Alexa vs Google Assistant: Who dominates the voice commerce market?

Amazon Alexa powered Echo
Amazon Alexa powered Echo Facebook/Amazon Echo

The stiffening competition between Alexa and Google Assistant (the voice assistants embedded in the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart-speakers, respectively) has given rise to a new multi-billion dollar market that will only keep on growing.

Despite the influx of other voice assistants, Alexa and Google Assistant are expected to dominate this new industry, said Juniper Research.

A new Juniper Research report estimates there will be 8 billion devices with integrated voice assistants by 2023 compared to 2.5 billion at the end of 2018. This boom has led to a mammoth $80 billion "voice commerce" market, said the report.

The voice commerce market consists of three segments: smart-TV, smart-speaker and wearable-tech, said Juniper.

Juniper said this new "voice commerce market" will consist of sales made through voice assistants (including physical goods and digital sales) but will mainly consist of digital goods (such as apps and digital content). Smart-speakers will figure prominently in this new market.

The research firm expects smart speakers to be one of the three top device categories in this new industry. Juniper says its data shows that Echo devices with Alexa currently control more than 70 percent of the smart-speaker market.

Juniper, however, says both Amazon and Google are expanding their fight for industry leadership into smart-TVs. From now until 2024, smart TVs with voice assistants are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 121.3 percent compared to 41.3 percent for smart-speakers.

This means smart-TVs will drive sales in the voice commerce market because they provide a "visual context that is lacking in smart speakers," said James Moar, a senior analyst with Juniper Research.

Smart-TVs with voice assistants will allow users to easily search and buy items from their smart-TVs. Juniper said its latest data shows Amazon taking the lead in e-commerce transactions taking place through smart TVs.

Samsung, the world's largest TV maker, is also a contender in the voice commerce market. It recently said it will add support for Alexa and Google Assistant to its latest smart-TVs. It noted that its own proprietary assistant, Bixby, will handle some of the TV voice commands.

Analysts noted that other major TV manufacturers such LG Electronics, Sony, and Vizio have made similar moves to support Alexa and Google Assistant.

Juniper said Amazon now had the lead in this new industry. It said in the industry's three categories, "Amazon's Alexa has already established itself as the leader," and is setting the pace for the market.

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