The market for personal assistants was created by Amazon when they launched Amazon Echo just two years ago in the summer of 2015.
Right now, there are currently around 12M echos (all products combined) sold. It currently holds around 70% of the total market share for all personal home assistants.
Besides the original Echo, Amazon recently also launched Amazon Echo Show and Amazon Echo Look:
It is clear that Amazon is pushing its personal assistants a lot and trying to capture the market before new entrants.
Who holds the rest of the 30% currently? You guessed it. Mostly Google with its Google Home product.
It took around a year of time for Google to copy Amazon’s first product and launch their own.
The industry for personal home assistants is clearly in baby steps, but the overall market size is increasing fast and will certainly become a new fed in the upcoming years.
Now. Where the hell is Apple?
We are not used to Apple copying other corporations’ creations, but it is bound to happen. Apple tried to counter-attach with its own self-driving cars, but seemingly gave up.
Apple is definitely trying to catch up with the upcoming VR/AR platform and I guess we will see how successful they will be. They will definitely not give up in the VR world, since then they would be losing the battle of the “new tech” in a big way.
It is a disappointing that Apple has taken the role of the “follower”, but life is tough when you do not innovate fast enough.
Apple will most probably release their own Siri-powered personal assistant during the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (Jun 5 — Jun 9).
Now, Apple will come out with something even more simplistic and polished, which would be no surprise. While it is clear that Google just ripped the design from Amazon, I really hope that Apple will not go down the same route, but we will see.
So, what does this new market mean for developers and entrepreneurs?
The tech is not yet mainstream, but about to be. The best time to take advantage of new platforms is right when they are about to go mainstream and the market for personal assistants will be there in a couple of years undoubtedly.
The time to act is now!
What should you do and which platform should you choose?
Truth be told, if you have the resources I would go for all platforms since an investment into this field right now is definitely going to pay off in the future.
If you run a tight budget, then the developer platform for Amazon Skills is very user friendly. Secondly, Amazon Echo users have bought the advice with the idea that they are going to be able to order stuff online without any hassle in the future so they have already made the monetary commitment and have definitely saved their credit card details. They will be much more likely to make online purchases with the device.
On the other hand Google Home focuses on search, so if you had to choose between the two, definitely go for Amazon first at the moment (June 2017).
And, when to also make some predictions then the customer buying a Siri-powered personal assistant will be more wealthy on average and already accustomed to spending money on the App Store. While the App Store does cost to upload apps (which will probably be the case for the upcoming personal assistant as well), the average wealthier customer might be worth it. Especially if your target market is more on the high-wealth side. Although, it should also be noted that anyone buying a personal assistant in the first place will probably be with an above-average income and more tech-savvy than the average Joe.
Now. What can you actually do? Well, pretty much everything.
The latest statistics say that 20% of all searches on mobile are done via voice.
WHICH IS HUGE!
Now, the same percentage for personal assistants is clearly 100% and we are definitely moving towards voice search.
First it was from web to mobile. Now it is from text to voice search.
Say you have a retail business. Like a sneaker store. What could you do? You can develop a skills on the platform to allow your customers to order new shoes via search or find out about new deals via the skill. The ROI might not be there yet, but will be in the future.
It is much more interesting when you run a local coffee shop. With your coffee shot skills, your customers could order a coffee up front before the leave home and take it with them on their way to work.
Or they could order a coffee home on their couch while watching Netflix without having to move from the sofa. You are complaining that it is hard to compete with Starbucks?
The opportunity to get to straight to the customer is right there. It is only up to you to react.
You could even be running a fintech startup providing fancy payment cards with all kinds of add-ons. Why not develop your own skills to allow your customers to check their balance, their last pay check and send money to friends without moving an inch.
Premium customer service. First to the market. Free publicity.
It is all up to you how you react. Do you take the opportunity or just sit there and wait until your competitors do it?
The personal assistant market is just like social media on steroids.
The opportunities are endless.
No matter what the Apple will come out with. They will raise a lot of noise and bring more awareness around the whole market, which will definitely increase the total market size considerably.
Act now and you might just have a perfect advantage over your competitors to gain more traction with the raising tide of personal assistants and increase your revenue and awareness without any marketing.