Hinting at a similar premise to that of the movie Her, Indian users have started taking a perhaps odd liking to the Amazon AI virtual assistant – Alexa.
In what can only be called a bizarre interaction, Amazon revealed than Indians have said “I love you” to Alexa over 19,000 times in a day which is up by a whopping 1200% from 2019!
In 2020, as the U.S e-commerce behemoth went on to embed its A.I. assistant across Amazon’s entire family of apps and its multiple third-party devices, Alexa saw in a 67% increase in customer interactions in India.
In the month of October 2017, The Bezos-owned e-commerce major released the voice assistant in India, making it the fourth country Alexa was introduced to. On Monday, Amazon Alexa celebrated its 3rd anniversary in India.
On this occasion, the company has revealed some stunning facts about the market response received by Alexa in India. As of now, over 50 percent of India’s Alexa users are accounted for by customers in non-metro cities brought home an Echo device.
When Alexa entered India three years ago, it piloted on only two third-party devices apart from Amazon’s very own Echo devices. However, in the last three years, it has branched out to Amazon’s main shopping app, Fire TV, on laptops, televisions, smartphones and smart home appliances as well.
Puneesh Kumar, the country leaker for Alexa at Amazon India, in a statement about the same, said that the company is building an environment via which they want the voice feature to be made available to all manufacturers, third parties, SMBs whilst the ‘voice revolution’ is unfurling.
Today, Alexa is integrated into almost every device you can think of such as – Fitbit, Samsung devices, Redmi smartphone, Bose speakers, and so on. Kumar revealed that Amazon views the whole smart home category as an important growth engine for Alexa in India and this is why it has tied up industry majors such as Wipro, Philips, Syska and many others.
Kumar also mentioned that “Smart homes is one of the fastest-growing segments for us (Amazon) and almost 8.6 lakh times people use Alexa to control smart devices every day in 2020.”
India, the first country to enable Alexa on Amazon’s shopping app for Android users, sent out 5.8 lakh queries to the Amazon A.I. voice assistant every day for searches related to products, best deals, music and more.
Note here that even though Amazon didn’t reveal how many exact Alexa users are present in the country, it said over half of India’s Alexa users are from non-metro cities and that customers from 85% pin codes purchased Echo smart speakers in the previous year.
The Road Ahead For Amazon Alexa: Monetization
Now that Alexa has built up a sizeable user base in India and globally, the current challenge for Amazon lies in how to monetise Alexa as a service without the experience turning out to be too intrusive or invasive in nature for customers.
To take things further down this road, the company has started some pilot projects wherein users will need to pay in order to acquire an Alexa skill.
For instance, the Indian celebrity Amitabh Bacchan’s voice responding back to you every time you ask a question to Alexa is a paid experience.
Amazon will soon churn out many other such pieces to experiment and observe how Indian customers are responding to it. And on the basis of that, the company will fix a stable monetization mechanism.
Have you tried speaking to the Alexa voice assistant yet? Do you find it a useful addition to your daily life? Let us know the comments down below. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.