It was certainly enjoyable to get called up to the big leagues and go on a podcast that I listen to so frequently and find so much value in.

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

Introducing The Future Ear Roundtable (Future Ear Daily Update 7-15-19)

The Future Ear Roundtable

Today I am excited to announce a new aspect of Future Ear Radio called “The Future Ear Roundtable.” It’s a separate skill/action that needs to be enabled, but the concept is for the Future Ear Roundtable to serve as a companion to my daily Future Ear Radio flash briefing, where I can engage with Future Ear Radio listeners. I recorded a video to help illustrate what exactly it is that I’m launching and how one can participate:

Essentially, Future Ear Roundtable is my Alexa/Google-enabled version of, “let’s take some callers.” While it has been awesome uploading a daily flash briefing, it’s still a one-way street of communication. That’s what makes this companion skill so exciting to me is that I can now let the Future Ear Radio listeners not only engage with me, but potentially even engage with each other. For example, you might launch Future Ear Roundtable, hear my question along with the 3 responses that have already been published, and rather than respond to my question directly, you choose to more-so respond to one of the fellow respondents. That’s what I really want with this… to have a community of listeners sharing and engaging with one another.

To join in on the fun, simply:

  1. Enable the Future Ear Roundtable Alexa Skill or Google Action
  2. “Alexa/Google, launch The Future Ear Roundtable” to hear this week’s question
  3. Download the Castlingo app
  4. Use Castlingo to record your response to this week’s question and then publish it on the Future Ear Roundtable channel (see image below)
img_3608
The Future Ear Roundtable Channel hosted inside the Castlingo app

It’s that easy! I’m going to leave up the AirPods question that I originally posted for the next few days, but will be sharing on Twitter once I have updated the question and then will likely update the question on a specific day and time each week and standardize it as a weekly cadence. Hope to hear all your awesome responses on The Future Ear Roundtable!

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

audiology, Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

What If Treating Hearing Loss Mitigates Cognitive Decline? (Part 2) (Future Ear Daily Update 7-12-19)

7-11-19 - What if treating hearing loss mitigates

There have been a number of studies conducted in recent years to try and understand if there is a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, and the research continues to indicate that there is a correlation between the two. The question that researchers are now trying to answer is whether people with hearing loss can mitigate the slope of cognitive decline by treating their hearing loss.

The answer to this question is very tough to parse out because of how many other variables are involved, which makes it difficult for researchers to really isolate the equation down to hearing loss, hearing loss treatment (i.e. hearing aids), and cognitive decline. Since hearing loss often becomes more commonplace as we age, it could just be that both hearing loss and cognitive decline are byproducts of aging. That said, the two could be deeply linked, as suggested by Dr. Piers Dawes’ “cascade hypothesis” where, “long-term deprivation of auditory input may impact on cognition either directly, through impoverished input, or via effects of hearing loss on social isolation and depression.”

In other words, correlation does not necessarily equal causation, and therefore research that tries to get to the answer of this question must be thorough in effectively isolating the variables being measured together from the co-variables that might skew the data.

Today, I came across a paper published in ENT & Audiology news by Dr. Catherine Palmer, PhD Audiologist and Director of Audiology at the University of Pittsburgh, that revolved around research attempting to solve this question. In the paper, this quote here really jumped out at me:

“In a US population-based longitudinal cohort study, 2040 individuals over the age of 50 had cognitive performance measured every two years over 19 years, and new hearing aid use was identified along this time period. After controlling for a number of covariates (e.g. sex, age, education, marital status, wealth, smoking, drinking, physical activity, depression, etc.) the authors determined that hearing aid use had a mitigating effect on the trajectory of cognitive decline in later life. In other words, those who received hearing aids, regardless of many other covarying factors, had a less steep slope toward cognitive decline.”

These findings, along with Dr. Piers Dawes research that was published in January 2019, both indicate that treating hearing loss might change the trajectory of dementia to some extent and lessen the slope toward cognitive decline.

Back in May, I wrote an update about an interview I did with Dr. Nicholas Reed of Johns Hopkins for Oaktree TV about this very topic. During our conversation, Nick stated that along with Johns Hopkins’ study currently underway to try and answer this question, Johns Hopkins has conducted research that has found hearing loss leads to higher healthcare costs (outside of hearing loss related expenses), more frequent hospitalizations and increase in certain cognitive-related comorbidities. All the more reason why hearing loss is such a serious issue:

So, while there is not sufficient research to definitively say whether treating hearing loss can undoubtedly mitigate the potential of cognitive decline, one has to wonder, what if it does? Keep in mind that in the US healthcare system, hearing aids are considered “elective” status (same as plastic surgery) and are largely un-insured. Wouldn’t this finding help to strengthen the argument that these are not “nice-to-have” devices and actually “need-to-have” devices? Food for thought.

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

Biometrics, Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio, hearables

“Hearables – The New Wearables” – Nick Hunn’s Famous White Paper 5 Years Later (Future Ear Daily Update 7-10-19)

7-10-19 - Hearables-the new wearables.jpg

Nick Hunn, the wireless technology analyst and CTO of WiFore Consulting, coined the term “hearables” in his now famous white paper, “Hearables – the new Wearables,” back in 2014. For today’s update, I thought it might be fun to look back at Nick’s initial piece to really appreciate some of his prescient foresight with predicting how our ear-worn devices would mature across the coming years.

For starters, one of the most brilliant insights that Nick shared was around the new Bluetooth standards that were being adopted at the time and the implications for battery life:

“The Hearing Aid industry’s trade body – EHIMA, has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bluetooth SIG to develop a new generation of the Bluetooth standard which will reduce the power consumption for wireless streaming to the point where this becomes possible, adding audio capabilities to Bluetooth Smart. Whilst the primary purpose of the work is to let hearing aids receive audio streams from mobile phones, music players and TVs, it will have the capability to add low power audio to a new generation of ear buds and headsets.”

To put this into perspective, the first “made-for-iPhone” hearing aid, The Linx, had just been unveiled by Resound at the end of 2013. Nick published his paper in April of 2014, so it may have been apparent for close observers that hearing aids were heading toward iPhone’s 2.4 GHz Bluetooth protocol (every hearing aid manufacturer ended up adopting it), but without a background like Nick’s, working in the broad field of wireless technology, it may have been hard to know about the way in which this new Bluetooth standard (initially called Bluetooth Smart and then later called Bluetooth Low Energy) would allow for more efficient power consumption.

Nick’s insight became more pronounced as Apple rolled out its AirPods in 2016 with its flagship W1 chip, which used ultra-low power Bluetooth allowing for 5 hours of audio streaming (2 hours of talk time). Flash-forward to today, and Apple has released its AirPods 2.0 that uses the H1 chip and Bluetooth 5.0, allowing for even more efficient power consumption.

It needs to be constantly reiterated that hearables were deemed unrealistic up until midway through the 2010’s because of how inefficient the power consumption was with previous Bluetooth standards. Batteries represent one component inside miniature devices that has historically not seen a whole lot of innovation, both in terms of size reduction and also by energy density, so it might not have been obvious to see that the work-around to this major roadblock was actually in the way that the power from the battery was extracted via new methods of Bluetooth signaling.

The other aspect of hearables that Nick absolutely nailed was that ear-worn devices would eventually become laden with biometric sensors:

“Few people realise that the ear is a remarkably good place to measure many vital signs. Unlike the wrist, the ear doesn’t move around much while you’re taking measurements, which can make it more reliable for things like heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and pulse oximetry. It can even provide a useful site for ECG measurement.”

Today, US hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey has incorporated one of Valencell’s heart rate monitors into its Livio AI hearing aids. This new integration unveiled at CES this year was made possible due to the miniaturization of ECG sensors to the point they can be fit onto a tiny, receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid. To Nick’s point, there are significant advantages to recording biometric data in the ear rather than the wrist, so it should come as no surprise as future versions of AirPods and its competitors come equipped with various sensors over time.

Nick continues to write and share his insights, so if you’re not already following his work, it might be a good time to start reading up on Nick’s thinking about how our little ear-computers will continue to evolve.

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

 

Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio, Podcasts

Podcast Previews (Future Ear Daily Update 7-9-19)

7-9-19 - Podcast Previews.jpg

Something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is podcast discovery. The reason I’m so keen on podcasting right now is that I see it as a killer use case for both hearables (passive content consumption as a reason to wear the devices longer and more frequently) and smart assistants (control, curate and mediate the information).

Last week, I wrote about the concept of podcast-to-podcast advertising as a potential solution to help creators of all sizes work together to monetize and grow their audiences. As I mentioned in that post, there are 750,000 podcasts out there and a total of more than 30 million episodes have been recorded, according to website, podcastinsights.com. So, there’s a big ocean of content out there that listeners need to wade through in order to find something they might like.

One of the other potential solutions that I’ve been thinking might work to help with the discovery dilemma is “podcast previews,” which would be controlled via a smart assistant. The way that I envision this operating is similar to a flash briefing, where you issue one voice command (Alexa, play my podcast previews), and then receive a stream of short clips from the podcasts that you subscribe to, in addition to podcast recommendations that you might like. This would seem to fit right in the wheelhouse of platforms like Spotify that are focusing heavily on podcasting and personalized curation.

You’d then be able to control the stream via your voice assistant, allowing you to skip ahead, play the full podcast, and ultimately subscribe to a podcast. In this scenario, podcast creators would be able to crop their own clip from the episode being previewed and submit it to the stream, the same way a flash briefing is submitted.

To any podcast creators reading this – what do you think? Would this make sense as a way to potentially expose more people to your podcast? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to reach out on twitter to get the conversation going!

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

 

Future Ear Radio, hearables, Podcasts

“The Future of Hearables” My Podcast Episode with Nick Myers (Future Ear Daily Update 7-8-19)

7-8-19 - The Future of Hearables

I recently joined Nick Myers, CEO of Redfox AI, on his podcast “The Artificial Podcast” to discuss the future of hearable technology. You can check out our discussion in the link below or in any of the following podcasting platforms (Apple podcasts, Breaker, Google podcasts, Spotify, Overcast).

Here’s a few of the highlights of what we talked about:

  • How I get immersed in the VoiceFirst world, which stemmed from the emergence of Bluetooth hearing aids and the ways they can support new use cases
  • The bullish case for Smart Assistant-enabled hearing aids
  • The rise of AirPods – why they succeeded when previous, more ambitious hearables failed initially
    • Apple’s near-field VoiceFirst play and why AirPods are so critical to the company’s future
  • The new norm of wearing ear-worn devices for extended periods of time
  • The two phases of FuturEar.co and my motivation behind launching Future Ear Radio and the daily blog post
  • Conversational smart assistants and opening the app economy up to our assistants
    • The next phase of VoiceFirst and where we really start to see Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby become “assistants”
  • Why the blend of assistants, the Voice User Interface and the IoT is going to be so critical to our aging population in the US
  • The increasing ease of conducing audio and why flash briefings and podcasting will continue to explode in popularity

I hope you enjoy the conversation! Feel free to engage with Nick and I on Twitter about our conversation and if there are particular portions of the conversation that resonate with you, be sure to let us know!

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

Podcast-to-Podcast Advertising (Future Ear Daily Update 7-2-19)

Podcast-to-podcast

As a big fan of podcasts, a reoccurring thought that I often have is, “what other podcasts should I listen to?” According to the website, podcastinsights.com, there are 750,000 podcasts out there and a total of more than 30 million episodes have been recorded. The issue that I’m running into isn’t that there’s an inadequate supply of podcasts, it’s that I have no clue which of those 750,000 podcasts I will like. Which is why this week’s conversation that Voicebot podcast host Bret Kinsella had with Matt Hartman, partner at Betaworks, was so interesting to me.

During their conversation, Matt mentioned that he had recently received a push notification from Anchor about another podcast requesting to advertise on Matt’s podcast. (Quick refresher, Anchor is a podcast hosting platform that was bought by Spotify in February – which I wrote about here). Back when Spotify bought Anchor, one of the more intriguing aspects to Anchor was the then recently launched Anchor Sponsorships (launched in November 2018).

When Anchor announced Sponsorships, this was the overall summary of the new program:

Anchor Sponsorships gets podcasters paid by matching them with sponsors and helping them easily create custom advertisements for their shows. It’s a new world for podcast advertising, and anyone can be part of it.

I did not think too hard when this was announced about the potential beyond the ability for small brands to hyper-target audiences based on Anchor’s granular knowledge of the podcasts it was hosting. So, Matt’s statement about other podcasts wanting to advertise on his podcast caught me off guard, but in hindsight makes so much sense.

Podcast-to-Podcast advertising might be the key to the discovery issue that currently plagues podcasts. As a podcaster, if you know that your content will likely resonate with another podcasters’ audience, then what better of a way to spend money to grow your audience? Anchor will even provide the ad-copy for the hosting podcast to read.

There’s a quid pro quo here too that helps to solve another big issue that podcast creators often run into: monetization.

According to Anchor, “Podcast ad spend in the U.S. has been steadily increasing year over year, and is expected to double to nearly $700M by 2020. But there’s still a huge disconnect between the majority of podcasters and what’s happening at the top of the market: nearly all of that money is going to only the top ~1% of podcasts due to a highly fragmented market and lack of innovation in the space. It often takes around 50,000 downloads per episode before a podcaster can catch meaningful attention from potential sponsors.”

So maybe Spotify-owned Anchor is onto something here with these new type of advertisements. Maybe the key to exposing podcast listeners to the types of content they’d like, is the same key to monetizing podcasts outside the top 1%? Hyper-targeted podcast-to-podcast advertising as a viable interim solution while we wait for the machine learning and curation aspect of podcast discovery to really mature.

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

The Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit Gets an Upgrade (Future Ear Daily Update 7-1-19)

Leveling Up

Amazon Alexa Mobile Accessory Features and Solutions
Image: Alexa Developers Blog

On Friday, Amazon announced that it was expanding the feature set of the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit (AMAK) to allow for more Alexa capabilities and integration with headphones, earbuds, headsets and other Bluetooth devices. According to the Amazon’s developer blog post, the goal here is to make it even easier for Bluetooth device OEMs to provide delightful on-the-go experiences via Alexa.

There were three notable things contained in this update. The first is that users will now be able to control more music services through Alexa, including Amazon Music, Pandora, Audible, Kindle, Siruis XM, Gimme Radio and Music Skills Kit for Live Streaming. It’s becoming apparent that Amazon wants users to start to view Alexa as a “media remote” when using it with ear-worn devices.

The second is GPS-location support, which will really start to make this vision of #hearables + #VoiceFirst manifest. Users will be able to ask Alexa for directions and traffic updates using Google Maps, Waze and Apple Maps, while also being able to ask location-specific queries, such as weather, movie times and searches.

The third is the addition of the Knowles AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit, which according to Amazon is, “a production-ready implementation of AMAK and the first Amazon-qualified development kit for hearables with voice-initiated Alexa functionality.” If that sounds a bit confusing, I had Andy Bellavia, director of market development at Knowles, on my video series, Oaktree TV, earlier this year to discuss the Smart Mic technology (see video above). In essence, Knowles’ SmartMic will cut down on latency while also providing an additional layer of security to allow users to seamlessly call up their smart assistant on-the-go, without having to worry about the issue of an your hearable recording every conversation you say.

All three of these are incremental, but these updates, along with additional updates over time will really start to make hearables a compelling avenue to communicate with our smart assistants. Amazon has announced that it is developing its own hearable due out later this year, but until then, we should continue to see Amazon keep investing in AMAK to make it more feasible for third-party in-the-ear device OEMs to provide Alexa functionality with their hearables. 

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”

Daily Updates, Future Ear Radio

Amazon Now Fulfills Half of its Own Orders (Future Ear Daily Update 6/28/19)

The New Carrier

Chart: Axios

According to a new report from Rakuten Intelligence, Amazon now fulfills almost half of its orders. As you can see from the chart above, Amazon has steadily been grabbing more and more of its own shipment share across the last few years. There are some pretty significant implications here for UPS and Fedex, but also for the traditional retailers that compete against Amazon.

As Amazon increasingly fulfills more of its own shipments, it continues to gobble up portions of its supply chain. According to the report, “Amazon now employs more workers (648,000) than either FedEx (450,000), UPS (481,000) or USPS (497,000) – up from just 117,000 in 2013. And they’ve built the infrastructure, which is very hard to replicate: 390 warehouses50 planes300 truck power units and 20,000 delivery vans.” The company already owns 40% of all e-commerce orders, and so some simple math would state that Amazon now fulfills 20% of the entire market.

Traditional retailers are going to need to strategically align themselves with partners to match Amazon’s Prime offering. It starts with the way the order is placed. Amazon employs more than 10,000 employees strictly dedicated to Alexa. The most obvious way Amazon will monetize Alexa in the short term is to increasingly move people toward Alexa-based shopping. I would bet we see a report next year about a spike in Alexa-shopping after the Echo Show 5 has been in the market for a year.  Target, Best Buy, Walmart and other brick & mortar retailers will most likely need to look to Google Assistant or Bixby to provide the same, voice-assistant based shopping experience.

The other major aspect that traditional retailers need to focus on is to leverage some type of existing logistics system to match Amazon’s move into one-day shopping. To me, the most obvious option would be to partner with gig-economy companies that already employ tons of drivers, such as Uber or Lyft. Brick & mortar retailers should realize that their biggest advantage is that their stores can be converted to mini fulfillment centers and pick up points for packages.

Amazon appears to want to own its entire supply chain, from the genesis of the product creation (Amazon Basics) all the way to handing the package to the customer.  As it continues to become Amazon vs. All in the e-commerce war, it will present an opportunity for incumbent retailers to align themselves with strategic partners that can provide the various elements that make Amazon’s Prime so attractive. It should definitely open the door for Google Assistant (or Bixby) to serve as the smart assistant provider for all the voice commerce done outside of Alexa.

-Thanks for Reading-

Dave

To listen to the broadcast on your Alexa device, enable the skill here

To add to you flash briefing, click here

To listen on your Google Assistant device, enable the skill here 

and then say, “Alexa/Ok Google, launch Future Ear Radio.”